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Wood Badge Beads

Ok, here is the full story. The back story. And the parts that no one tells you about. One of my favorite tokens of the Wood Badge experience are the Wood Badge beads. Participants that have completed their ticket wear two. Staff wear three. Directors/Scoutmasters wear four. The head of BSA National Wood Badge wears five.

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The Leather Thong

The other important part of the Wood Badge, apart from the beads, is the leather thong itself.  Baden-Powell was originally given one during the course of the Siege of Mafeking in 1899/1900 when things were not going too well. An elderly man met him and asked him about his unusually depressed appearance.

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The Woggle

For full details about the history of the woggle see the Archives Information Sheet The origins of the woggle. The woggle was first created in the early 1920s by Bill Shankley, a member of the Gilwell staff. He produced a two-strand Turk’s head slide which was adopted as the official woggle.

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The Gilwell Scarf

William de Bois Maclaren, a Scottish businessman and the District Commissioner for  Rossneath, Dunbartonshire, paid £7,000 in 1919 to buy Gilwell Park, a 55-acre estate on the edge of Epping Forest, London, as a training centre for Scouters and as a camp site for Scouts. He also paid another £3,000 to help put the Wite House into good repair,

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The Beads

When Gilwell Park was purchased for the Scout Movement in 1919 and formal Leader Training introduced, Baden-Powell felt that ‘Scout Officers’ (as they were then called) who completed a training course, should receive some form of recognition. Originally he envisaged that those who passed through Gilwell should wear an ornamental tassel on their Scout hats but instead the alternative of two small beads attached to lacing on the hat or to a coat button-hole was instituted and designated the Wood Badge.

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First Scoutmasters Trainng Course at Gilwell

  1. The Course will commence on Monday 8th September will last till Friday 19th.
  2. Members should book to Chingford and must leave Liverpool Street by the 5.5 P.M. train. A brake will meet this train at Chingford Station.
  3. The Course will be carried out in Camp.

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The Kudu Horn and Scouting

The Kudu horn has long been a symbol of Scouting and of Wood Badge.  In fact, the Kudu Horn was used to summons the very first scouts at Brownsea Island in 1907 and in Wood Badge the Kudu Horn or a substitute is used in all U.S. Wood Badge Courses.

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The History of Wood Badge in the United States

Although an experimental course was conducted in 1936, Wood Badge training was officially inaugurated in the United States in 1948. Since that time it has grown and developed and become a key motivating force in the training of volunteer leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.

For 10 years,

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The History of Wood Badge in England

Soon after founding the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell saw the need for leader training. Early Scoutmaster training camps were held in London in 1910, and in Yorkshire in 1911. Baden-Powell wanted his training to be as practical as possible, and that meant holding it in the outdoors in campsites. World War I delayed the development of leader training,

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