The Woodbadge is an internationally recognized award presented to Scouters who complete the Scouting Leadership Programmes (six courses and a project). Scouters are presented with 2 wooden beads.
The beads were first presented at the initial leadership course in September 1919 at Gilwell Park. The origins of Wood Badge can be traced back to 1888, when Baden-Powell was on a military campaign in Zululand (now part of South Africa). He pursued Dinizulu, a Zulu king, for some time, but never managed to catch up with him. Dinizulu had a 12-foot (4 m)-long necklace with more than a thousand acacia beads. Baden-Powell is said to have found the necklace when he came to Dinizulu’s deserted mountain stronghold. Such necklaces were known as iziQu in Zulu and were presented to brave warrior leaders.Much later, Baden-Powell searched for a distinctive award for the participants in the first Gilwell course. He constructed the first award using two beads from Dinizulu’s necklace, and threaded them onto a leather thong given by an elderly South African in Mafikeng, calling it the Wood Badge.