One of the misperceptions of Wood Badge is that there is plenty of time between now and when the course starts. As I write this, there is seven months before the start of course S9-115. Let’s say you have already sent in your application (which I suggest you do sooner rather than later). The next step is to have a current BSA Health and Medical Record. The health and medical record is good for one year, just make sure that by the time Wood Badge gets here your form has not expired. You can download the most current form here.
I get an annual physical at the beginning of the new year. I have made it a point to have a filled-out form so I can have my physician fill-out and sign part C while I am there. Part C is required for any outing lasting over 72 hours. All Wood Badge staffers need to have this section completed. If you have any questions, download the annual health and medical record information and faq pdf.
UPDATE – Since we posted this story, the S9-115 has returned from the course director conference with an updated syllabus. Parts A, B and C of the “Annual Health and Medical Form” must all be used by staff AND participants for all courses held in 2015. Part C has the doctor’s signature. Make sure you plan for this.
Another requirement to attend Wood Badge is to be fully-trained for your position. If you are a cub scout den leader then all your training can be taken online. This is the case for all cub scout leaders as well as pack and troop committee members. If you are a Boy Scout scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster you need to plan ahead.
To be a fully trained SM or ASM you must take Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training (SMLST) and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS). SMLST is a day long training while IOLS is a weekend event where you will camp and work as a patrol.
These two training courses are offered by the districts but they are not held all the time. Some districts may only hold one event per year so it’s a good idea to start looking for training events in your district as well as ones around you.
Birmingham and Vulcan Districts are having a Day of Training on October 11 at Samford University in Homewood. If you are are a cub scout leader and you prefer to have your training in person there are classes for you. Do you need SMLST? There will be a class taught.
If you can’t make this event then start looking around. To help you out, there is a post on the Vulcan District website with a list of all the fall 2014 district training calendars. More importantly your district training chairs and district executives are listed with contact information.
Don’t get left out of Wood Badge. Get trained for your position and by all means sign up for the course before it is full.