A Testimonial by Richard Kleitman,
participant in Wood Badge course W3-59-12-1
I am living proof that the skills taught in BSA leadership training are every bit as relevant and valuable as any training you can attend.
Wood Badge was a fantastic experience that taught me you can teach an old dog new tricks! I was in the bear patrol with one or two long time friends and several new ones. We learned valuable lessons in communication, leadership, the aims and goals of scouting and most importantly in the way a pack, troop, crew or post should operate using the PATROL method. We got a chance to see how an optimal-sized unit should work, how information travels up and down the chain of command, and most importantly how to have fun. We sang, we competed against and served alongside other patrols, but most important each of us got a chance to lead.
Was it worth it? To answer that I need to share a bit of my background... You see, I am not a first-timer when it comes to scout leadership training. While a scout I participated in the National Troop Leader Development Training Course at Philmont and then was on staff as Senior Patrol Leader or Course Director for seven years in a row with the Stanford Area Council TLD course. I attended my first Wood Badge course back in 1979. I utilized the skills taught me in every aspect of my life. At the age of 20 I found myself supervising 16 people, all of them older than me and some twice my age — I was given the job because of the leadership knowledge demonstrated at the interview. I have gone on in my education to seek a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership (unfortunately I am what is known as ABD, All But Dissertation completed). In those doctoral classes I wrote at least two papers based on the skills I had learned at Wood Badge. I actually sited the BSA Troop Leader Development course syllabus as a reference and earned A's on both papers. I am living proof that the skills taught in BSA leadership training are every bit as relevant and valuable as any training you can attend.
So what does it take to sign up? You must be a registered scouter and have completed the basic level of training for the position you are registered in. Those basic courses are available several times between now and the Wood Badge course start day in May. So what are you waiting for?! You cannot beat the price. You can’t imagine all of the fun you will have and when you complete the course you will be ready to give back to scouting, your family, your job and your community in a big way. On to Gillwell!