History of the Golden Gate Area Council


Adult Leadership Training

Every Scout Deserves a Trained Leader and every Leader deserves training so they can successfully deliver the scouting program.  Training of adults to successfully deliver the Boy Scout program has evolved over the years into a well-presented, thorough, curriculum of courses. 

Wood Badge (National Leadership Training)

WOOD BADGE is a National leadership program focused to teach leadership skills to adults involved in ALL levels of Scouting; Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Venturing, and District, Council, and professional positions.  Originally developed by Lord Baden-Powell in 1919, the founder of the Boy Scouts, Wood Badge is designed to offer Scouters the opportunity to learn leadership skills in an outdoor environment; it emphasizes leadership, not outdoor skills. It enables you to develop knowledge and understanding of the skills you need to be successful in the development of yourself and youth.


WOOD BADGE consists of two parts: The first part is a two-weekend training experience where you are taught leadership in a scouting setting; this includes an outdoor experience. During this time, you will be trained in practical leadership skills such as listening, communicating, project planning, problem solving, inclusiveness, valuing diversity, conflict management, leading change, and more. Through this living / working experience, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice these skills with other Scouters in a supportive environment.


You will find these skills to be very valuable tools in your scouting, business, and personal life. While you are learning these skills, you will develop a vision for YOUR leadership, and derive, with the help of the staff, goals that will enable you to realize your vision — “Your Ticket”.  The second part is where you “work your ticket”. Over the course of the 18 months following the practical skills training, you work at your own pace to accomplish your goals. When you complete “your Ticket”, you will join the ranks of many scouters before you and will be honored at a Wood Badge beading ceremony, where you will receive your Troop One neckerchief, leather woggle, Wood Badge beads of recognition, and a certificate of course completion.


In September of 1919, a 61 year-old retired general of the British Army stepped out into the center of a clearing at Gilwell Park near London, England. He raised to his lips the horn of a Greater Kudu, one of the largest of African antelopes. He blew a long, sharp blast. Nineteen men dressed In short pants and knee socks, sleeves rolled up, assembled by patrols for the first Scoutmasters’ Training Camp held at Gilwell. The generals name — Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the recognized founder of the World Scouting Movement.


When they had finished their training together, Lord Baden-Powell gave each man a simple wooden bead. This bead was taken from a necklace belonging to a Zulu chieftain, found in a deserted hut in South Africa in 1888.  The Scoutmasters’ Training Course was a great success and continued to be held year after year. At the end of each course, the wooden beads were used to recognize the completion of training. When the original beads ran out, new ones were whittled to maintain the tradition established by Baden-Powell. Because of these beads, the course came to be known as Wood Badge. 

The first Wood Badge course given on the West Coast took place from August 6 to August 14, 1949 at the Oakland Council’s Camp Dimond-O near Yosemite and was run by members of the National Staff.  Thirty-Six Scout Leaders from the Western States and as far away as Hawaii attended this first Wood Badge course.  In the early years of Wood Badge, you had to be personally selected by your council in order to attend this special leadership training.  


In 1951, the National BSA Staff recommended that Camp Dimond-O be the permanent location for Region 12 courses in the future.  This was not to be the case, but Dimond-O was used as the Western Wood Badge training site for at least 5 years from 1949 until 1953.  


Council Leadership Training


Oak Badge was an adult leadership training course put on by the Oakland Area Council starting in 1952 to train other Scouters in the techniques of boy leadership.  Oak Badge was typically held at Rancho Los Mochos


In order to attend the Acorn training, a Scouter had to have completed either Wood Badge or Oak Badge.



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Sea Scouts




Shooting Sport


Scouting for Food

Order of the Arrow

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