Wood Badge Beads Presentation
(Sound the Kudu)
The sound of the horn of the Great Kudu Antelope roused the boys of Brownsea Island in
1907 and also roused the first "Wood Badgers" at Gilwell in 1919.
In 1911, four years after the Scouting program began in England, Lord Robert Baden
Powell, or "BP", started the training of adult leaders by giving a series of
lectures. In the fall of 1919, the first course for Scout Leaders was held at Gilwell Park
In looking for a suitable recognition for the 19 Scouters who attended the first
training course at Gilwell, BP found among his many military trophies a necklace that had
been secured while on a campaign against the Ashanti and Matabele in Southern Africa in
the 1880's. The necklace contained more than 1000 carved wooden beads and was the kind of
necklace that only Tribal Chiefs and great warriors would were. Legend has it that this
necklace had belonged to that great African Chief Dinizulu. BP also found a simple leather
thong that had been given to him by an elderly African during the siege at Mafeking.. The
old African, who had seen that BP was depressed, gave the thong to BP for Good Luck. The
African told BP, "My mother gave it to me for luck, now it will bring you luck".
In 1948, "Wood Badge" as the training program was now called, came to the
United States. Wood Badge is designed to give Adult Scouters the leadership and training
skills needed to provide a high quality Scouting program for the youth of America. Wood
Badge has gone through several changes since it's introduction to the US Scouting program
in the 1940's. What has not changed is the quality of leader the program helps build and
the strength of the Scouting program that helps build boys into men. Wood Badge is the
advanced training program of the Boy Scouts of America.
Scouters who have completed the practical experience and completed a self prepared
"Ticket" that reinforces and implements what was learned at the practical
experience, are awarded 2 wooden beads on a leather thong, (the Wood Badge), a taupe
neckerchief with a patch of MacLaren tartan on the back, (the MacLaren tartan in honor of
the man who donated Gilwell Park to the Scouts) a woggle made of leather that is the right
length for making fire by friction with a bow, and a parchment certificate. The Beads,
Woggle, and Taupe Neckerchief are worn by tens of thousands of Scouters all over the world
who have completed the Wood Badge training. Wood Badgers are considered to be members of
the 1st Gilwell Scout Group.
Wood Badge, given by the Boy Scouts of America to the following Scouters in recognition
of completing the National Wood Badge requirements.
Rudyard Kipling once said:
"Who hath smelt wood smoke at twilight? Who hath heard the birch log burning?
Who is quick to read the noises of the night? Let him follow with the others, for the
young men's feet are turning to the camps of proved desire and delight.
Let us congratulate our newest Wood Badger(s).
|Revised by Shel Dick and Marc D. Tetzlaff