I am excited to be heading to the Wood Badge course held annually at Philmont in August – hosted by Circle Ten Council but available to Scouters nationwide!!
But in seeking out folks to come with me, everyone seems to say the same thing:
- I want to do Wood Badge, because I know it will benefit me
- Doing it at Philmont sounds awesome!
- But taking a week off is hard…
And I admit that it can be hard – but admittedly, I chose the week-long version instead of two weekends strictly because it would be easier logistically. Here is my reasoning:
Wood Badge is designed around a six day experience, which can be divided into two three-day weekends – but the reality is that it ends up being a 23-day deal – here’s why:
The first work week — you’ll likely have your regular day-job Monday-Thursday (and squeeze in those Friday commitments early) … and then you’ll drive Thursday evening to your camp, or kick off extremely early Friday morning.
Either way, you’ll spend three great days doing Wood Badge part I on Friday, Saturday, Sunday (they are full days) – and then drive home Sunday night.
The second week, you will have a full week of work, but without the restful weekend in-between.
Most Councils then have an off weekend, but there is some project work to do with your patrol … so plan for a half-day of collaboration during that weekend with your patrol. Throw in some honey-do’s, maybe church and two weekends’ worth of errands and those 48 hours will fly by.
For the third week, you are back to work for Monday-Thursday … before driving back out to the campsite.
You’ll finish the second amazing part of the Wood Badge experience over Friday, Saturday and Sunday … drive home that night.
And then have another regular five-day work week…. all of which has been consecutive.
In all, you’ll likely have taken four vacation days = two Friday’s off and hopefully two Monday’s afterwards to rest up. Your heart will be full … your mind will be spinning … but your body will be tired.
OR … take a fifth vacation day … go to someplace where you’ll need a light jacket in August … and do the entire experience uninterrupted.
To be clear, regardless of the location or format, Wood Badge is an amazing experience that will make you a better employee, a better Scouter and likely a better teammate in all of life’s journeys. The hard part is simply deciding when to go – and some folks can’t take that many days in a row.
But as for those vacation days, while most folks take personal days for the Fridays & Mondays, you’d be surprised by the number of employers that will support you going for a week as “Personal Leadership Development” instead of as vacation. Here is a leadership overview which may help in your conversations at work.
I hope that this was helpful – and maybe I’ll see you at Philmont in August,