On July 31, 1948, the first American Wood Badge course was held at Schiff Scout Reservation in Mendham, N.J. A second course was held in the west at Philmont on October 2, 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 with the troop organization and patrols.

2018 is the 70th Anniversary of the first Wood Badge course in the United States and the American Wood Badge Alumni have created a special recognition that can only be earned during this calendar year. You have until December 31, 2018 to finish five of these nine requirements. Let’s go through each one and find out what you need to do to earn your recognition.

1. Register as member of the Scouting Alumni and Friends, at any level.
– Join at http://www.scoutingalumni.org. The basic membership, Hiker, is free. Pathfinder is $35 and has added benefits.

2. Attend a district, council or national level training course either as a participant or staff member OR serve as staff on a Wood Badge course.
– If you served on S9-118 you are set. If not, consider going to University of Scouting on September 28 at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. BALOO or iOLS training would count as well.

3. Participate in a 70th Anniversary celebration in your Council such as a reception, reunion or other special acknowledgement at a Council wide event such as annual recognition or F.O.S. dinner.
– There will be a Wood Badge reunion at ScoutFest on November 3rd in Decatur, Alabama. Make sure to stop by and join us on Gilwell. This will be the Greater Alabama Council’s celebration. If you were a participant or staff member on course S9-118 then you can count this one done. We recognized the anniversary during the course.

4. Recruit another individual to attend and volunteer at a Boy Scout training event or Wood Badge service activity.
Find a training event, such as BALOO, University of Scouting or Wood Badge, and get other adult leaders to attend. Volunteer to teach at University of Scouting or ScoutFest. There may be other options in your district.

5. Share the values of Wood Badge and Scouting by recruiting an individual to take Wood Badge.
The next Wood Badge course in the Greater Alabama Council will be held in April 2019. Recruit your friends and adult leaders to go ahead and sign up. Registration is open and can be made at https://1bsa.org/wood-badge-registration.php. Once they do, check this box off.

6. Promote Wood Badge training at a unit, district, council area, region or national event.
Ask the leaders in your unit to attend Wood Badge. Take a stack of brochures to events within your district and council. Tell them how it affected you and how Wood Badge would be a great benefit to anyone taking it. You can download the brochure at https://www.woodbadgealabama.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Wood-Badge-Brochure-S9-119.pdf

7. Contribute $7 or $70 or whatever larger amount you can to your Council for Wood Badge scholarships.
Send your donation to Seth Hill at the Greater Alabama Council office in Birmingham and let him know you want them to go to Wood Badge Scholarships. We will also be taking up scholarship donations at the Wood Badge booth at University of Scouting and during the Wood Badge Reunion at ScoutFest.

8. Solicit another individual to join you in contributing $7 or $70 or whatever larger amount they can to your Council for Wood Badge scholarships.
All it takes is to ask someone to give. There is someone on every course that needs help. Maybe your unit or chartering organization can get together to give scholarships to people in your unit. When you come by the events mentioned above. Bring your friend along.

9. Become a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America at the unit, district or council level. Consider such opportunities for service as: district committee, commissioner, roundtable staff, Alumni or NESA committees and more.
Fill out that adult registration form and then find a way you can serve. I recommend Unit Commissioner. It’s a great way to see how different units present the scout program. The district and individual units could use your help.

Now that you have completed at least 5 of these requirements, download the application, fill it out, scan it and email it to AWBA70@americanwoodbadge.org. But first you need a signature. The form says “Completed applications must be signed by the council alumni relations committee.” Since we don’t have a council alumni relations committee, we have decided that any Wood Badge Scoutmaster can sign your form. There should be one at the Wood Badge Booth located on the midway at University of Scouting on September 29th and at the Wood Badge reunion at ScoutFest on November 3rd.

Good luck and we’ll see you on Gilwell!