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Pre-Leadership Skills Wood Badge Syllabus?

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  • Pre-Leadership Skills Wood Badge Syllabus?

    I have seen the scanned pages of the Wood Badge notebook on Kudu's website but I would really like to find a copy of the older Wood Badge syllabus. The older pre-leadership-skills-Wood-Badgers get the less we will know about what Wood Badge used to teach. Is there any way to get our hands on that information in paper or digital format? I mean really go back and get a copy of the course as Green Bar Bill would have run it. Where do we get this?

    It's all fine and good to hear Kudu tell us that Wood Badge isn't Wood Badge anymore...but I want to know HOW it isn't the same. Surely this information wouldn't be restricted anymore...It's history, right? We're all entitled to study our history aren't we?


  • #2
    From the official history

    The syllabus was put into the hands of Hillcourt, Thomas, and Lawrence. They quickly
    decided that the course should cover all the recently "realigned" basic Boy Scout rquire-
    ments from Tenderfoot to First Class, as presented in the Handbook for Boys. It should
    also cover the patrol work described in the Handbook for Patrol Leaders and the troop
    organization and activities of the Handbook for Scoutmasters.

    The new Scout Field Book would be the source of advanced Scoutcraft.

    And each student would receive a copy of the World Brotherhood Edition of Baden-Powell's Aids to Scoutmastership to be studied in advance, to familiarize himself with
    the principles of the Scout movement.

    The Wood Badge syllabus of Gilwell Park and of several overseas Scout organizations
    were reviewed. Lectures and extended instruction were eliminated. As Joe Thomas was
    to say later, "Our major change in the course was the emphasis on doing rather than lecturing."

    Out of the deliberations of these three Scouters came a truly American Wood Badge syllabus. The organization and working of the Wood Badge troop was strictly American. The Boy Scouts of America interpretation of the patrol method was used to its fullest extent. The patroI names picked were of birds and animals found in every state of the Union: Eagle, Bob White, Fox and Beaver.

    The patrols designed and made their own flags instead of depending on the store-bought variety.

    The use of patrol totems and signatures was introduced. So was the singing of the "Back to Gilwell" song with mention of each patrol.

    The participants, in turn, became patrol leaders for a day, and were installed at a proper
    installation ceremony.

    The patrol leaders' council met daily and conducted the daily inspection.

    The senior patroI leader assumed his function as the main troop leader.

    The "special assistants" handled historical and organizational subjects in short campfire talks. They also acted as game leaders and contest judges.

    At one point or another, each of the basic Scout requirements was introduced. The
    handling of the U.S. flag and its history was covered in the morning, as a historical
    flag was hoisted next to the U.S. flag and the Gilwell flag hence the three flagpoles
    of Wood Badge.

    Other Scout requirements were covered in learning-by-doing periods in the
    morning, followed by an alternoon climax event in the subject.

    The unsupervised patrol hike and overnight camp were made a major feature.
    This matches what I recall when serving as a gofer for the Course QM.

    I will try to get ahold of a syllabus.


    • #3
      Thanks, TAHAWK! I would love to see that syllabus.


      • #4
        On eBay this weekend I came across one of the Wood Badge training notebooks from the early course--like displayed on Kudu's website. I ordered it and am excited to receive it and go over the notes. Since I'll be on WB staff this fall, I'm curious to compare the current course with the older course. This is for pure curiosity and also to enrich my Scouting history and carry on the heritage left to us by Green Bar Bill and the first generation of WB in America.


        • #5
          Originally posted by TAHAWK View Post
          From the official history

          This matches what I recall when serving as a gofer for the Course QM.

          I will try to get ahold of a syllabus.

          Interesting! For all of the 21st Century naysayers, the current course syllabus still has every one of the elements in it that Hillcourt, Thomas, and Lawrence put in back then.