FAQs

1.   Q:   Where will the Wood Badge course be held?

A:   It will be held at Camp Buck Toms in Rockwood, TN.

2.   Q:   What time does the course begin on Friday and what time does it end on Sunday?

A:   All participants should arrive on Friday morning no earlier than 7:30am and no later than 8:00am. The course will conclude by 5:00pm on Sunday afternoon.

3.   Q:   Will separate classes be offered for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing programs?

A:   No. During the course, each participant will experience involvement in all three programs.

4.   Q:   Will I need a special uniform for Wood Badge?

A:   Participants should wear a complete Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Venture uniform for their primary registered position. A Wood Badge neckerchief, slide, cap, and Great Smoky Mountain Council strip will be furnished. You will be in uniform for most of the course. An activity uniform will be allowed while participating in a conservation project.

5.   Q:   I seldom wear a cap or hat. Is this uniform item optional?

A:   Everyone attending the course (staff and participants) must wear the designated cap as part of the uniform.

6.   Q:   Will I be allowed to choose my patrol assignment?

A:   No. Patrol assignments will be made by the course director during the first weekend.

7.   Q:   Will my patrol be co-ed?

A:   Most likely.  However, sleeping quarters and shower facilities will be separate. Husband and wife teams will be assigned to separate patrols so each will need their own gear and personal care items.

8.   Q:   Do the patrols select their own name?

A:   No. There are eight traditional Wood badge patrol names and they never change.

9.   Q:   Will the patrols be grouped by program (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing)?

A:   No. Wood Badge is designed to integrate all programs of Scouting.

10.  Q:   May I bring a camper, pop-up trailer or my own tent?

A:   No. Housing will consist of the adirondack shelters that have been recently constructed at Camp Buck Toms.

11.  Q:   What type of camping gear will I need?

A:   At a minimum, you’ll need a sleeping bag (or twin sheets and blanket), flashlight, water bottle, first aid kit, and a daypack (for carrying your course materials and water). Other accessories for your camp are allowed and encouraged.

12.  Q:   What kind of personal gear will be needed?

A:   You will need the normal items that you would take on a 2-night camping trip.  A list of suggested items to bring with you will be provided to you in the near future.  Appropriate clothing for the weather will be essential.

13.  Q:   Will I need classroom items such as a pen, paper, notebook, etc?

A:   Each participant will receive a pen and a Wood Badge notebook to use during the course.

14.  Q:   Is Wood Badge training recognized outside of Scouting?

A:   Most definitely. The course uses current industry-standard leadership models that are acknowledged nationwide.  Scouters often include Wood Badge on resumes and job applications.

15. Q:  Will I be able to drive to my campsite to drop off gear?

A:   No. Please pack in a way to be able to carry your gear approximately 1/4 of a mile.

16. Q:   Will indoor bathrooms and showers be available for use by the participants?

A:   Bath houses will be available.  Hot showers will be available at night after the course activities have been completed.

17.  Q:   Will patrols have to prepare their own meals?

A:   Everyone will be served meals in the Dining Hall during the first weekend. During the second weekend, each patrol will prepare their own menus and cook their own meals in their designated areas.  Patrols will be responsible for bringing their own stoves, cookware, eating utensils, dish washing station and dining canopy.

18.  Q:  Who is responsible for buying food for the second weekend?

A:   Each patrol will buy their food for the second weekend.  A certain amount of money will be provided by the Wood Badge course for purchasing this food.  You will be required to turn in a food receipt for reimbursement.  Any food costs in excess of the allowed amount will be the responsibility of the patrol and will not be reimbursed by the course.

19.  Q: If the weather forecast calls for rain, will the course be cancelled?

A:   The course will not be cancelled if it rains. Be sure to be properly prepared for the possibility of bad weather including bringing rain gear and warm clothing.  During the second weekend, your patrol should bring a dining canopy for cooking and eating beneath in the event of rain.

20.  Q: I have dietary restrictions. Will this be a problem?

A:   No. Please make us aware of your needs on the Wood Badge application.

21. Q: Are there any physical demands during Wood Badge?

A:   There will be a minimal amount of walking from your campsite to the program areas.  Your patrol will also participate in an outdoor conservation project and some other outdoor training activities that may require some physical exertion.  In addition, the outdoor temperature during Wood Badge can be cold which can be an added physical stress. Be sure to note any physical limitations that you have on the previously mentioned Participant Dietary Needs, Special Needs and Limitations form.

22.  Q:   Will a worship service be offered?

A:   A non-sectarian worship experience will be conducted on both Sundays.

23.  Q:   May I bring a cell phone to Wood Badge?

A:   We strongly discourage the use of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and other electronic devices at Wood Badge.  During classroom instruction times and training activities cell phones and texting are distracting to the instructors and other participants. Cell phones, pagers, and PDAs should be silenced and put away.  During breaks, you are encouraged to interact with your classmates and patrol members.

24. Q: Will my Wood Badge training be useful for anything other than Scouting?

A:   Absolutely! You will learn leadership skills and techniques that are useful at work, at church or in any situation that requires an understanding of the dynamics of effective teamwork.

25.  Q:  Is the course worth the money and time required?

A:   Definitely. During your Wood Badge experience, you will gain leadership skills, create memories, and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

26. Q:    If I pay the course fee and then find I’m unable to attend the course, can I get a refund?

A:   It depends on when you withdraw.  If it happens close to the course date, money will have already been spent on your behalf and only a partial refund will be offered. The council has a written refund policy that we will follow.

27.  Q:   Will it be okay to miss a day of the course?

A:   No. When you sign up for Wood Badge, you are making a commitment to attend all classes on all six days.  In order to be eligible and qualify for a course certificate, you must attend all classes.

28. Q:   Will I be able to leave camp for a few hours during one or two of the days?

A:   No.  Again, you must attend all classes and training sessions to qualify for the course certificate.

29.  Q: Will there be much free time during the course?

A:   Both weekends of Wood Badge training will be filled with a wide variety of fun and exciting course activities throughout the days and evenings.  Other than short breaks, you will be very busy.

30.  Q: Will there be any meetings between the two course weekends?

A:   Each patrol is expected to meet at least once during that time.  The meeting time and location for your patrol meeting is at the patrol’s discretion.

31Q:   I keep hearing something about a “ticket.” What’s this all about?

A:   Basically, a Wood Badge Ticket is a written set of 5 goals that you set for yourself in order to apply what you have learned during the course to become a better leader in your specific Scouting position.  It is essentially a contract that you make between yourself and your Wood Badge Counselor to accomplish those goals with measureable results in a specific amount of time.

32. Q:   Will I have an opportunity for leadership during the course?

A:   Absolutely. In fact, with 48 participants, every participant will serve one day as a Patrol Leader.

33. Q:   How many staff personnel does it take to conduct a Wood Badge course?

A:   The staff involves the positions seen in a typical BSA Troop, including a Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, a Senior Patrol Leader, a Quartermaster, a Scribe, Troop Guides, and a Troop Committee. In all, there will be about twenty-five individuals on staff.

34. Q:   Who are the Wood Badge staff members and what experience do they have?

A:   All staff members are volunteers who have successfully completed a prior Wood Badge course and who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of training to Scouters.  They represent a wide range of experience including all levels of leadership positions in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing.    Your GSMC-1117 staff represents over 400 years of combined Scouting experience and over 80 years of combined Wood Badge experience!

35.  Q:   What does GSMC-1117 stand for?

A:   Each Wood Badge course has a unique number assigned to it. The past several Wood Badge courses have used the initials SR to stand for the Southern Region of the Boy Scouts of America (e.g. SR-1072 was our last course that used that numbering scheme). Beginning in 2010, the numbering scheme was changed. The “official” number for the upcoming course is S6-557-17 (S stands for Southern Region, 6 stands for Area 6, 557 is the GSMC number, and 17 is the 2-digit year it will be held). Since this is a difficult number to say and fit on a ball cap, the GSMC has decided to begin using our own numbering scheme. The 11 stands for the number of 21st century Wood Badge (now simply referred to as “Wood Badge”) courses held in the GSMC; the 17 stands for the 2-digit year the course is held.

36. Q:   Do Wood Badge courses differ significantly from Council to Council?

A:   No.  The Wood Badge course content is the same regardless of where it is taught in the United States.

Please ask additional questions in the comment area below.

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