Since the founding of scouts in 1908, scouts has been short of adult volunteers. Many Groups have closed due to the lack of adults. The shortage of adults has resulted in poor outcomes for both scouts generally and for the adults. One of these outcomes has been a failure of standards as they apply to adults. Scouts generally has been willing in the past to accept adult volunteers despite failures to attend training courses and be properly qualified.
Over the past few years, we have been strengthening our compliance with new requirements for adult volunteers. This has involved paperwork but has also led to us having adult volunteers completing Wood Badge. Wood Badge is the highest qualification an adult volunteer can achieve. There are three types of Wood Badge (Scout Group Leader, Scout and Cub).
The Wood Badge course teaches a great deal, not in direct instruction but through interaction with other scouters and through the project that is required from each aspirant participant. It requires a significant investment in time and effort from each participant to complete the course, which is the reason that not all participants are likely to finish the course.
In 2018, the Wood Badge course was run for the first time in three years. Three scouters from 1st Claremont joined the course, two on the scout Wood Badge and one on the cub Wood Badge. As we complete the course we have been curious to know how long since a Wood Badge was earned by a scouter at 1st Claremont. Due to a paucity of records both in the troop and at the national level, we are not exactly sure but it appears that the last Wood Badges were earned at 1st Claremont around 1975, some 44 years ago. This makes the earning of three Wood Badges in the Group in one year a significant achievement with advantages for the Group as a whole.