How do I find out more?
You will find out more from the staff: you will probably get a phone call or email from one of the staff members on the course. This person will be looking for questions to answer, so those calls will be a good chance for you to ask. The person will also be confirming you understand what to bring and things like that. In addition to that, you will get information by email or mail from the course staff. Also, most of what you need to know is on this web site and especially on this page.
Still, if you wonder about something that hasn't been explained or isn't clear, you have ways to find out. Call or email the staff member who called you or the course director for your course, or email WoodBadge@SeattleBSA.net.
For questions about payments and receipts and whether space is still available, call the Council office (206-725-5200). For most things, you can talk with anyone you know on the staff of your course or of some other course from the last few years, or anyone who has participated in one of those courses.
Am I really signed up?
Soon after you sign up, you will get a call, letter, or email from the course director or one of the staff. If you don't get that within two or three weeks after you signed up, call or email the course director or email WoodBadge@SeattleBSA.net.
When should I pay the rest of the registration fee?
You have to pay the full amount no later than 60 days before the first day of your course.
Although you aren't required to pay sooner, we would appreciate your paying the rest of the registration fee right away.
If you definitely are coming but can't pay the balance on time, talk with your course director.
What should I do NOW?
There are several things you can do right now for your Wood Badge experience.
Fill in the Personal Resource Questionaire (click here) and send it in. You can fill it in as a Word document and email it or mail it to an address we will send you. It's also available as an Adobe PDF file (click here). (There are no right answers on that questionaire -- we want the information to assist in placing you in the patrol that is best for you. If you don't have ANY of the skills or experiences it asks about, that is just FINE. You still belong on the course and will succeed and have fun.)
Get the medical form completed and mail that to the address we will give you. We need the new BSA "Medical and Health Record" form (click here). All participants, regardless of age, must provide this form in order to be on course. Please mail us a copy of this (we'll give you the address soon), and then -- just in case -- bring another copy with you to course.
Get trained. See below for more information on training.
Get a uniform. If you don't have one, you can borrow one, but you may find you want one of your own after the course. More information is below on uniforms.
Answer the "20 Questions." You do not turn this in to anyone. It is just for you. Doing this will help you write your ticket during the course.
What Training do I need before course and why?
People participating in Wood Badge need to know what their Scouting jobs are, and how to do them. Wood Badge is general leadership training. It assumes you already know the basics of your role in Scouting, and it helps build on that foundation.
To attend Wood Badge, you need to have completed the basic training for your Scouting position. That means you need to be entitled to wear a "Trained" patch on your uniform. Note that "position-specific training" includes Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills for Scoutmasters, assistant Scoutmasters, Coaches and assistant Coaches , and crew advisors and assistants for crews with outdoor programs. Click here for more information on What Makes a Trained Leader.
Wood Badge is not intended to teach you about your role in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts,Varsity Scouts, or Venturing. You learn about your leadership role in your position-specific training. You need to take that training before attending Wood Badge. (You really should take that training even if you can't go to Wood Badge this year.) If you want to learn about other Scouting programs besides your own, consider taking the training for those other programs. Note that Youth Protection Training is required for all registered adults and unit rechartering requires trained leaders.
Some training is online, including Youth Protection Training. Check out the Boy Scouts of America "Online Learning Center" (click here).
If you don't know what training you should have, or if you have other questions about training, click here for What Makes a Trained Leader, check with your district training chair, or check with the Wood Badge course director..
You cannot miss any part of course
Each segment of the course builds upon what went before, and demonstrating the "feel" of team development is critical. That is why you cannot miss any part of the course. If you can't attend all of every day, then go to a different course. Sorry to sound abrupt, but this is for the best for everyone. There is nothing you can skip, and no way to make up anything. Everything we do on this course is part of the development and the experience, and there is no "filler" material. (If you have to be a few minutes late the first day, call the course director to see whether that can be arranged.)
Sessions, meetings, etc.
The course has two three-day weekends, and you need to participate in all of both sessions. Also, your group will have a meeting or maybe two meetings between the two weekends. Usually people meet for dinner, or on a Saturday morning or afternoon. That's up to your team, though. Bring your calendar with you to course.
You can come to camp the evening before the course starts. We'll send you more information on that. There will be NO FOOD provided, though -- no supper that evening, no breakfast the next morning. There will be a tent or cabin or something where you can sleep.
What happens when I get there?
Be at camp ready to start by 7:30 a.m. (yes, in the morning) on the first day of each weekend. We know that is early, but the six days of Wood Badge are very full days. You just can't come late.
When you arrive, you check in. Bring your medical form in case the copy you mailed got misfiled. You'll be shown where things are and where you will be sleeping, and you'll meet some of the staff and other participants. The course program starts just about immediately. You will get back to your sleeping area that night about bedtime.
Have your equipment packed compactly. Probably we will have a truck take your things to your sleeping area, but you want as few pieces as possible. You don't have to use a backpack, but pack as if your things had to fit in one. Try to get everything into a backpack or something similar and a daypack.
You need a daypack or something like that to carry things during the day, because you won't have a chance to go get anything. The daypack should have a sit pad, water, any medicine you will want before bedtime, rain gear, warmer clothes for the evening, flashlight and extra batteries and bulb, sunscreen, bug repellant, pen, whatever you will want. There is no pack inspection, of course, but if you want anything during the day and evening, it needs to be in that pack.
You will probably be sleeping in a three-sided cabin (called an Adirondack) or in one of the semi-permanent tents the camps use. They are pretty comfortable.
When do we leave?
You will finish about 5:00 p.m. or so on the third day of each session. That varies a bit. Note that you are in camp the whole time from checkin on the first day of the weekend till you leave on the third day of the weekend.
Ticket (Goals for yourself to earn your beads)
The Wood Badge "ticket" is a set of goals you set for yourself. While on course, you will learn how to write your ticket. After course, you should finish within six to nine months. Once you finish working your ticket, then you have finished Wood Badge and have earned your official set of "beads" -- the wooden beads that are the recognized world-wide symbol of Wood Badge -- and your Wood Badge neckerchief and woggle. So when you finish, talk with with your troop guide (a staff member -- you will know who that is), and arrange a time and place for your course director to present the the beads, neckerchief, and woggle.
The ticket will be five goals you decide to achieve in order to reinforce what you have learned and to contribute to Scouting in your primary position. The goals will all relate to one "vision" you have for your primary position. In achieving each goal, you will use skills presented on course. The goals are based on your own values and vision. (That is one reason you should complete the "precourse assignment," which helps you set out a vision.)
Do not try to write your ticket until you learn more about it on course. You should start thinking about it, though. What are some things you would like to get done in Scouting in your unit?
What to bring
What to Bring (click here) (28K PDF document). This is a useful list that will let you get started. You will get more information as it gets closer to time for course.
All participants (and staff) will be in full, correct uniforms. Wear the uniform for your Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity, Venturing, or district or council position. Please leave on the square knots you earned and anything else that is proper. Remove any unofficial insignia. Since you will be in uniform most of the day for three days each weekend, you might want more than one uniform, or at least more than one shirt. Some people borrow a shirt.
Depending on the weather, we might be in activity uniforms some of the time. You might want to bring Scouting t-shirts or polo shirts for that. You will probably be able to buy a course t-shirt or polo shirt too.
Remember that to be in uniform, you need not only the shirt, but also a BSA belt, uniform trousers or shorts or skirt or culotte, and uniform socks. If you wear shorts, you may wear long or short socks. If you want to wear a hat, we ask that you wear the official baseball-type hat for your program. Don't bring a neckerchief or slide, because you'll get those on course. Either the older or the newer versions of the Boy Scout uniform will be just fine.
It is true that Venturing crews select their own uniforms. We do request, though, that Venturing people on course wear the green uniform shirt and gray slacks or shorts.
How to get there
What does the course number mean?
Here is the national course numbering system. You do not need to know this, but some people find it interesting.
For example in 2017, the Wood Badge course numbers were
W1-609-17-1 (spring course)
W1-609-17-2 (fall course)
The W tells you the course is in the Western Region of Boy Scouts of America.
The numeral 1 tells you the course is in Area 1 of the region. (We are in Area 1 of the Western Region of BSA.)
The 609 tells you the course is sponsored by council #609, which is Chief Seattle Council. (Mt. Baker Council, just north of us, is #606, and Pacific Harbors Council, just south of us, is #612.)
The 17 tells you the course is in 2017. Perhaps you guessed that one.
The 1 or 2 after the year tells you the course is the first or second course in our council that year. The number is usually assigned based on the timing of the course -- the first one to be held is 1, the next is 2. Our May course will be 1, and the September-October course will be 2.
You may see references to W1-609-11, without the specific -1 or -2. That would refer to either course or to both courses combined.
After the course
We have some information that may interest you after you finish the course. Also, you will work your ticket after course, thus finishing Wood Badge and earning your beads.