Earn this special patch to celebrate 70 years of Wood Badge in U.S.
On July 31, 1948, William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt served as Scoutmaster at the first official Wood Badge course in the United States.
Seventy years later, Wood Badge has grown into an essential training experience for adult volunteers. You’ll find proud Wood Badge alumni — myself included — in every council in the country.
A brief history of Wood Badge
Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell conducted the first Wood Badge course in 1919 at Gilwell Park in England. Nearly three decades later, the BSA decided its volunteers would benefit from this training, too.
“Green Bar Bill,” the Scouting legend you can read about in detail here, was Scoutmaster for the first two American Wood Badge courses in 1948. Each course was nine days long — three days longer than they are today.
The first was July 31, 1948, at Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey. Twenty-nine men from 12 states showed up to learn about Scout skills, Scoutcraft and pioneering.
The second was Oct. 2, 1948, at Philmont in New Mexico. This time it was 35 men from 19 states in attendance. They gathered at the Villa Philmonte before traveling to Cimarroncito for the actual course.
These Wood Badge courses were conducted by the BSA National Council’s Volunteer Training Division. Councils began conducting their own courses in 1953.
In 1973, the focus of Wood Badge shifted from Scoutcraft to leadership development. In 2000, Wood Badge for the 21st Century debuted to give leaders the latest leadership tools.
Wood Badge in Los Padres Council
Wood Badge is BSAs’ ultimate adult leadership training program. The material taught in this course costs over $1,000 to present in the corporate world. Within our Scouting network we offer this program at a fraction of that price. In addition to all the leadership training one receives, the networking and sharing of ideas among Scouters is of great benefit to the youth we serve.
Check out Scouting’s premier leadership program for adults being offered by Los Padres Council in the future. This training will not only help you as a Scout Leader, but also in your professional and personal life.
What is Wood Badge?
Wood Badge is a leadership course that completes Scouting’s Basic Leadership Training program for all levels of Scouting (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturing).
Who Should Attend Wood Badge?
Wood Badge is for all Scouting leaders. The course content and leadership skills introduced apply to all leadership positions – both within and outside of Scouting. These skills provide a common leadership foundation that is beneficial for all youth program areas.
When Is Wood Badge?
The course will be conducted over two weekends, attendance is required all 6 days.