Re: Wood Badge Paraphernalia
(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 2 Aug 1996 01:06:57 -0500
Bob Robinson asked:
>What guidelines are there, if any, for wearing Wood Badge
The guidelines are set up by INTERNATIONAL agreement, and as
a member of the World Association of Scouting Movements (WOSM),
the BSA has agreed to inform all of its membership about the proper
The "official wording" is somewhat cloudy and found in the current
BSA Insignia Guide. However, here's what it comes down to:
The outward sign of the Wood Badge holder is the set of two, three or
four beads suspended from a leather thong and worn around the neck of
The Wood Badge may be worn with any official uniform of your movement,
with the exception of activity or camp uniforms (for instance, you aren't
supposed to wear them with a tee-shirt, even a BSA teeshirt, or with the BSA
red or maroon "activity" (golf) shirts).
The Wood Badge may be worn with the official dress blazer of the BSA but
not with a civilian dress blazer.
If worn with a field uniform, the beads are worn UNDER the neckerchief in
back and ABOVE the ends of the neckerchief in front. If worn with other
formal awards, the Wood Badge should be worn in front or placed on the
uniform last (so that it is in front of any other suspended awards).
If worn with the official dress blazer, it is worn UNDER the collar in back and
OVER and CENTERED on the front of the tie. For female Scouters, it is worn
UNDER the collar and centered on the buttons of the blouse or shirt. If
worn with other formal awards, the Wood Badge should be worn in front or
placed on the uniform last (so that it is in front of any suspended awards).
There is NO "official" statement as to the wear of the three-bead necklace,
however, informally, those whom have worn or presented the beads to Scouters
have insured that the side of the necklace with ONE bead is worn to the
wearer's LEFT. I have seen Wood Badge information with the three beads
displayed with the single bead to the RIGHT, however. I'm convinced that
it's up to the individual Wood Badger.
In the United States, there are only two, three or four-bead holders. The last
person to hold five beads as a National Wood Badge Director, was "Green
Bar" Bill Hillcourt, whom passed away a few short years ago.
During the four experimental Exploring Wood Badge courses, a silver tie-tac,
square with the axe-in-wood emblem of Wood Badge, was presented to each new
holder as an outward emblem to be worn in addition to the beads. This was
accomphished because many Exploring leaders cannot wear the Beads in the
manner described above for safety (police officers,
Sea Exploring leaders, emergency personnel, etc.) and because their uniforms
are not designed for a neckerchief to be worn as part of it (teeshirts,
hats, etc.) The tie-tac was designed for wear similar to the Exploring
Training Award and Exploring Leaders' Key tie-tacs are. Many
Exploring leaders wore the beads instead, and the tie-tac was eventually
offered for civilian wear by all Wood Badge holders.
There are two neckerchiefs associated with Wood Badge participation:
The kelly green neckerchief with the brown axe-in-wood is known as the
PARTICIPANTS NECKERCHIEF, and should be worn to, during and after Wood Badge
Troop and Patrol activities and during the practical course.
It is designed to be worn in units without a neckerchief option by the
participant after the completion of the course to remind them of their
obligation to complete all parts of their personal committement (their
"ticket"). If worn by the Scouter, the neckerchief is worn with the field
uniform and never with an activity uniform.
The tan neckerchief with a swatch of MacLaren tartan centered on the back
of it is known as the WOOD BADGE NECKERCHIEF, and is worn with the
beads by non-unit Scouters at all times. Unit Scouters have the option of
wearing their unit's neckerchief (recommended) or the Wood Badge
neckerchief. The Woggle (the leather neckerchief slide) is worn always with
the Wood Badge neckerchief or with the unit neckerchief when wearing the
beads. The beads are worn as stated above under "beads".
If a holder belongs to a unit which has chosen NOT to wear a specific
neckerchief, he or she may choose to wear the beads WITHOUT the Wood Badge
neckerchief; however, tradition dictates that the Wood Badge neckerchief is
worn at any FORMAL Scouting occasion (Courts of Honor, District or Council
recognition banquets and any time in which other Wood Badgers are present or
when Wood Badge presentations are to be made).
This is the leather neckerchief slide which is presented as part of the Wood
Badge presentation. It is recommended that this neckerchief slide be used
whenever wearing the Wood Badge, whether you wear the Wood Badge neckerchief
or a unit neckerchief.
There are two primary certificates:
The WALL CERTIFICATE is a 9 by 12 parchment certificate which is framed
normally for presenation with other Wood Badge items for the new holder.
It contains the name, course number, date of completion of the practical
portion of the course, and the "registration number" which consists of the
region or country in which the course was offered in , the course number,
and your sequence number within that course.
A POCKET CERTIFICATE is a small 3 by 2.5 inch card which has the same
information as the wall certificate. It is normally presented to the
participant at the conclusion of the practical course, however in some
locals the pocket certificate is presented at the same time as the wall
Those items are the core items which are presented. There are other items
available through the national Scouting supply divisions, through private
individuals and through Gilwell. These include plaques, patches, and decals
of various sorts; paintings and drawings of "Wood Badge animals" wearing the
beads; gag "Wood Badge patrol" emblems, and belt buckles and similar attire.
Those items are all worn in accordance with the BSA's or other nation's
insignia and uniform guidelines regardless of their status as "Wood Badge"
emblems. For instance, while there is a "knot emblem" for
Wood Badge holders, the BSA does NOT recognize it as an official item
and Scouters wishing to wear such a item must consult their local Council
for permission before wearing it on a field uniform or upon a jac-shirt.
Wood Badge den/patrol/crew medallions, either the official BSA ones or
special ones created for the den/patrol/crew are NOT ALLOWED to be worn
after the conclusion of the practical course, since at that time you no
longer "officially" a member of Troop 1 nor that particular patrol. Many
Councils have permitted the wearing of such items until such time as you
complete the application portion of the course and you have received your
Part of attending and participating in Wood Badge is the knowledge of the
importance of wearing the uniform of Scouting ("the game uniform") the
proper and correct way. Wood Badgers stick out like a sore thumb and
therefore we have an additional obligation to our fellow Scouters to be only
seen in the brightest and most positive light possible. When a new Scouter
admires a Wood Badger's uniform with all of the additional "doodads" on it
which are not part of the uniform, he or she gets the impression that
"anything goes" and off they go. This impression immediately gets to the
youth of that unit, and is part of a reason why there exists uniforming
problems within the movement as a whole and within the Boy Scouting portion
The Wood Badge has a special significance for those holders as well as those
aspiring someday to become a holder. We need to remind ourselves that we
attended the course to better not just ourselves, but our unit and the whole
It starts with you and me and other holders of the "Wooden Badge".
Glad you asked, Bob!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services of Kentucky (502.826.7046) __)_
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