Gilwell Park Wood Badge turns 100
This week marked 100 years since the first Wood Badge was first awarded by the Founder of Scouting, Lord Baden-Powell. The Wood Badge is awarded after the completion of a training programme for leaders taking on the role of Scouts. The training course was organised to give the adult participants a sense of what it was like to be a member of a Scout Troop. They took on the role of Scouts, they were formed into patrols and rotated the role of Patrol Leader and Seconder.
The course syllabus included a range of practical skills such as pioneering, camp crafts, games, fieldwork and pathfinding. Following their successful training or project, adult leaders were given wooden beads, from which the name of the course was developed. The first Wood Badge programme was designed to help Scout volunteers learn the skills they needed to run a useful and enjoyable activity programme for Scouts aged 10 to 18 years. It was designed and delivered by the first Chief Scout, Lord Robert Baden-Powell at Gilwell Park in the UK in September 1919.
“Being one of the oldest youth work training frameworks in the world, the Wood Badge is a motivational element for more adults to join Scouting,” said Director for Adults Resources and Volunteer Development, Tadej Pugelj. “The Wood Badge demonstrates our commitment to high-quality youth work and our commitment to adult participation as it is essential for the Movement,” he continued.
The award of a Wood Badge is a Scout tradition and recognition of excellence for 100 years. This week celebrating its centenary, the Wood Badge remains as an important mechanism for shaping the leaders of the Scout Movement. To grow our movement and empower more young people through Scouting, more adult volunteers are needed to commit to Scouting and support the implementation of its vision.