Wood Badge training in Canada is broken down into two parts. Wood Badge I focuses on basic program facilitation knowledge and is usually accomplished through a form of eLearning. As you might imagine, Wood Badge II is “applied Wood Badge I.” Wood Badge II takes the skills learned in Wood Badge I and applies them against practical situations, with particular attention to basic outdoor and Volunteer-support skills.
Completing Wood Badge I has been a requirement for all Scouters, and it continues to be so. Wood Badge I was relatively easy to achieve because one could accomplish it on their own time through the eLearning package provided by Scouts Canada. Wood Badge II, however, required much more time and commitment: Scouters had to set aside a full week, or consecutive weekends, in order to complete the training which was done at Scouting retreats. As you can imagine, this meant that the number of Scouters who had accomplished Wood Badge I was very high, but by comparison those who had achieved Wood Badge II was quite low.
With the implementation of The Canadian Path, Scouts Canada has revised Wood Badge II training to remove the barriers that the time commitment of the previous training model created. Rather than requiring trainees to book time away from their busy schedules, families, and Scouting Groups to complete the training, the new model maps Wood Badge II over The Canadian Path. This makes it a self-directed program that can be completed at the trainee’s convenience, while continuing to offer the opportunity to learn “applied Wood Badge I skills.”
The new Wood Badge II training uses 26 Scouter Development Cards that are available in the Wood Badge II Guide for Section Scouters that is available through the link at the end of this article. Each card has been designed by Scouts Canada to focus on and provide resources for a specific skill relating to Outdoor Skills, Program Facilitation, and Volunteer Support. The basic anatomy of each card includes a description, learning objectives, Plan-Do-Review guidelines, safety notes, online resources, and tips and tricks. Scouters use these Development Cards for self-directed learning using the following eight steps:
- Choose a Wood Badge II Support Scouter
- Review the Scouter Development Cards and conduct a self-assessment
- Select any number of Scouter Development Cards
- Review the Learning Objectives of the cards you have chosen with your Support Scouter
- Create and implement a plan over the next program cycle
- Review your progress with your Support Scouter at the end of the program cycle
- Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you have completed all the Scouter Development Cards
- Submit your Wood Badge II application to your Council
As you can see, the new model of training is entirely self directed, although you will want to find a good Support Scouter to work with through your training. And important thing to keep in mind, however, is that the Support Scouter is not responsible for your training. They can provide feedback, are available to discuss and review your activities, and provide resources you may need to complete your Wood Badge II training. But the training is self-directed: it is your responsibility to complete everything necessary. That said, Support Scouters must meet Scouts Canada’s Volunteer screening requirements and must have completed their Wood Badge I training as well. So you can’t just pick anyone. It is also an excellent idea to have a good working relationship with whomever you pick as your Support Scouter. You should also make sure that your choice for Support Scouter has the time to work with you on the Wood Badge II program.
With the introduction of The Canadian Path, our Youth are expected, with support, to become more self-directed and take on more leadership roles as a result. But it shouldn’t stop at our Youth. Scouters should also be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and training as well. The updated Wood Badge II training reflects The Canadian Path to allow you to work with a Support Scouter and complete your training on your own time. Scouts Canada is excited about these changes, as it offers a greater opportunity for Scouters to obtain their Wood Badge II certification. For more detailed information regarding the new Wood Badge II training, you can Scouts.ca/WB2 and download guides both for Section Scouters and Support Scouters. Or you can contact our National Learning & Development Team Lead, Ross Benton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.