After Wood Badge, get ready for your next great Challenge

If Wood Badge is a Scouting bachelor’s degree, consider this the master’s.

The Philmont Leadership Challenge and Summit Leadership Challenge represent the next step in your training as a Scout leader.

At PLC or SLC, you’ll internalize and hone leadership skills in an action-packed backcountry conference. You’ll join other like-minded Scouters and learn teamwork, practice servant leadership and gain new ideas for improving your Scout init.

The courses are open to Scouters in all programs. The Philmont course and the Summit course are similar but not identical. They teach the same leadership skills and use the same learning modules, but because of their unique locations each course has a slightly different itinerary.

In the end, the goal is the same: emphasize Wood Badge skills, particularly servant leadership and leaving a legacy. To learn more about these training courses, I talked to Scouting volunteers Tom Giugni and Sherri Moravec. Read on for details.

Philmont-Leadership-Challenge-patchWhat are the Philmont Leadership Challenge and Summit Leadership Challenge?

These courses hone the skills taught in Wood Badge in an outdoor experiential learning environment. They underscore the values of Scouting and teamwork and promote the concepts of servant leadership. Leadership Challenge is a very special experience. You will camp in a team setting that enables participants to use their leadership skills to resolve challenging situations.

What will participants take home?

  • The skill, ability and motivation to be a dynamic and effective leader conveyed through fun, advanced practical applications of Wood Badge skills.
  • Innovative techniques to deliver Wood Badge skills to units and councils.
  • Nationwide resources including new ideas and contacts that can only be gained through a program of this type.

What are the prerequisites?

  • You must have completed the practical portion of Wood Badge, though you may still be working on the ticket. Actually, taking the Leadership Challenge is a great ticket item.
  • You must meet the physical standards as specified in the BSA Health and Medical Record, Parts A, B and C. Leadership Challenge is an active course set at a high-adventure base.

Summit-Leadership-Challenge-patchHow much does it cost?

  • Summit Leadership Challenge: $545
  • Philmont Leadership Challenge: $530

Philmont offers partial scholarships to assist in attending courses at Philmont. Scholarships are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Potential recipients must apply through the Philmont Training Center.

When are the courses?

  • Summit Leadership Challenge: July 12-18, 2015
  • Philmont Leadership Challenge: Sept. 13-19, 2015

Note: For SLC, there will be a NAYLE course running at the same time so you can bring eligible youth along with you if you choose.

Where can I find more info and register?


  1. It’s a shame they don’t have anything for disabled scouters that can’t meet the physical requirements.

  2. Woodbadge is hardly a “Scouting bachelor’s degree”. At best it’s a trade-school certificate or Associate’s degree. If there’s a more over-used cliched term than “servant leadership” that people like to pontificate about and not practice I’m not aware of it.

    • That is a great question Brian. When I took my WB course, I didn’t see or noticed anyone that was physically disabled. They need to make sure that ALL can attend. I will bring this up with my former course director.

      • Paul, I have a physical disability. I took both the old and new courses at our local council camp. I’m wondering if I could take the course at the Summit.

        • Brian, does your physical disability allow you to walk or do you need assistance (walker, wheelchair,etc)? From what I was told about the Summit, there’s alot of walking. The 2 camps that was used for my WB course, only 1 has accommodations for disabled scouters.
          I feel all camps that are used for scouting or WB courses should be ADA compliance.

        • Paul, I use a power wheelchair and need help with all ADLs. Moving is’t a problem as long as it’s a fairly smooth surface.
          I couldn’t agree more about BSA camps being ADA compliant.

  3. Why can’t a PLC be held in the PTC area? Is it also required to be an able bodied Scouter? The PTC has enough of facilities in order to hold one.

  4. Guys sounds interesting and would like to know the course’s content and how it fits into the Woodbadge scheme. I know each course differs between Philmont and Summit Bechtel and it would be great to know what is covered individually by each centre.

  5. Yeah, between age, a wrist that us held together by plates and pins since before the 2001 jambo, blowing out a knee running a day camp almost a decade ago, and the increased weight with limited mobility from both neither location would allow me into the backcountry, even though I’ve been backcountry at philmont up until the late 90’s. So I’ll be happy I took both versions of wood badge and not try for more, just because I don’t want to be anyone else’s problem.

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