Wood Badge Turns 70
Both of the first two United States Wood Badge Courses were run by the Boy Scouts of America in 1948. The Scoutmaster for each was William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt. The curriculum was focused on Scout skills, Scoutcraft and pioneering. The structure was as it is today, the troop organization and patrols.
Course number one was conducted at Schiff Scout Reservation, July 31, 1948. Attendance was only by invitation of the Chief Scout Executive, Dr. Elbert K. Fretwell. Twenty-nine men accepted had arrived, by special invitation of the Chief Scout Executive in Mendham, N.J., from 12 states-all east of the Mississippi River.
Wood Badge course number two was initiated at Philmont on October 2, 1948. Thirty-five men from 19 states (all but five from the west) gathered at Waite Phillips former home – the Villa Philmonte, to begin the second American course. From there, they moved to Cimarroncito where the course was actually conducted. Philmont provided unique challenges of altitude (8,000 feet), in addition to rain, snow, sleet and cold.
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the first Wood Badge courses in the United States, the American Wood Badge Alumni has created a special service recognition that can only be earned during the Anniversary year by Wood Badge recipients. A commemorative certificate and special anniversary service patch will be available.
You can see the requirements and obtain the application at https://www.americanwoodbadge.org/70th-anniversary-award . Once you have completed the requirements, forward the application to the Central Florida Council Alumni Committee Chair, Gregg Harkness, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide documentation on how you met the 5 requirements you completed. The application will then be submitted by the CFC Alumni Committee Chair to the American Wood Badge Alumni Committee for approval. Applicants are not to forward the application directly to the American Wood Badge Alumni Committee as they will not be accepted.