Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Wood Badge

Since September 1919, volunteers in the Scouts have been awarded the Wood Badge once they have completed their leader training.

How it all started

In 1919, Baden-Powell introduced a standardised system for leader training at Gilwell Park, near London. Those who completed the course were awarded a ‘Wood Badge’. This wasn’t a cloth badge, but a pair of wooden beads. One came from the ceremonial necklace of the Zulu chief, Dinizulu, and recipients carved their own second bead.

In 1987, four Wood Badge beads were given to Dinizulu’s grandson as a symbolic act of returning the beads to their rightful heir. Today, leaders throughout the world continue the tradition of the Wood Badge and receive replica wooden beads. Leaders are also enrolled as members of the 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group, and can wear the distinctive Gilwell scarf and woggle.

Image shows wood beads of Wood Badge

Sending out Wood Badges

Wood Badges recommended on Compass are downloaded by UK Headquarters and sent out four times a year to District level (and above where relevant) unless otherwise specified.

Wood beads are also given out the first time a Wood Badge is achieved.



First mail out

Wood Badges recommended between: 1 January to 31 March
Wood Badges dispatched: By 31 May

Second mail out

Wood Badges recommended between: 1 April to 30 June
Wood Badges dispatched: By 31 August

Third mail out

Wood Badges recommended between: 1 July to 30 September
Wood Badges dispatched: By 30 November

Fourth mail out

Wood Badges recommended between: 1 October to 31 December
Wood Badges dispatched: By 28/29 February

Buying additional items

Additional Wood Badge items (including Gilwell Oak Wood beads) available to buy from Scout Store.

Check out the full range.

Adult training information

Every role volunteer in Scouting is required to complete some training which is tailored to their role.

Find out more about your training requirements

Duplicate certificates

Ask for a replacement by filling in the Duplicate certificate request form.

You will need to provide the following details:

  • Membership number
  • Full name
  • Wood Badge number
  • Wood Badge role
  • Date of Wood Badge
  • Reason for duplicate request
  • Delivery name and address
Duplicate certificate request form

Wood Badge Recommendation Form

When a Wood Badge can't be recommended via Compass please notify the UK Headquarters Awards Team using the Wood Badge Recommendation Form.

Wood Badge Recommendation Form

To watch in full screen, double click the video