We welcome your memories about your experience with Wood Badge. Please take the time to read what others have to say, if you have any memories you would like to share. We have included memories from past courses and hope you will take time to tell us about yours.
Mike Miller – S7-602-14
My only experience with Scouting is since my son joined in 2014. I was working towards becoming an ASM in the Troop, but the Indoor/Outdoor training schedule was not working. A couple of people in my Troop were Wood Badgers and after one of them got “beaded” at our Court of Honor, I decided to give it a whirl. Admittedly, I had no clue as to what I was getting myself into. That said, the experience was worth it. I remember being so emotionally drained after the first weekend. But that time getting to know my patrol mates was priceless. Seven divergent personalities coming together as a unit was very exciting. The second weekend was even better as we got to know each other and pull together. The staff was top notch and caring. Well worth the time and effort and you will find what you learn not only applies to Scouting but will be of great benefit in your professional life. “Bobwhites do it right!!!”
HC Davis – SR-809, S7-602-11-1, S7-602-13-1, S7-602-16
When I was selected to attend Wood Badge in 2007, I had just served in my oldest sons Cub Scout pack as an Assistant Den Leader. When my son bridged over to Boy Scouts, I, or course, over with him. The Scoutmaster at the time, Bennie Good, encouraged and mentored me as a leader. After one year, he spoke to me personally about his desire to provide the best opportunities for scouts to succeed; to do that, the troop needed the most motivated, well-trained and able leaders. He convinced me to enroll in Wood Badge Course SR-809. What an experience! I learned more about leadership in that course than I had in all of the classes I had taken in my professional career.
The energy of that class amazed me it also prepared me to take on the role as Scoutmaster when Bennie moved to a district position two years later. That course taught me a lot but when I was asked to be on staff for Wood Badge 2011 and 2013, I continued my knowledge even more. I sincerely hope that in Wood Badge 2016, I can convey and “pay it forward” my knowledge and experience to others.
Lloyd Dunnavant – 1982, 1992. 2006, 2013, S7-602-16
Wood Badge training represents to me the continuity of quality leadership in Scouting. I took my Wood Badge training in 1982. It was a fun week. My course director had taken his Wood Badge from a man who went through an early Wood Badge course offered by Green Bar Bill (One of the giants of Scouting). Green Bar in turn could trace his Wood Badge experiences back to Baden-Powell. Though Scouting and Wood Badge have grown and changed with the times, the essence and the spirit remain the same. There are still things in today’s Wood Badge that carry all the way back to the very first Gillwell Field. The energy that started Scouting continues down our training bloodlines. None of us would claim to be a Green Bar Bill or Baden-Powell, but we can link to their spark and pass it on to the next generation of leaders.
Brian Stuver – SR-966 & S7-602-13
I signed up for Woodbadge, not knowing exactly what to expect. I have been involved with scouting for 2/3 of my life (scout and leader) and truly believe it is one of the greatest organizations in the world. As an Eagle Scout, I promised to give more back to scouting than I received. Wood Badge helped me do that. I have taken many training courses throughout my scouting and professional career, but each course is taught on a specific topic and gives you a snapshot on how that fits into the bigger picture. Wood Badge is truly the first complete training course I have ever attended. The volume of information and tools presented during the course can feel overwhelming, but you will walk away as better leaders, ready to better your own units and scouting as a whole. And remember, KISMIF, Keep it Simple, Make it Fun!
Kathy Aardema-Zunk – S7-602-11, S7-602-13, S7-602-16
Growing up with 2 Eagle brothers and a Scoutmaster father, I watched boy scouting from the outside and was envious of what they experienced and learned. My Girl Scout years were great, but I did not get what my brothers lived. When God blessed me with my own 2 boys (and a girl), I knew they would all be introduced to scouting. Predictably, both my boys joined as Tigers. The problem was, 10 years ago I did not know a lot about Cub/Boy Scouts, so I jumped right in there with them and held several Den Leader Positions. About 5 years ago, at our district’s round table meetings, I learned about the real deal training for adults- Wood Badge This I knew would help me gain the skills and knowledge I needed for my future positions with the Pack (CC) and Troop (ASM). To read and learn about scouting online does not compare to actually ‘living and experiencing’ hands on scout training. Wood Badge is- living and experiencing scouting. I tell the scouts in my troop that the beads I earned in Wood Badge are like the adult version of getting your Eagle. I share this with them for two reasons- 1) The motto, Do as I Do, not Do as I Say is important for teenagers to see. 2) If I expect them to put in the hard work and effort, then I too must do the same.
AJ Kendrick – SR 267, SR 677, S7-602-11 & S7-602-13
As I look back on my Wood Badge experience it is filled with fond memories. I was encouraged to attend wood badge by several of my friends some that had just attended and others were part of the staff. My oldest boy had just crossed over into the troop and my youngest son would soon follow. At that time the Wood Badge courses was very different and focused on Boy Scout skills. Well, the stars aligned and I attended SR 267 in the spring of 1998. It was a great experience. The skills training was professionally done, but the overwhelming result of the course was a rededication of my commitment to the scouting program. I also establish a new set of cherished friends. I was later asked to be on staff on the newly established 21st Century Wood Badge. There were a few growing pains and a lot of discussion of how Wood Badge had changed. With all the concerns from the “old timers” surrounding the “new” training I thought I’d find out for myself. I was truly impressed with the new course that included all the programs and focused on honing leadership skill. Man I can use these skills at work too! This time I wasn’t surprised that the course energized my enthusiasm into scouting. The bottom line is that I have found Wood Badge as a stimulating experience. It validates the value system that I wholeheartedly believe in and feel strongly we should teach to all our youth regardless of age or background. Lastly, we must instill Scouting must be fun.
Benjamin Lilly – S7-602-11, S7-602-13
Second weekend was the best. Camping, preparing food, skits, presentations, being together was a great experience. PS – Earplugs are a must at Wood Badge.
David Dragoo – S7-602-11, S7-602-13
For the longest time, I avoided signing up for Wood Badge. That was a course for “Super Scouters”, not a regular person like me. As the years passed and I slowly got more involved with Scouting, my attitude changed to “Maybe Someday.” The final straw was when a buddy signed up and seemed very excited about attending, so I figured, what the heck, and filled out the registration forms. What I gained from the course was a new-found interest and vision for my Scouting future as well as dozens of new friends. The concepts covered in Wood Badge have enabled me to progress further along in Scouting than I had ever planned, including getting involved at the District level and taking over as Scoutmaster of my sons’ troop. The pace is fast and the volume of information can be overwhelming but the light at the end of the tunnel is bright and easily within your reach if you are willing to take the journey.
Bennie Good – SR501, SR917, S7-602-11, S7-602-12, CVC-2012, S7-602-13
I was part of the inaugural class of Wood Badge for the 21st Century, along with several of our esteemed staff (Dan Aunspach, John McCulla to name a few). The experience with the staff was phenomenal, Jim Richards as Troop Guide, Chuck Smith as ticket counselor and John Turner as Scoutmaster. These are icons in Scouting and an encouragement to all who are impacted by them. So Wood Badge sets the bar high! I took WB as I was beginning my 7 year term as Scoutmaster of Troop 876. Its impact, however, was greater than just to the troop. I was a new manager at Philip Morris USA and a leader at Crestwood Presbyterian. Wood Badge is not just for scouters! But the interesting fact is that while the course is a six day simulation and the ticket is an approximate 18 month simulation….the real value to Wood Badge is and will be the “tickets” that will be worked well after the “beads”. Good Luck & Godspeed!
Kenny Jones – SR769, SR917, S7-602-11, S7-602-13
It’s all good. I first took Wood Badge to continue my training as a Scout Volunteer and though, at the time, I was focused on my Unit and the Scouting Experience my three sons were enjoying, I too began to see a bigger picture of what Scouting should/could be for my sons and the other Scouts in my Troop. I felt honored to be asked to be on Staff for something I knew was a very meaningful experience for everyone involved – my thoughts had shifted from “Me & MY Troop” to helping others have the same tools they needed to have fun while delivering a great program to many other Scouts I’d never know. The Friends I have made in Scouting are my Scouting Family – It’s a BIG Family. There is always room for more!! As my son’s aged out of the Scouting program as youths I needed to dial back a little on my focus on “my Troop” and really wanted to help others have the same wonderful experience I had with my own guys. I felt the ripple effect might touch other adults and youths along the way and it feels good when you feel like you made a difference in the lives of others. All anyone can ever ask is that you “Do Your Best” This is what I try to do and what I try to encourage others to do as well. Have Fun and share that with all you can. Tools that make a difference!! Thank YOU for Doing Your Best!!
Mike Wilson – S7-602-11, S7-602-13
I originally took the Wood Badge course when I was looking for a couple of new “tools” for my Scout Leaders “Toolbox.” I was looking for some additional training to help me deliver the Scouting program to my unit. What I received was an entire shop full of tools and a support team and network to go with it. I now have a much greater sense of being a part of the Universal Movement of Scouting.
Rick Bragga – #370, SR917, S7-602-11, S7-602-13
Both of my times taking Wood Badge (Legacy and 21st Century) have formed the guide for my professional and personal life. The leadership training and the competencies I learned were very valuable as I worked with teams of fellow employees and now with clients. I knew what a high performing team meant and what it could do because of Wood Badge. Wood Badge also reminded me that it’s all about the relationships. I am even more close to my second patrol than I was with my first – and that surprised me. The new course was fresh and equally challenging and invigorating!
Alice Nelson – SR917, S7-602-11, S7-602-13
My Wood Badge course was SR917. As a participant, I was so amazed at the quality of the program. I came away rejuvenated as never before; ready to put my whole heart and soul into my troop. When asked to be on staff the first time, I had to say yes. I wanted to be a part of something so important. I wanted to help give the new Wood Badge participants the same experience that I had….exceptional. In doing so, I have made new Scouting best friends. When asked to be on staff a second time, how could I refuse?!
Robert McLemore – SR917, S7-602-11, S7-602-12, S7-602-13
Wood Badge has allowed me to take a broader and deeper view into Scouting. Before I went to Wood Badge, I was very focused on my sons, my Unit, and my growth. Because of Wood Badge, I was able to meet Scouters from across our Council, understand the broader mission of Scouting, and my ticket items forced me to become more involved in a broader range of Scouting activities. I now feel that my service benefits others beyond my sons and their interactions with Scouting.
Daniel Aunspach – SR501, S7-602-13
I was never in Scouting as a youth, so when my son expressed an interest in joining Cub Scouts, I thought I should take some adult leader training classes to familiarize myself with SScouting and help us get the most out of the experience, together. I liked what I’d learned and the more I learned, the more I wanted to become a registered leader. Eventually, I participated in Wood Badge and became a certified trainer for our district.
But this isn’t so much about my Wood Badge experience or about me as it is about the scouts we lead and how we teach them to lead each other that makes Wood Badge so important.
Earlier this year, my son left home to attend Virginia Tech, staying in the Galileo Engineering dorm. One of the many fun, supervised activities they enjoy is Nerf Wars, where the students apply engineering principles to their Nerf weaponry to make it better. This is a controlled combat game where safety is enforced, but as with any activity, accidents can occur. Halloween weekend, after Nerf Wars had concluded for the evening, one young man in my son’s hall was enthusiastically leaping out of a stairwell and struck his head on the door frame. Hard. When my son and two other young men came upon this injured student, they immediately went into action. “Dad, there was blood everywhere, and the guy was starting to freak out.”, my son relayed to me. One of the three first responders went to call emergency services and guide them to the location of the injured party. My son went to the RA’s room to get the first aid kit and when he returned, he and the other young man treated the injured man using first aid skills they’d each learned in Scouting.
You see, each of the young men who responded to the man in need are Eagle Scouts. They’ve been trained in emergency response, first aid, communication and leadership. They were able to calm the injured man and treat for shock, stabilizing him until the EMS crew arrived on scene. The emergency medical staff took the injured man to the hospital where he was treated, given stitches, and released the same evening – an evening that could have ended far worse, had the young men who came to his aid not known what to do.
Often, very often, I hear similar accounts of boys, girls, women and men who have used the skills they’ve learned in Scouting to save lives, perform better on the job, lead in their communities and raise families of their own.
Wood Badge reminds us as leaders that our scouts don’t only learn from us in patrol or troop activities during that ‘one hour per week’. They look to us as examples of the spirit and intent of Scouting; mature leaders in our own communities who are invested in Scouting and in them. Our participation in Scouting and continuing education through training opportunities like Wood Badge reinforce with our scouts that they matter, that good leaders engage in life-long learning, and that the world is more than just themselves. The leaders we guide today using the aims and methods of Scouting will continue to impress and amaze us long into the future. The time and expense invested in Scouting and in training programs like Wood Badge are paid back to us and our communities one hundredfold. Wood Badge helps us to perpetuate the legacy of Scouting and fulfill Scouting’s promise to every scout.
Heather Mulvihill – S7-602-11, S7-602-13, S7-602-16
My father had a catastrophic injury 5 days before I was set to start my 2nd weekend of Wood Badge. I wasn’t sure I would be able to attend until the very last minute which left my patrol mates to carry a large burden for camping. What I received from Wood Badge was a support system, an inner strength to make myself stronger as an individual and the ability to rely on others and know it is o.k. to do so. EDGE prepared me for learning the medical techniques to care for my father who was diagnosed as an incomplete quadriplegic. The stages of team development helped me to understand (in this case) what my family was going through emotionally as we planned and prepared for my father’s 18 month recovery. Wood Badge prepares you not just for leadership in Scouting, it has the ability to prepare you for life.
Bob Efird – SR677, SR809, S7-602-11, SR7-602-13, S7-602-16
Having been part of three Wood Badge courses, I tell all interested Scouters that Wood Badge is “Fun with a Purpose.” Through Wood Badge, I gained great knowledge and skills on how to be the best possible scout leader for my unit. I met dozens of dedicated scout leaders who share my love of Scouting. I rededicated myself long term to the mission of the Boy Scouts. And most importantly, I had fun during all three Wood Badge courses. As long as I am having fun in Scouting, I will continue to serve my unit, district and council. So for me, Wood Badge is “Fun with a Purpose!”
Sandra Dual – S7-602-11, S7-602-13, S7-602-16
For many years a close and dear friend, who seems like was always on staff, repeatedly tried to get me to attend Wood Badge. Every year I would find an excuse to why I could not attend. Finally after years of asking me and the fact that I could not find a good excuse fast enough, I signed up as a participant. That year half-heartedly I registered too late and was put on a waiting list. The next year my friend called me to remind me to register when the registration first opened. I did and attended course SR7-602-11-1. It was the best training that I have ever taken. I was unprepared for the intense pace and the amount of knowledge that was given during the course of the training and during the time when I was working on my tickets. During the course I made long lasting friendships that continue to this day. I use the knowledge that I gained in Wood Badge in all aspects of my life and Scouting activities. I was honored in 2012 with being asked to staff course SR7-602-13-1 as a Troop Guide. I have again been asked to serve on staff for course SR7-602-16-1. It is such a humbling experience to serve with such wonderful and talented individuals. I am greatly looking forward to greeting and making new friends as the next course begins.
Brad Nesheim – SE-300, Piedmont Council, BSA, Gastonia, NC, SR7-602-13
My Wood Badge experience was during the old Boy Scout oriented course in 1981, but I was impressed by the time and attention that the staff put forth to help each patrol and member to understand the positive impacts that Scouting would be in the lives of our Scouts. They wanted us to ‘buy-in’ and ‘drink the koolaid’, which we all did! That is still the focus today. Thank you for being part of this excellent training program.
Jim Stallings – SR917, S7-602-11, S7-602-13, S7-602-16
I found Wood Badge not only to be an excellent learning experience but a time to meet and make friends with other scouters in my area. The relationships which I made in all my Wood Badge courses continue to today. Some of these I brought into other areas of training as well as roles in the Order of the Arrow. I have been privileged to work as staff on S7-602-11-1, S7-602-13, and look forward to meeting and working with new friends on S7-603-16. YIS, Jim