By Clive Mason, Group Scout Leader, 1st Bradley Stoke.
On the morning of 8th September 1919, 19 men dressed in short pants and knee socks, their shirt-sleeves rolled up, assembled for the first Scoutmasters training camp at Gilwell Park. The camp was designed and guided by Baden-Powell. When finished, Baden-Powell gave each man a simple wooden bead from a necklace he had found in a Zulu chieftains deserted hut when on campaign in South Africa in 1888. The Scoutmasters training course was a great success and continued to be held year-after-year.
Wood Badge recipients now number more than 100,000 and can be found in all corners of the world. In the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group there are at currently 12 Wood Badge holders with many more leaders working towards completion. It can take up to three years to complete, but most leaders manage it in less than two. The three Assistant Group Scout Leaders hold two Wood Badges and the Group Scout Leader holds three! So it’s a good indicator of how highly experienced the leadership team is.
The Wood Badge is a Scouting programme and award for adults in the Scout associations around the world. The Wood Badge course is designed so that adult Scouters can learn, in as practical a way possible, the skills and methods of Scouting. On completion, participants are still awarded the beads to recognize the significant achievement in leadership and direct service to young people, and to welcome them to membership of 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group.
Although the programme has been modernised over the years, the essence of the original Wood Badge still remains. Adults use their new, and old, knowledge and skills to complete training which is designed to strengthen the individual and the Scouting they are providing to young people. Modules cover subjects as diverse as safeguarding, outdoor skills, inclusivity, first aid and leadership.
The latest recipients to receive their Wood Badges are:
- Neil Raaff – Assistant Beaver Scout Leader (Wednesday colony)
- Paul Elliott – Assistant Scout Leader (Wednesday troop)
- Grace Waterman – Assistant Cub Scout Leader (Monday Brook Way pack)
- Richard Shepherd – Scout Marching Band Leader
Congratulations to them all!
If you’re interested in volunteering and making a difference for the young people of Bradley Stoke … and to yourself, please contact:
Clive Mason, Group Scout Leader, at email@example.com
Photos: Neil Raaff (left) and Richard Shepherd (right) being presented with their Wood Badges by Clive Mason.
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