23 March 2019

What is Wood Badge and Seabadge?

The Boy Scouts of America offers two high-level leadership and management courses for BSA leaders that are internationally recognized so much that many companies will give time off and/or pay for Scouters to attend the courses, as it makes them not only a better Scout Leader, but a better employee, spouse, and parent. Generally, it is suggested that you attend Wood Badge Basic Leadership Training before you attend Seabadge Advanced Leadership Training, as Seabadge will take the skills you learned in Wood Badge to an all new level. The American version of Wood Badge is celebrating it's 70th anniversary this year and Seabadge will celebrate it's 50th anniversary in 2020.

The purpose of Wood Badge Basic Leadership Training is to develop skilled leaders who can strengthen Scouting units in achieving the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Open to adults, including Scouters in any BSA program and Venturers and Sea Scouts ages 18 and older. The Wood Badge course is either held as a 6-day course or two 3-day courses and is run by the local council.

Wood Badge serves as the basic leadership training program for all branches of Scouting, including the Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Sea Scouting, and Venturing programs. Wood Badge allows an in-depth exploration of leadership skills as well as a supervised implementation of the skills through a multi-part, post-course delivery plan referred to as a “ticket.”

Besides position specific training, Leaders of each Scouting program have other preresiquites before they can take Wood Badge.
  • Cub Scout leaders are recommended to have taken BALOO: Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation
  • Boy Scout, Venturing, and Sea Scout Leaders are recommended to have taken IOLS: Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills
  • Venturing participants must have completed ILSC: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews
  • Sea Scouts participants must have completed ILSS: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships
Wood Badge teaches participants the basics of listening, managing conflict, leading change, stages of team development, coaching & mentoring, leadership for different stages, servant leadership, project planning, communicating, valuing people, and more. Once the skill is learned, each member is given the opportunity to use the skill as a member of a successful working team. At the conclusion of the course, each participant develops a set of personal goals related to his or her Scouting role known as "the Ticket." Working toward these goals allows each participant to practice and demonstrate new skills.

Seabadge Advanced Leadership Training teaches leadership skills for unit, district, and council Scout leaders. Seabadge is intense leadership and management training focused on the “how-to” aspects of managing a successful youth led Scout program. While Seabadge was originally developed as an advanced leadership training program for experienced Sea Scout adult leaders the course is open to all adult Scout leaders. The driving theme for the training is to “Focus on Youth”, which makes the course especially valuable for any Scout leader dealing with older youth. Seabadge does not cover topics like boating, knots, or other program-related materials found in the Sea Scout Manual.

Seabadge is an intensive 3-day course. Course participants and staff function as a model ship to help participants understand how a ship or youth-led unit should function. The curriculum includes twenty sessions, with established objectives, that are presented in a motivating and informative forum. After the course, participants have 18 months to complete their Praxis, (previously known as the Rutter) similar to the Wood Badge Ticket.

The objectives of Seabadge are to:
  • Improve the understanding of leadership, management, and motivational skills among adult leaders.
  • Provide management, leadership, and presentation skills and tools to adult leaders so that they may use and share them with others in their day-to-day Scout activities.
  • Use the skills and tools acquired at Seabadge to improve the quality of their Scouting program.
  • Encourage the development of lifelong contacts and sharing of resources by and between course participants and staff.
Course applicants must meet the following minimum standard requirements prior to consideration for participation in a Seabadge course:
  1. Is a registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  2. Has completed the basic training courses for their Specific Scouting  position(s) and Leader Specific: Sea Scout Adult Leader Basic Training.
To find your next local Wood Badge course, check the website if your council and/or that of surrounding councils. For the next regional Seabadge check https://seascout.org/adult-training/seabadge/


  1. How do we find this training in our area?

    1. Your local Seabadge course can be found at https://seascout.org/adult-training/seabadge/

      Your local Wood Badge course can be found on your Council Web Site.

  2. There is a Shabbos observant/kosher Woodbadge course being offered by the BaltimoreArea council this month (Monday to Friday the week before Memorial Day)... a handful of slots are still available... not too late to register... scouts@jcc.org will be happy to help...


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