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Wood Badge Recruiting

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I am looking for ideas on what people have done to promote WB courses, recruiting efforts, and promotional efforts.


I really want to try and do my part for our upcoming course to try and recruit participants for the course.


I would warmly welcome comments and suggestions =)



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As with most things in Scouting, nothing beats meeting with people face to face and inviting them to attend the course.

Be ready to explain why they should attend the course, how it will benefit them and the unit they serve.

Be ready to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings that might surround the course.

As early as is possible get the news of where, when and how much out to as many people as you can.

When I was CD, I sent out a personal invitation to all the people that District Training Chairs had identified, I also invited all the members of the Council Executive Board.

Make sure that the Commissioner Staff in all the Districts know the details about the course and who can attend. Some of these Commissioners might not know that things have changed!! (Speak slowly and don't use long words!!)

While of course the CD wants the best presenters to be the WB Staff and nothing should overshadow the quality of the staff. It is however when possible a good idea to look at the staff and see where they come from. A staff that is diverse and comes from all parts of the Council and who people know, will do a better job of recruiting than someone who no one knows.

Look for ways to help people who can't afford the cost of the course. Your Council might have some sort of fund? Ask the Council Treasurer (A Volunteer, sometimes SE's don't like to see any money being spent -It looks better when it's on the books!!)

I used the deposits that people lost to offer the course to people who were having a hard time.

Visit District R/T meetings. Ask the R/T Commissioner for a few minutes. I have a power point presentation made up with photos of the participants from courses having fun.

Where possible have the form ready and be willing to grab the check for the deposit then and there. - Go for the commitment!! "I'll think about it" means more work for you!!

Give the " I'll think about" people no more than 3 days before you contact them. Any more and the "I'll think about it"Becomes "Oh! I forgot."

Contact the Council Training Chairpersons from Councils that are close. (I try and borrow something from them!!) Let them know all the details and send them a big pile of applications.

Contact the Professional in these Councils and make sure they have all the details send them another big pile of applications.

By far the best place to recruit people is at other Trainings. Ask the person in charge of the Training for a couple of minutes. Before the lunch break works well as you have time to talk to people as they eat. If you wait till the end, everyone is running home. Be sure not to take too long as the Trainer in charge can become upset!!

Think about all the places where groups of Scouter's gather and be sure to have someone from the course at these places to sell the course.

Sell the fun, fellowship, benefits to the unit. Don't sell uniforming and tickets!!

If you are the CD? Keep the staff up-dated on the count. (Don't count the maybes!!) Make lists of who should or would be the best person to talk with specific people. Follow up to make sure the meetings are really happening. On no account accept "I'm going to get around to it"!!

Be tough, be persuasive, think like a used car salesman!! Don't let people off the hook.

Remember that a lot of people have a lot of time and money invested in the course and there is no way that you are not going to do everything in your power to ensure that the course gets the green light. More people of course means more money that can be spent on the course -Better food, more little extras.

Hope this helps?


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My previous council used to send out "Ask Me About Woodbadge" laminated tags that could be hung in the temporary patch location (right pocket) by anyone who had completed the course. Almost all of the instructors at Scoutmaster Fundementals and Outdoor Leadership Skills were wearing the tags, so that was another silent promotion of the course.


If nothing else, it made people who had no idea what it was to ask "what is it?"


Personally, I try to let all of my UC's and CC's know about the upcoming courses in council as well as in the neighboring council, and if known, how many seats are left.

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Emphasize the kilt. I want to go to Wood Badge so I can join the MacLaren Society and wear a kilt.(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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When is the course you are staffing? In our Council, we offer 3 courses a year - Spring, Summer, Fall. Since I took the course in the summer, I'm on the summer rotation. I staffed this past summer and I've been invited back for Summer, '08 (August). Each week at Summer Camp, a Scoutmaster/Scoutleader Dinner is held on Thursday evening. I drove up to camp a couple of times and made a pitch during that dinner. Lots of prospects in those groups. Does your council offer Webelos Encampments? Those would be good opportunities, as well.


Check your Council calendar for any training events, and go recruit at them. We just held a Wilderness First Aid Course this weekend with around 40 participants, many of them were not Wood Badge trained. I think our council has something going on just about every weekend, so there are lots of opportunities to get in front of Scouters.


Check District web pages for camporees or similar events, and hit them. You may have to do a lot of walking, but it's good exercise. Carry plenty of brochures, but also right down names and email addresses of those you meet and express an interest. You want to be able to get back to them after the event for a little reminder.


Once you get a recruit, ask them if they have a friend who would be interested in attending with them. Most people would prefer to know someone else in the course, so let them do a little recruiting for you.


Contact your patrol mates from your course and let them know you are recruiting. Ask them to pass the word on and send you any leads.

Good luck!

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For Recruiting, our last course, and probably this next one I'm on will follow this model.


Assign recruiting assignments to each staffer, and require them to personally recruit at least two participants. We all attend Roundtables, trainings, and other various events in our districts and councils. We're asked to "spread the word" about our two courses and try and fill them both. last year our Spring staff filled our course, had a long waiting list and 1/2 filled the Fall course. Both courses ended up being full w/ the fall course having 44 of the 48 actually show up, Spring had 48/48 show up to camp. That was a great turnout.


Each staffer is assigned at least two potential participants from the earliest time. We're buddied up with the participants, in fact we're called the Wood Badge Buddies, and we call them, email them and contact them to get them used to us and answer all of thier questions. Most questions are centered around the tickets, but we give them general info as well. We also make sure they're caught up on thier payments, we remind them that at the 30 day mark before course if we have participants that are not fully paid and fully paid persons on the waiting list, they get swapped. We had 48 paid participants at 30 days. Our Fall course experienced the same.


We send representatives to all functions and develope a list of those interested in attending, and we send invites to those that completed recently leader specific courses.


Good luck and have fun on course.



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