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Is Wood Badge just about "the beads"?

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Wally, who is a 2009 WB CD, wrote in the NYLT changes thread...


Is Wood Badge just about "the beads"?






If it's just about the beads, I'll be the first in line to meet you at a campfire, so we can throw our beads into the fire.


I somehow got this vague idea that WB was about instilling a heart for lifelong service of youth in Scouters ... and that it specifically trained or retrained leadership psychology and sociology along the way.


Oh well. I can only be responsible for myself.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Over the past 15 years I no longer remember how many times I have lost them. Eventually they show up again, but if one thought them as important one would think they could take better care of them. With summer camp coming up Sunday, I guess I'll have to make an effort to find them again. :^)



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Of course not!

The beads are the award and representation of the COMPLETION of the ticket. BTW, I know a scouter who wears WB articles, but no beads, my guess is he didn't finish the ticket on time.


The beads also show others a common bond between scouters, that there is an expectation BEYOND the minimum.


I also would not accept a third bead for staffing some training session other than WB as was mentioned in another thread.

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I know and have known some really great people who have taken Wood Badge.

I have also known some real twits who have taken Wood Badge.

I know some really great Scouter's who work with Scouts who have never taken Wood Badge.

I also know some wonderful Scouter's who don't work with youth who have never taken Wood Badge.

Over the years I have been very fortunate in being able to make more than my fair share return trips to the "Happy Land".

Back when the Cub Scout course was around as a Leader Trainer Course, it seemed to me that a lot of participants either didn't know or didn't care that it was a course about preparing to become a better Leader Trainer. These participants wanted a Wood Badge. Some felt that there was no way a Boy Scouter was going to look down on them.

Some of these Cub Scouters never got involved in Leader Training once their Ticket was completed, while some went on to become outstanding resources as trainers in the District and Councils they serve.

As a Wood Badge staff member, back when staff members had tickets, one of my ticket items was to promote the course and recruit participants. As a course director I made it very clear to the staff that I recruited that one main task they had in order for us to have a course was recruiting participants.

To this end we all invited,coaxed,pushed, pleaded and begged people to sign up.

There were of course people who as soon as they heard that there was going to be a course who mailed their deposit in, that same day. While there were other who needed a little arm-twisting.

Some went because they felt it would help them do a better job serving in what ever area they were serving. Some went because they are "Training Junkies", some went because a certain staff member asked them, some went because someone else they knew was going, some went to get away from the house for a while, some went out of curiosity.

To be honest I don't know why some went.

Maybe some did go in order just to be able to wear the beads?

I seen my role as a CD as providing the best course possible. While of course I cared for each and every participant, I didn't care what reason they had for being at the course.


I don't buy into this idea that people who have earned their beads belong to some elite club, where we all hang out together. To be honest I'm not sure if I even notice if people are wearing beads or not.

A great friend of mine has just received the Silver Buffalo. Over the years I have gone out of my way to hound this fellow about attending Wood Badge. So far he remains bead-less. But never the less he is an outstanding Scouter.


I have really enjoyed the times I have spent at Wood Badge courses.

There have been times when I have heard myself say jokingly that Scouting would be a lot more fun without the Scouts.

I really do think that any time you bring a group of adults who share the same values and passion about anything that a good time is almost a given.

Each and every course I have attended has been a lot of fun, each with its own magic moments.

I like to think that every participant has come away with something. I'm sure that some have came away with more than others.

My hope is that the people who at first only signed up in order to be able to wear the beads, do by the end of the entire experience learn more about what the real meaning of being a Scouter and being a leader is about.

A lot of time is spent on the 21st Century course looking at values and searching for a personal vision and mission. If the vision and mission is just to end up with a couple of beads on a leather boot-lace? I can't help feeling that something is out of whack and maybe Scouts and Scouting is not the right place for this individual.


Wood Badge is a good time and for many a very special time and experience. But it is when all is said and done just a Training course.

I don't wear my beads to bed, I can't recall more than half the names of the people who were on staff on the course I took 30 years ago!!

Many people have romantic?? memories of the course they took. Most people who have taken he course will say they had fun.

But no matter what course Wood Badge is about "The Training"


PS I still think that Wood Badge Beads belong to the Wood Badge course and using them to recognize other courses is just plain silly.


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I also don't understand why WB beads would be awarded for anything other than completion of WB. For that matter, I also really don't understand the desire to import academic degrees and regalia into a scouting context either. No offense intended to anyone, but earning a "bachelors" or "masters" or "doctorate" of scouting is nothing like earning the actual academic degree - it just doesn't fit and serves only to cheapen the experience, in my view. Seems to me that if we want more meaningful symbols, we should be careful to use them only in appropriate and meaningful contexts.


But just as I don't know anyone who earns a PhD just for the heck of it or the bragging rights (ha!), I don't know anyone who earns their WB beads for their own sake. Like an academic degree, the beads are merely symbols. And like the process of earning the degree, the process of earning the beads should be viewed as a means, not an end in itself. Once accomplished, either (degree or beads) can and should be used as a springboard to new accomplishments, new ways of thinking, and renewed dedication to the ideals of the program. The beads or degree alone, don't make you much of anything. It is what you do with what you've learned, that matters.

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I agree with Lisa.

Also, I think the the awarding of a third bead by the NYLT program may be a way to intice volunteers to staff the course and "get a third bead" without staffing WB.


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I came away from WB with the conviction that WB is all about the ticket. The beads are just to recognize an individual for completing their first of many tickets.


I'm sure there were others in my course who came away with a different view, but I don't believe I'm alone in thinking that the beads are not what's of value, it's what they represent that means something.


Still working mine. And a good ole bobwhite too!





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Is it just about the beads?


I just attended Woodbadge last february and am still working on my ticket. To tell you the truth if tomorrow my course director came out and said" BSA has changed it's polices and participants will no long be receiving beads." it would not hurt my feelings at all. I'll tell you something, I brought back from Woodbadge more than just the aspiration to get my beads. It was one of my most memorable experiences in scouting I have ever had, and hope one day I will be asked to work staff. I was even thinking about not finishing my ticket just so I could go through the course again. LOL

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Bayou Beaver I know you were just joking but your last comment gave me pause. When we did WB we were told quite clearly that you only get to go through as a participant once (well - unless they update the curriculum again and expect "old" WB'ers to do the "new" course...but that's different). So the word was, if you didn't finish your ticket and earn your beads, too bad, you lost your chance.


Is this not the case?

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Who May Attend Wood Badge?


To attend a Wood Badge course, Scouters must:


2. Have not previously attended a Wood Badge course, completed a Wood Badge ticket and received Wood Badge beads.


There is a caveat as well for leaders who have attended WB in the past may attend 21CWB as long as they (1) agree to write and work a 21CWB ticket and (2) agree mot to wear WB beads until satisfactory completion of the 21CWB ticket.


From the 2008 Administrative Guide; Wood Badge for the 21st Century.


Page 1 Item 2



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I have the same recollection as Lisabob -- you get one shot at a ticket. If you don't finish, you can't re-enroll and get a do-over. But maybe that's how it's being interpreted in both our councils... several states away from each others...

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This is the first time I've ever heard of this. My gut feeling is its a local "policy" one of those Scouting/Wood Badge legends that pop up from time to time. I am directing our next WB course and I have 2 participants from our last course who did not finish for personal reasons. I know that one, maybe both have plans to attend the next course.



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My Course Director said the same thing. To complicate matters, I don't think Lisa and I are in the same region.


You might want to check with the Regional Office for interpretation on the comment from the Admin Guide. It can be read two ways: One being taking the course OR completing the field work portion of the course, the other being taking the course AND completing the field work.



I used to be an Owl


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