Shameless plug: Join me at Wood Badge this summer at Philmont


Wood Badge + Philmont = Happy Land

I interrupt my regular blog programming for this important Wood Badge Wednesdays announcement…

I’m staffing Wood Badge this summer at Philmont Scout Ranch, and there’s a spot on our course for you and your Scouting friends.

The course, officially called S2-571-13-3 but known here as Wood Badge 106, is held August 19 to 24 at Philmont. It’s hosted by Circle Ten Council but is open to Scouters from any council in the country.

When I took Wood Badge as a participant last summer, I had no idea the level of planning that the staffers underwent to make our week so life-changing. But now that I’m on staff and have attended two all-day staff-development sessions and a few evening meetings with my fellow troop guides, I’m seeing first-hand just how much work goes into a typical course. 

We essentially go through the entire course as a staff — we play the games, we practice the presentations, and we pore over every minute of the schedule — all to ensure we’re ready to make this the best Wood Badge course ever.

But that’s the thing about Wood Badge: every course is the best Wood Badge course ever. Now, of course I’m partial to Wood Badge 106, especially considering the men and women on staff with me are some of the highest-quality Scouters I’ve ever met. But wherever and whenever you take Wood Badge, the course is designed to bring you closer to the Scouting movement and give you the tools and inspiration you need to make your unit the best Scouting unit ever.

In other words, Wood Badge anytime, anywhere is great. Wood Badge at the gorgeous Philmont Training Center? Let’s call it great, with a little cherry on top.

So I hope to see you out at Philmont this summer for Wood Badge 106. You can sign up and learn more at our official site. If you have questions about the course, please leave a comment below and I’ll respond.

But if you can’t make it to Philmont in August, don’t let that stop you from signing up for a course closer to home. You’re in for the best week ever — guaranteed.

20 thoughts on “Shameless plug: Join me at Wood Badge this summer at Philmont

  1. You’ll do excellent as a troop guide. You’re in great company with the rest of the staff as well.

  2. Would you take a previous course director as a participant? Of course I know you cannot do that, but I would love to experience Wood Badge at Philmont. Two of the things I love most about Scouting.

  3. I second Bryan’s words. This old “Silver Eagle” (for hair color) from SR-840 learned a lot and hat lots of fun. The course was especially useful since I was transitioning from a position in one program to one in another program and having to learn about something totally new to me. Wrote my ticket items based on this transition.

  4. I wanted to do Wood Badge this year. In my local council it is held on two weekends instead of a week. It was the 2nd weekend in April and the 1st weekend in May. The 1st weekend in April I had to take my den to their conservation project or take Advance Camping for Girl Scouts. I decided on the conservation project. The 1st weekend in May I am going to horse camp with my daughter (the Girl Scout). Someone asked me once if my real job gets in the way of my scouting. No, my scouting gets in the way of doing more scouting 🙂 I would love to come out and train with you in August. I’m not sure I can manage the airfare, but I will consider it. Thanks for the invitation!

  5. We are in between weekends for our course here in Charlotte, NC. Yes, Troop Guide is grueling in it’s training and responsibility, but I am blessed to be part of one of the best teams in this area! Have a great course this summer!

  6. Good luck! I hope you’re half as good as the best troop guide ever – Grace Davidson, my troop guide from “Wood Badge 93” (SR-1068-571-93) Beaver Patrol! I understand she is the backup course director for your course this summer.

    I just witnessed 5 of my Webelos II scouts cross over and receive their Arrow of Light awards in the last month that were a direct result of my diversity ticket item. Years after the course was finished and beads were awarded, results continue to show. I was proud of all 12 that did the same, my son included, but those 5 had bigger hurdles to overcome and probably wouldn’t have found scouting had the extra effort and funding been in place to find them.

    My wife took the Philmont course (Wood Badge 98, Beaver also), while I took the traditional 2-weekend one mainly because I was too eager to wait for August once I decided to take it. After comparing notes with her on the format differences (with of course the obvious price, distance, and scheduling differences as well), I’ve told many Scouters considering both that there are pros and cons to either option. The schedule is intense even on the 2-weekend format, but that is amplified with the 6 consecutive days. It’s hard to beat the weather at Philmont in August if you’re living in the Dallas area (my son and I dropped my wife off and camped near Red River during her course and had the time of our life). Attending the beadings of your fellow patrol members is more complicated with a Philmont course with many “out of council” participants (who certainly bring many other positives to the table), and it’s difficult enough to maintain communication with those patrol members who are spread across the Dallas area as the years pass, much less if they are also spread across the country. Maybe my course just had the most awesome quartermaster (and patrol on weekend 2), but I suspect the necessary logistics of food at Philmont meant that we ate WAY better on the traditional format.

    Many Cub Scout leaders tend to think that Wood Badge is only for Boy Scout leaders. I took the course fairly early in my Cub Scout leader tenure, and was glad I did. There were quite a few WB trained leaders in our pack, so I had a good example to follow. It transformed me from being a green Wolf Den Leader and newly minted Asst. Cubmaster into someone with a lot more confidence about what scouting overall was about, especially what was ahead for me, my son, and the scouts I was working with when we reached Boy Scouts. It prepared me to take on district training and committee roles as well. It was at my suggestion that our pack pay for our new Cubmaster to attend Wood Badge when he took over the reigns from our long time leader (who has attended both the “old” and new courses and staffed each as well) if he wanted to take it, which he did. I’m not a believer in a unit, particularly at the Cub level, REQUIRING Wood Badge of their top leader, but think it’s a great idea to offer to pay for it so that course cost is never the obstacle.

    I used to be a Beaver…!

  7. How will you handle the pre-course meetings? Looks to me like participants not from Circle-10 would have to travel to Dallas for the August 3 pre-course meeting and then to Philmont for the course. . . or would the pre-course meeting be something that could be done via skype or other telecoference?

    • Great question. Last year we had this exact scenario with some participants from Colorado and Florida. They teleconferenced in, just as you suspected. You don’t need to be there in person for the pre- or post-course meetings. We’ll make it work.

  8. That’s after I leave otherwise this critter would have dropped in to say hello.

    Good luck!

    SR-1050 Buffalo

  9. You’re about to find out that ‘Troop Guide’ is the toughest staff position there is. There are others that are challenging too (try being the SPL, which I just finished), but usually, you’re a troop guide your first time on staff which calls for a ton of prep beforehand, and you’re learning the course as a staffer at the same time… for the first time. So, it’s tough because of what you are responsible for, when you are responsible for it. By the time you are an SPL, you’ve learned the course pretty well as a staffer, but your time is not your own for 6 days!! I have eternal respect for anyone who has ever been a ‘troop guide’ on a WB course.

    I don’t recall that you’ve told us what critter you are, but I’m sure if you’re not a Beaver, then you are probably okay as some other lesser woods animal. I’m an Eagle Scout, and was a troop guide for the Eagle Patrol, so my loyalty is kind of split… but that’s Wood Badge!!

    As Hamlet said: “‘The readiness is all.'” So prepare relentlessly, and you’ll be fine. Luck has nothing to do with it. Have a great time as a staffer… it is an experience that has no peer!!

    Chris Fay SR822, Beaver
    Seeya at Jamboree?

  10. Am wishing you all the best! I wish i could have joined you on ths Woodbadge training. When will ths training be?

  11. That would be awesome to be able to join you at Philmont for WB but seeing how expensive flights are from Alaska, thats a hinderance but I am sure you will do great and have an awesome time!

    For those of you scheduling courses please consider planning around these things:
    A) Staff Week at Summer Camp
    B) Scout Camp Weeks
    C) Council hosted National Camping School
    D) Near Council Leave No Trace Master Educator Course

    Well those are the four I can think of but I know there’s tons more. I realize that something will always interfere but the one thing I have to say is that the course for my council, Great Alaska Council, is being held during Staff Week at camp, so I won’t make it to WB this year and with my council not holding a course every year, I guess I will have to wait till 2016 as that is the next year my council is planning to conduct a course.

    If you ever have the opportunity or privilege to go to WB I would highly recommend it, as it is from what others have told me and from what I already know is an experience of a lifetime.

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