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Why Wood Badge?

Michael LeavittThere are many misconceptions about Wood Badge. Here are a few...

“Wood Badgers are elitists, and you should feel bad about yourself until you dedicate a week of your life to the training!”... WRONG!!!Emblems

While it is true that those who have complete Wood Badge training wear their neckerchief and beads proudly, it is because they have really made wonderful accomplishments completing both the course and their personal goals. One who has not yet attended should never feel bad. There is a time and a place for everybody involved with Scouting to attend and complete Wood Badge. Some do it after their first year of leadership, while others like myself wait for 27 years of leadership before attending.

“What is it with that long, long, seemingly never-ending song that they sing every time somebody is awarded their beads at Roundtable?”

The Gilwell Song is one that is sung at least 2 times a day throughout the Wood Badge training. It grows on you as an attendee, and it sticks in your head like an irritating one hit wonder on the radio, while at the same time it is a constant reminder to work on ones personal goals and seek out the best self-improvement.

“What is it with the animals? And what in the world is a Bobwhite anyway?”Bobwhite

Ahh the Bobwhite? They tell me it is a small bird like a quail that makes for some pretty good eating.=:-) After going through the training, I have become very partial to Buffalos. Why? Because I was assigned to the Buffalo Patrol during my training. It is really cool because they took our 54 participants and divided us up and placed us on the current 8 patrols. The leadership did their best to separate friends so that we could spend time with new friends. The current 8 animal mascots are: Bears, Beavers, Antelope, Bobwhites, Buffalos, Owls, Foxes, Eagles.

NOTE: It is interesting to note that one of our Wood Badge staffers was a Wolf went he went through the course, so each time we sang the Gilwell song we would add the verse for the Wolves and the entire camp would join in the singing to support the lone wolf.

“People are different when they return from Wood Badge”

This isn’t a misconception. It is absolutely true. They are the same great individual, but Wood badge has a way of taking a good leader and making them more focused on greatness. It is the honing, sharpening, and refocusing on the goals in life that are really the most important that sets them apart. This is why the invitation is extended to all Scouters to attend the Wood Badge training... Just typing that is making me want to break out into the Gilwell song... Kinda strange, isn’t it?


Be Very Careful

Others May See You've Caught the Spirit of Scouting

David B. Erickson shared... When you come home from Wood Badge, watch and see whether others notice something different about you.

One Scouter shared his family's impression of him after returning to the second half of his weekend Wood Badge course. He wrote, "I just want to say how much this experience means to me. My life is changed for the better. During the break between weekends, my family noticed something had changed. My 4-year-old daughter asked my wife, "What happened to Daddy?" Even my wife asked how many times I could go to Wood Badge so I could keep improving. Thanks so much!"

Judging by the experience of others, Wood Badge will help you become a better Scout leader. It's also likely that along the way you'll find ways to become a better person. Sign up soon for your Wood Badge experience. Do your best to serve others by improving your leadership skills. If you do, you'll help fulfill Baden-Powell's vision that Scouting can bring about God's Kingdom on earth.

And by going to Wood Badge, that vision can also become yours.

David B. Erickson is a member of the L.D.S. Young Men General Board and a recent Wood Badge course director.

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