Tag Archive for WoodBadge

Six Day Wood Badge Devotional

Each day at Gilwell Field, the Scoutmaster or Staff Chaplain will have the opportunity to deliver a daily devotional, as part of the assembly. This guide was originally developed for the six-day format, with the expectation that it might be modified to fit future Wood Badge Courses.

WoodBadge Devotional (click here to download)

For each devotional entry, there are four elements:

Chaplain’s notes – listing which Wood Badge curriculum is being presented later that day, in order to give context for the daily devotional. This is intended for the speaker, but not to be shared with the participants until after the course.

Introduction – an opening thought or scenario to set the tone, which reflects elements of the upcoming day and shows where prayer or growth might be coveted.

Prayer – an ecumenical prayer, suitable for all faiths, to further focus the hearts and minds of the participants and staff, and then allow them a moment of silent meditation for their own communing with their understanding of their Creator.

Space – where a supplemental scripture or additional prayers might be written, depending on the format at faith basis of the course.

I hope that you find this useful. Feedback is a gift, so please consider leaving comments below regarding how this might be improved or better utilized.


Interfaith Sermon: Marksmanship in Faith

Originally written for and delivered on Circle Ten Council’s Wood Badge Course WB 110 (S2-571-14-3), using a common Scouting experience (shooting sports) to describe one’s faith and the pursuit of proficiency in reverence:

  • Lesson One – Sight Alignment – you adjust, God doesn’t
  • Lesson Two – Sight Picture – focus not on the target, but on God
  • Lesson Three – Marksmanship & Discipleship – be consistent and slow down
  • Lesson Four – Affecting the Bullet – rely on the divine power/powder behind you

For the Wood Badge course, there was an initial 25m instructional on Interfaith in Scouting, followed by a 25m Worship Service.  Attached are the instructional notes, the worship service program and the sermon (10m):

WB 110 Interfaith Instructional Info

WB 110 Worship Service Program

WB 110 Worship Service Sermon

Serving Him, and you, through Scouting.

A Week-Long Wood Badge is Hard!

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,

Emmaus for Scouters – Wood Badge for Christians

Are you ready to take the next steps on your journey in either Christian Discipleship or Servant Leadership?

If so, there are two remarkably similar volunteer/lay-led retreat programs that I hope that you will consider.

Wood Badge is advanced leadership training for adults in the Boy Scouts of America. It truly is “leadership” training that is simply delivered in a Scouting setting, because the foundational principles that help Scouts grow as leaders can help adults, as well (http://www.woodbadge.org).

The Walk to Emmaus is a non-denominational Christian experience, intended to truly fan the flames of the Holy Spirit in ways that many people describe as being almost as powerful a catalyst in their walk as their initial surrendering to Christ (http://emmaus.upperroom.org).


To be clear, Wood Badge is not Christian-centric, nor are there any other direct connections between the programs. My hope is that by sharing some parallels, those that may have realized the blessings of one might consider the other. Download this flyer to see more about how the programs compare.

Both are a retreat, in order to help you truly focus on your own growth – you will come back changed!

  • Wood Badge is six days, or two 3-day weekends
  • Emmaus is one 3-day weekend

Both use small groups to help you build life-long bonds as you experience new ideas together.

  • Wood Badge uses Patrols — “I was in the Beaver Patrol of Circle Ten Wood Badge 94.”
  • Emmaus uses Table families — “I sat at the Table of Paul on Dallas Emmaus Walk 113.”

clip_image004Both are structured curriculums that are delivered in your local area by volunteers who have been where you are.

  • Wood Badge curriculum is from the Boy Scouts of America, but then taught by a volunteer staff.  Each lesson has key points that are consistent but then adapted by the personal experiences of the speaker.
  • Emmaus curriculum comes from the Upper Room and is then taught by a lay-led staff, with a handful of clergy. Each lesson has key scripture and core ideas that are then adapted by the personal experiences of the speaker.

Both have opportunities to re-experience and refine your learnings while serving in future events.

  • Recent Wood Badge graduates can serve as Troop Guides for new participants or behind the scenes as Scribes or Quartermasters; and in later courses as SPL, ASM’s or Scoutmaster in future courses.
  • Recent Emmaus pilgrims can serve as Table Leaders for new pilgrims or behind the scenes in the “Outside” or “4th day” teams; and in later weekends as ALD’s or Lay Director in future courses.

Both foster communities for fellowship, but are intended to better equip you to serve those in your normal world.

  • Wood Badge graduates are recognizable by the wooden beads on their uniform, but it is not a clique. The purpose of WB is to grow leaders that can then go serve their Scouts, their families, their churches and their workplaces.
  • Emmaus has reunion groups and other fellowship events, but the purpose of the Emmaus experience is to help you grow as a Disciple of Christ and leader in service to God, your family, church, and the world.

CALL TO ACTION: If you are a Christian Scouter who has experienced the blessings of either of these programs, then you know how powerful they can be. Please consider taking the other journey as well. Search the web for “Emmaus” and your local major city … or ask about Wood Badge from your BSA Council representative.

And if you want a truly remarkable Wood Badge experience – consider taking Wood Badge at Philmont!!  Each year, Circle Ten Council hosts a course that is available to all Scouters.  Check out www.WB110.org for details about the August 2014 course.

A Devotional for Wood Badge Staff

WoodBadge-LogoColorSome might have heard the phrase “A Church should not be a Warehouse for saints; it is a Distribution Center for servants.”

It’s a cute way of reminding folks that the miracles, parables, historical accounts and even the dialogs written in our scriptures are not there purely for information. While the books and the classes can help the reader make key decisions in their faith, the primary purpose is not merely to educate, but also to energize and enable the believer for the mission that they are called to. If reading the written words or attending church were simply to inform or entertain, then they would mostly be a waste of time, albeit an enjoyable one.

Wood Badge is the same way. Our own Wood Badge experiences would have been a waste of time, albeit an enjoyable one, if they had only served to inform or entertain us for the six days that we were there. Similarly, the upcoming course is not really even to inform or entertain those participants whom we will be serving. As leaders, we should be mindful that our primary audience to impact with this event are those whom we will likely never meet — those that will be affected by the new leaders that we are energizing and enabling during our course.

PLEASE PRAY — To our Creator, we humble ourselves. We ask that you would help us to settle our hearts and clear our minds, so that we might be better instruments to educate, to energize, to enable, as well as to entertain those who are preparing to take this journey with us. We lift up those that are being left behind while we take this journey together and ask for an extra measure of patience, protection and blessings for those who must endure our absence. And we lift up not just those who will be participating, but even more those who are destined to be impacted down the road by what we humbly deliver together. Thank you for those that came on the trail before us, thank you for those on the trail ahead that we are here to serve, and thank you for your provision along the way. Amen.

Originally written for BSA C10 WB 110 Staff Development kickoff

Wood Badge Ticket Ideas

If you are signed up for Wood Badge, you probably have heard of the ticket:  Five tasks/projects/things that you will do that will benefit Scouting and enable you to grow your impact on the boys, while leveraging your new found leadership skills.

WB Ticket items are very personal and will vary greatly between a second-year Cub parent and a ten-year Asst. Scoutmaster.  If you are from the Five Trails District, here are are few ideas of ticket items that the district could really use help with:

1) COMMISSIONER SERVICE — We are in the process of rebuilding the Commissioner Service in Five Trails. Unit Commissioners are the mentors/friends of the Pack/Troop unit leaders, and also serve as the bridge between our District resources and the units. Consider becoming a UC for even one unit (perhaps the unit that your son is currently in). UC’s can be co-registered as Den Leaders, Committee Members, or ASMs (or just be other parents). If you have a passion for “helping” but haven’t found that “next step” role yet, consider being the Commissioner for your unit or a nearby Pack.

2) DEN CHIEFS – Den Chiefs are Boy Scouts who are learning leadership by serving within Cub Packs. We have lots of Boy Scouts who are looking for that opportunity – and Packs, whose Dens would benefit from an extra set of experienced hands. Five Trails District is looking for one or more folks who could take the Den Chief programs that some of our Troops already offer and consolidate it, so that we manage the placement of Boy Scouts within Packs at a district or city (Coppell, N.Irving and S.Irving) level. This would be a huge enabler for our Scouts and a way to bring your organizational and team coordinating WB skills together in an impactful way.

3) RELIGIOUS PROGRAMS COORDINATOR – Many Scouts miss the opportunity to pursue their Youth Religious Awards (purple knots), especially as they grow through Scouting – only because they are unaware of when the programs are being offered. Our district could use one or two folks whose only job would be to periodically solicit the other Pack/Troop-minded religious coordinators – and then communicate when new classes are being offered. Imagine if a boy wanted to earn his “God & Family” knot as a Webelos, and could just go to the district’s website to find out when and where the next classes are being held. Consider being that coordinator for at least a year and help us launch the webpages and communication streams between the various adult coordinators.

4) RELIGIOUS COURSE EVENT-LEADER – Five Trails recently ran “God & Family” (4th and 5th grade) as an overnight lock-in, instead of a typical eight-week meeting schedule. It was a WB ticket item, including leading the weekend (including recruiting the other leaders and then managing the on-site experience) and then developing a guide for other districts to use for similar lock-ins. The district would like to do the same offering for “God & Church” (6th thru 8th grades), including coordinating the leaders, the on-site experiences, and helping develop a guide for others to use in the future. If you are good at leading short-term teams for a big-impact goal or event, this may be a great ticket item for you. Or if you enjoy developing guides to enable others and can imagine yourself dissecting the curriculum to lay out the agenda – and then building it back up for others to use, you could have a big impact on the boys’ and future participants; consider co-leading with another WB participant. Alternatively, consider using the God & Family guide and delivering your own weekend for Webelos.

If any of these align with your passions, please email me for ideas on how you can have an impact on our Scouts through these roles.

Thanks for all you do (and will do) for our Scouts.  Best wishes to you as you enjoy Wood Badge.

Wood Badge 98 Interfaith Materials

Each Wood Badge course has two Interfaith services:

1.The first delivered by staff, in order to not only provide opportunities for Reverence but also to instruct the participants in how to deliver an Interfaith service.

2.The second is delivered by the participants, with coaching provided by the Course Chaplain.

I was honored to serve as the course Chaplain for Circle Ten’s Wood Badge 98 course, at Philmont in August 2011. Here are their materials:


Staff-led Service — Sermon (only)

Staff-led Service — Sermon and Interfaith instructional info

Staff-led Service — Program handout

Participant-led Service — Program handout



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