A couple of weeks ago week I was honored to have finally earned my Wood Badge from Caddo Area Council Woodbadge Course# S2-584-16. If you're not familiar with Woodbadge, hang on, I'm getting there.

Boy Scouts of America is a terrific organization that I am very proud to be a part of that has been in the business of training young men to become self-reliant, confident, patriotic and outstanding leaders in society for over 100 years. Everywhere you look in American life you'll find great leaders, successful people that got their start in Scouting. For example: of the 12 men who set foot on the moon, 11 were Scouts. Other famous folks include Steven Speilberg (Eagle), John Wayne, Harrison Ford, Mike Rowe (Eagle), Ross Perot (Eagle), Bill Gates, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford and many other leaders in politics, religion, academia, business, you name it. From Wallstreet to Main Street, Scouting affects people everywhere whether they know it or not.

One of the courses BSA offers is called Wood Badge. At the end of the course and several months later when you have essentially finished your "homework," you receive your Wood Badge beads, a neckerchief and slide, a certificate, and a group of friends that I know will be there for many years down the road.

Five of us received our Wood Badge beads that night at the Scout Service Center in Spring Lake Park here in Texarkana, Texas; Pat Adams, Karen Stacks, J.J. Williams, Ken Crane and myself. If you know any of these folks, you should congratulate them next time you see them.

Wood Badge is referred to as the Ph.D. of Scouting, it is literally one of the finest leadership training courses offered anywhere, by any organization, and I am proud and relieved to have been through it and made it to the other side. If you are a leader in Scouting and someone mentions an upcoming Wood Badge course in your Council or a nearby course, my suggestion is, do it. It might be the hardest thing you've ever done, and it just might be the most fun thing too. I know this, you will be a better person and most certainly a better leader when you're done.

Congratulations to my fellow Wood Badgers and to those who have yet to finish their "Homework." Stay with it!