Day 1 – June 10, 2019

Lord Robert Baden-Powell

Wood Badge History

In 1911, four years after Scouting began in Great Britain, Lord Baden-Powell began training Scouters through a series of lectures. This led to the first Wood Badge training course for Scoutmasters, held eight years later at Gilwell Park near London. In 1936, an experimental Wood Badge course was conducted in the United States at the Schiff Scout Reservation. Then, in 1948, the first American Wood Badge course was introduced in the United States as advanced training for trainers of Boy Scout leaders. Later, the program was extended to include troop committee members, commissioners, and Explorer leaders.
Experiments began in the late 1960s with a leadership development Wood Badge course emphasizing 11 leadership skills or “competencies.” This program was launched in 1972 in support of a major revision of the Boy Scout phase of the program. In 1978, an evaluation of the Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge course revealed a need for greater emphasis on the practical aspects of good troop operation. The result was the development of a course that would provide a blend of Scoutcraft skills and practical troop operation, mixed with a variety of leadership exercises. In 2001, the new Wood Badge for the 21st Century was introduced. It was developed for all Scouters. The focus is on leadership skills rather than outdoor skills.

Gilwell Park

Wood Badge training got a permanent home in 1919. William F. de Bois MacLaren, a district commissioner in Scotland, purchased Gilwell Park and presented it to The Scout Association of Britain. He wanted “to provide a training ground for the officers of the Scouting movement.”

Consequently, Gilwell Park became the permanent home of Wood Badge training in England, and to this day, Gilwell is considered the international home of Wood Badge. Wherever on the globe a course takes place, the main assembly area is known as Gilwell Field.

In perpetual appreciation for his generosity to Scouting, Wood Badge adopted the tartan of the MacLaren clan for use on the Wood Badge neckerchief.

Beads, Neckerchief, and Woggle

In 1888 during a military campaign in Africa, Baden-Powell acquired a necklace of wooden beads from the hut of a warrior chief named Dinizulu. Years later at the conclusion of the first Wood Badge course, Baden-Powell gave each course graduate a bead from the necklace. The “Wood Badge” program takes its name from those beads. Since then, more than 100,000 Scouters worldwide have completed Wood Badge courses and can wear replicas of the original wooden beads.

Held in place by a leather woggle, the Wood Badge neckerchief—tan with a patch of MacLaren tartan—may be worn by course graduates. Wood Badge beads, neckerchief, and woggle may be worn only with the official field uniform of the BSA.

Summit Bechtel Reserve

The Summit story began in 2007 when BSA leadership began looking for a permanent location for the National Scout Jamboree, which had been held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia since 1981, as well as seeking another high adventure base for the large number of Scouts who are wait-listed at the other three high adventure camps every year. A committee in charge of site selection and project planning was created. The committee named the new venture Project Arrow, chaired by Jack D. Furst. Plans for Project Arrow grew to include not only a venue for the Jamboree, but also for a summer camp, a high adventure base, and a leadership center, all housed on the same contiguous property. On Wednesday, November 18, 2009, the BSA announced that it had chosen the West Virginia site, known locally as the Garden Ground Mountain property, as the future home of The Summit.
The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve has three main components of activity: the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base, the James C. Justice National Scout Camp, and the John D. Tickle Training and Leadership Center, each of which has unique program opportunities. There are six sub camps which have the capacity to house up to 40,000 campers, a large outdoor arena with a capacity of approximately 80,000, and ten adventure areas covering mountain biking, BMX, skate boarding, archery, rifle & shotgun shooting, zip lines, canopy tours, challenge courses, climbing & rappelling. Operating principles of The Summit Bechtel Reserve are centered on four core values: Leadership, Adventure, Service, and Sustainability.

The site is the permanent home for National Scout Jamboree and will also host the 24th World Scout Jamboree in 2019, co-hosted by Scouts Canada, Boy Scouts of America, and Asociación de Scouts de México.

Critter Corral

The BEST Wood Badge critter, beavers are the engineers of the animal world. They have thick fur, webbed feet and flattened tails. With powerful jaws and strong teeth, they fell trees in order to build homes and dams. They are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate the environment.


The bobwhite is considered the king of native American game birds. The name “bobwhite” refers to the whistling calls that sound like “bob-white” or “bob-bob-white”, which northern bobwhites produce.



Bald eagles are large birds of prey native to North America. Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the United States’ national emblem and mascot.



Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica and thrive in cities, towns, and rural settings. Foxes are known for their resourcefulness, cleverness and adaptability.




Owls can swivel their heads approximately 270 degrees. Many species have asymmetrical ear placement, enabling them to more precisely pinpoint the direction from which a sound is coming.




Bears are extraordinarily intelligent animals. They have far superior navigation skills to humans; excellent memories; large brain to body ratio; and use tools in various contexts from play to hunting.





The buffalo (American bison) is the national mammal of the United States. It is the largest North American mammal, standing 6 feet tall and weighing up to a ton.




The (pronghorn) antelope is the second fastest land animal behind the cheetah, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. It is also a great distance runner that can travel for miles at half that speed.




For future Gilwell Gazette editions, each patrol scribe will submit content for their patrol. This can be information you’d like to share with the other participants, words of wisdom, insights, critter pride, friendly jabs at other patrols, etc. It doesn’t need to be long. Just a few lines is sufficient.

E-mail your contribution to: WBATSBR.SCRIBE@GMAIL.COM

Use Patrol Name and day as subject line and submit by 5 PM each day. Have fun with it! (Contributions may be edited at the discretion of the publisher.)