A Short Ceremony

A Short Ceremony


(Gilwell attired Wood Badger enters with a log and ax and ceremoniously strikes ax into log.)

I now declare this Wood Badge Court of Honor open.

Before you is the ax in the log.  This is the Wood Badge symbol.

The grain of the handle of an ax is straight and true and set straight in the eye of the head.  The head has the proper temper, not too soft or too hard, and sharpened to a point of usefulness.  The ax in the log reminds us that those who wear the symbol have allowed their lives to be placed in the hands of GOD.  They have proven themselves on service to others and walk the straight trail as examples to others.   They have committed themselves to strengthen others through service and example.

The Thong and Beads

In 1911, four years after the Scouting program began in England, Baden-Powell began training Scout leaders by using a series of lectures followed by coordinated activities.  The kudu horn Baden-Powell had found in Africa in 1896 was used to call the men to action.

Each man who completed that first Wood Badge training course was presented with a wooden bead from a long necklace of wooden beads Baden-Powell had brought with him from one of his Africa campaigns.  The beads became badges of wood and gave the training its name, Wood Badge.

Two simple wooden beads knotted on a leather thong have come to signify that the wearer has completed the most respected scout training program and is dedicated to the highest standards of service

(Place the thong and beads around the recipient’s neck.)

The Neckerchief

By 1921 the Gilwell scarf appeared.  The first ones were of the complete MacLaren tartan to commemorate the man who gave Gilwell Park in England to Scouting for use as a training site.  Soon this was replaced by the now recognized  taupe (pink/gray) scarf with a small patch of the tartan at the tip.

(Place the neckerchief around the recipient’s neck.)

The Woggle

The leather neckerchief slide or woggle has no beginning or end.  It is symbolic of commitment and dedication to Scouting as evidenced in the practical training course.

May the woggle keep your neckerchief secure as you join those Wood Badgers who have preceded you.

(Slide the woggle onto the neckerchief.)

The Certificate

This certificate testifies of your abilities and dedication to Scouting and to others.   At the bottom of the certificate is found from the writings of Rudyard Kipling, “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 known delight.”

(Present the Certificate)