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Has anyone been to one of these Powderhorn courses? What sort of material is covered? At a glance, they appear to be an introduction to High Adventure, similar to Discover SCUBA or Climb On Safely with a bit of hands-on thrown in.

Didn't think that there was a lot of leadership training involved and few prerequisites beyond the physical.


Then the other evening heard someone compare it to Wood Badge but oriented to Venture leaders and had to wonder - either its been a pretty well kept secret or there have been some changes made?


Misunderstanding aside, is this course worth the time?


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The last course our Council had was two weekends long. If you are new to venturing it can help a great deal. It explains the different ranks and the differences with Boy Scouts. It should have hands on with a lot of the instructors being experts in their fields. You can gain a lot of information for activities geard for the venturers. I would recommend it for anyone thinking of getting into Venturing. Talking to some of the participants that have been in venturing for some time, they said it reinforced what they were doing and did clear up some confussion they had with parts of the venturing program.

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Powderhorn and Woodbadge are not the same. It is recommended that Venturing leaders attend both at some point.


Woodbadge is about leadership. Powderhorn is outdoor skill based. There have been very few Powderhorn courses so far beause of the scope and newness of the course. It teaches Venturing leaders the resources, safety and planning needed for high adventure activities as well as some hands on skills.



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The Powder Horn course is designed to introduce and expose Venturing and Boy Scouting adult unit leaders to the activities and resources necessary to operate a successful outdoor/high adventure unit-level program. It is based on the eight core and eighteen electives found in the Venturing Ranger program. It is intended to help adult leaders get out of the box in finding and using resources and in the way they lead their unit-level high adventure programs. No high adventure skills are taught in this course. It is designed to have some disciplines introduced with a hands-on segment. Example: For scuba if a pool is available, it is suggested to do a Discover Scuba (PADI) session where participants get into a shallow pool and wear scuba gear. It is not scuba certification. Participants will not learn how to rock climb or shoot a skeet course, but will learn where to go to find those who can teach these skills to Boy Scouts and Venturers.


This is from http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=va


As for Woodbadge, their used to be a Cub Scout Woodbadge, Boy Scout Wood Badge, Varsity Woodbadge and ELI - Explorer Leadership Institute. Now 21st Century Woodbadge is for all BSA leaders, National asks that ALL leaders take Woodbadge within their first two years as an adult leader.


This is probably too much information, but I hope it helps to answer your question.

(This message has been edited by johnsned)

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BW is right. Powderhorn and Wood Badage is not the same. Wood Badge for the 21st Century covers topics in Venturing as well as all other programs BSA has to offer with a primary focus on leadership. The Venturing Powderhorn course covers leadership, but it's primary focus is on high adventure training, and in some cases providing certifications in BSA training programs such as Climb on Safely and others. Unlike Wood Badge, however, Powderhorn courses are held at a regional level and hosted by a different council annually. For more information about Powderhorn, check out www.powderhorn.org or contact your regional Venturing President at http://www.nationalventuringcabinet.org I hope this helps...

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  • 2 months later...

I plan on attending the next Powderhorn Training my council is going to hold this fall. Our course includes eight Ranger Core Requirements of:


Conservation Project Development


Emergency Preparedness

First Aid

Land Navigation

Leave No Trave

Wilderness Survival


I'm still trying to narrow it down to out which 10 electives I want! Life is full of choices...



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  • 1 month later...

Powderhorn is being held every year in every region. Currently, it is on a Regional basis, about 5 per Region. www.powderhorn.com is not a BSA website, but the BSA uses it to list current Powderhorn courses. Eisely, if you're in the Southern California area, Desert Pacific Council is holding Powderhorn this year in San Diego and I'll be there.



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