It’s not cheap to go to Wood Badge. It costs $250 for the six-day course. The money is well spent, we use every dime of it to present the program to you and feed you while we do it. We are always watching the budget and adjusting it depending on how many people ultimately attend the course.
Your staff also pays for the privilege of presenting the course to you. The staff will pay $150 each plus 4 additional weekends to prepare. They need to be fed and provided with coffee. Lots of coffee.
Luckily most participants can afford to pay their tuition, or their units will pay for them. We always have someone ask for a scholarship to attend and we do our best to help them out. If you are considering attending Wood Badge, but the cost is holding you back, here are my suggestions to raise money.
1. Ask your unit
In some units there may be training money set aside to attend Wood Badge, iOLS or some other course. Ask your unit to help fund your Wood Badge training. Start with your committee chair. They should know what the budget looks like and if there are funds available.
2. Ask your chartered organization
Your chartering organization supports your unit, probably multiple units, and they want these groups to succeed. Having a Wood Badge trained leader(s) in their units would be helpful in keeping these units running efficiently. Let’s face it, your charted organization is the happiest when they don’t need to be always watching out for your group. Trained leaders will help.
Maybe there’s a group in your chartered organization that may help. At my course directors conference, one leader said that at his church, the United Methodist Men would always help with this kind of a scholarship. Maybe there is a group at your chartering organization that could help you? It just takes some asking around.
3. Ask Wood Badge trained leaders
Speaking of asking around, ask the Wood Badge trained leaders in your unit if they can help guide you to find some money. They may know who to ask, or they may even be willing to help you out personally. You just have to ask.
4. Ask organizations you are active with
Maybe your chartering organization is not your church. If you are Methodist see if the United Methodist Men at your church could help. Perhaps there is another group at your church? Are you a member of a fraternal organization, union or veterans organization? Ask if they could help fund your training or if they know where you could find funds.
5. Ask your employer
You already have to ask your employer off for two days to attend the course, why not ask them to fund your training. This is not just scout leader training, it’s Business Leader Training. It is the same training you will find at major corporations. The training materials include resources from renowned authors and leadership experts such as Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey and Spencer Johnson. Courses of this caliber usually require more time away from work and cost far more than going to Wood Badge.
When you ask your boss for time off for Wood Badge, ask if they will count the time as business training and not vacation time and if they will pay for it. It will cost thousands less than similar training, and the returns will be much higher. Ask the course director for a letter to give to your employer to help convince them that it would benefit them to support your Wood Badge training.
6. Ask the council
And finally, ask the Council. The Greater Alabama Council tries to do what they can to help scouts go camping and help adults become trained so they can present the program effectively. There is not a pot of gold, and the money will need to be found but if you have exhausted all your other resources, ask the council and see if they can help you.
Do your part
No matter where the money comes from, you should pay for part of it. Whether half or just the deposit, you should be invested in the financing of your training. Experience suggests that Scouters who pay little to no part of their fee have a low commitment to the course.
And one more suggestion:
7. Ask for it as a Christmas present
Let’s face it, if you are like me, you are probably difficult to buy gifts for. You already have everything you want or what you want is too expensive. Let your family and friends know that you would like to attend Wood Badge training in April 2019. You may be surprised to find out that this was just the nudge everyone needed and they can now cross you off their Christmas gift list.
I hope this helps you as you make your decision to attend the course and finding a way to pay for it. If you have any questions about the April 2019 course in the Greater Alabama Council, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for the course at https://1bsa.org/article.php?cn=848&account=