Thursday, November 2, 2017

We Want YOU!

November 2-4, November 9-11
Scout Hollow, Rigby, ID

We invite you to join us in this powerful leadership training for adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America!

Wood Badge is designed to take proven methods & principles of modern leadership and drive them deep into the hearts of participants, empowering them to deepen the impact of their service to the youth they work with. This is truly a life-improving program, delivered in a six-day/two-weekend format.

Please browse the resources listed here, get to know our dedicated volunteer staff, and don't hesitate to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Why Primary Presidents Need Wood Badge Training

Hi. My name is Audrey, and seven years ago, I was just a young mom trying to juggle three kiddos and a demanding job.

In the midst of a busy summer, I was asked to be the Primary President in my Ward (that's the person who heads up the children's organization in a local congregation in the LDS church), and among many other responsibilities that came with the job description was oversight of our Cub Scout program.

I had a complete lack of knowledge regarding anything involving Scouting, and I'm going to be completely honest here: the last thing I ever wanted to be was a Cub Scout leader of any kind. (I'm hanging my head in shame as I type that last sentence.)

So. It was my job to make sure our Cub Scout program functioned properly. Hmmm. Maybe it would run itself? I decided to focus on other things I was more familiar with, like planning our Sunday meeting agenda and attempting to fill teaching positions. A few days into the job, our Cubmaster casually mentioned that she had been promised she would soon be replaced...nine months earlier. I didn't even know what a Cubmaster did.

Two or three weeks later, I was approached by our Stake Primary President. She told me that she was going to attend a Wood Badge Course in just a few weeks, and that she was inviting someone from each of the eight Wards in our Stake to attend with her. I was supposed to find someone to go. Who could I send? The outgoing Cubmaster? Nope. Someone else? Nope. 

"They say it is really good leadership training," she said. Hmmm, I could probably use some leadership training right about now. I guess it would be me.

As I anticipated going, it was not going to be convenient or easy. My calendar was seriously packed. We had camping and family reunions coming up and then I'd be going straight into this six-day training spread over two weekends. I needed to find someone to watch my children (ages 8, 6, 4). The second weekend of the course coincided with the beginning of school. Would I be a bad mom if I was not there to watch my First Grader get on the bus for his second full day of school? I needed to find a BSA leader uniform. Things were crazy busy at work. Why was I doing this again?!?

The Wood Badge course started bright and early on a Thursday morning. We made the 45 minute trip to Krupp Scout Hollow and then I crossed a bridge and began an experience that changed everything. 

I was put in a team of five people and we experienced a fast-paced day of presentations and activities in both the team (patrol) setting and in the full group (troop) setting. We learned about vision, mission, goals, listening to learn. I knew some of these concepts, and was glad for the reminder. We enjoyed a fun Cubanapolis race and a tasty Blue & Gold Banquet for lunch. I was actually enjoying this. The staff was enthusiastic, fun, informative and clearly very well-prepared; the 40 other participants were just plain wonderful people from all walks of life. Six days quickly flew by in this manner, with many a-ha moments and a feeling of camaraderie I had rarely experienced before. I learned so much, my head sometimes felt like it might explode! 

A friend from long ago, who now lives on another side of the USA, recently posted on Facebook: "Wood Badge changed my vision of Scouting." I can't think of a better way to describe what happened for me during those six days. I left with the understanding that Scouting is an inspired program that has the power to truly build a better world, one young person at a time. 

I also came away understanding that my role as Primary President was to support, encourage, and help the leaders in my Unit do their jobs. I went home and learned about the importance of the Pack Committee and the roles of the individual leaders who comprise it. I now understood how very vital every effort they made on behalf of the boys they served really was. Cub Scouts isn't an afterthought, or a burden. It's one of the best jobs in the Primary organization! I had a lot to learn, and it took time and effort, but it was very rewarding to me to see how these amazing women worked together to serve our active group of boys. They are my heroes.

I can honestly say that the things I learned on that Wood Badge course seven years ago have impacted my life every day since then. I'm so glad I went. I wholeheartedly encourage every Primary President to invest in the opportunity Wood Badge offers: to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, absorb the leadership concepts and hone the practical skills that will enable them to be more effective in every aspect of their service, and gain a broader understanding of why it's important.

P.S. This video features several of the individuals who were a part of my Wood Badge demonstrates just how sincerely we all felt about what we learned on the course. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

10 Things You Didn't Know About Wood Badge in the Grand Teton Council

1-It's an adult leadership training, not a skills's demanding in the sense that you are learning and practicing leadership concepts, but physically -- every effort is made to keep you comfortable and engaged, no matter your circumstances.

2-Everyone with an interest in Scouting/Youth is invited: leaders, parents, teachers. Couples can come together and share lodging if desired. Those with mobility or dietary issues can and will be accommodated. Your comfort is a top priority.

3-Scholarships are available -- don't let the expense keep you from attending! On the topic of expense: the quality of training offered is corporate-executive-level. This is literally the lowest-cost training of its kind to be found anywhere. Ask your potential Course Director for more information.

4-Attention teachers: CEU credits are available! you can earn 3 ISU credits at $50 each.

5-There are five courses offered in our council this year: four weekend courses at Scout Hollow in February, June, September and November; one week-long course at Tall Timber (family camp) in Island Park in August.

6-The entire program is presented by a devoted volunteer staff whose sole objective is helping you succeed.

7-Youth are involved in the training -- you'll have the opportunity to observe & interact with a Venture Crew while on course.

8-You will meet amazing people and create lifelong friendships.

9- The food is AWESOME!

10- The skills you learn will apply to all areas of your life -- what you learn on course will absolutely make a difference in your scouting unit, your family, your career and more.

and one more thing: It's REALLY FUN! Scout's Honor.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What I Wish I Knew When I Was a Wolf Den Leader

About 10 years ago, I was a Cub Scout Wolf Den leader. I showed up every week, worked on helping the boys complete all of the activities in their books, went to Pack meeting, but that is where it ended.

I was encouraged to go to Round Table, Wood Badge, and more for training, but I must admit….I rolled my eyes and avoided all of those things like the plague!

I truly had very little understanding or appreciation of the purpose, methods and goals of scouting. I did the bare minimum and was not thrilled to be part of it. When my son earned his Wolf badge and moved up to Bears, I was ready to be done.

Looking back I wonder how much better of an experience it could have been for my boy and the other boys his age if I had gone to the training and learned the purpose behind what I thought was the madness. My attitude alone would have improved tremendously! What if I had gone to Round Table? What a huge difference even that would have made!

Since then, I have gone to Wood Badge training and Round Tables and University of Scouting. I have learned so many great things and have caught the Vision of what Scouting can do for the youth of the world. The boys are so excited to be cub scouts and it is such a great place to teach them and work with them to truly learn those values, skills, fun and adventure that scouting can teach.

Understanding the purpose makes me more willing to put in the effort it takes to make whatever I am doing better. I think a lot of people are like this!

I wish every Cub Scout leader and anyone who works with Scouts or youth would go to Wood Badge and learn they reason why behind all of the things that we do and catch the Vision of scouting and leadership.

So if you have any reason to work with the youth and children of the world, come to Wood Badge!

It will make all the difference!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Wood Badge: Catch the Vision

Today is a good day to share this collection of interviews of participants and staff members on the last day of their August 2010 Wood Badge experience. The thoughts and feelings expressed are close to my heart. I hope it helps provide you a glimpse of just how impactful and powerful this leadership training really is!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why Parents Need Wood Badge Training

My last post entitled “Why LDS Young Women Presidents Need Wood Badge Training” was read by my co-worker and I received some great feedback from her that inspired this post.  She got a little fired up and was talking about the post with her friends and family. When she realized that I had written it, she knew she needed to talk to me about this.
You might be asking what fired up my co-worker?  She is a mother who loves the outdoors and has always felt that girls should get to do all the cool things that the boys do. She wants to understand the scouting program so that she can help her sons and future grandchildren in life, but also have these tools as a leader in her home. She is fired up because Wood Badge isn’t just for leaders, but parents need to be invited too!
This really got me thinking and I knew that I had to write another post for our Wood Badge Blog. Parents really do need Wood Badge training!
As a mother of 6 children ranging in age from 24-10, I basically have someone in all the scouting age groups. Understanding cub scouting has helped me a lot with my youngest son. I wish that I had known what I learned at Wood Badge for my older boys. With one who earned his Eagle early, understanding the continuing program would have helped a lot. My younger daughters are direct beneficiaries of the things that I learned at Wood Badge. They are in my Young Women’s program and help plan and carry out great adventures and activities.
There is a class at Wood Badge about understanding the different Generations and what is important to them. This changed my life in dealing with my adult daughter. My perspective completely altered and it has helped our relationship as adults improve tremendously. I am so grateful for that increased understanding alone.  
As a wife, this has blessed my marriage in many ways. One is that my husband joins us on all of our adventures with the youth.  It is wonderful to have his help and back up out in the wilderness. This has also helped me to be more adventurous myself. It has inspired me to jump in and try new things.
All parents can be blessed by this training in more ways than I can write here.  It is leadership training that has far reaching effects way beyond scouting.
So…parents? Come to Wood Badge! It will bless your family. 


 Here we are on a backpacking trip with some of our kiddos

Friday, April 8, 2016

So You Want to Go to Wood Badge: Part 3 - Wait, There's Homework Before It Even Starts?!?

Don't worry! It's going to be okay!

Personal Pre-Course Assignment

Before you arrive on Day One of your Wood Badge experience, you should receive a letter or at least a link to this list of twenty questions.

If you're like me, you might think, "Self, I have a lot to do. I'll glance at these questions later." And then you might forget to give them any thought at all, until you're actually en-route to the course. And then your day will really begin and the next thing you know, you'll fall into your sleeping bag at 10 pm and think, "I really need to look at those questions!"

If you're like Sheryl (you'll meet her later, she is AWESOME!), you might think you can't go at all, because the Pre-Course Assignment looks TOUGH.

If you're smart, you might keep reading, because here's the deal:

This list of questions is meant as a tool for you to consider the experiences, circumstances, and values that have brought you to where you are as a leader today. There are no right or wrong answers. This exercise helps you pinpoint your current location in life, making it possible for you to imagine exactly what future success looks like for you. The answers will likely change as time goes by, and that's okay, because who you are now is not the same as who you will be in five or ten or fifteen years.

Wood Badge is advanced leadership training. The skills & concepts covered are widely recognized in world-class corporate circles as key to success in any organization.This is no clown show--even though we will have a lot of fun together--it's real, deep, personal development. So don't shy away from the opportunity to truly assess your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. And please don't let the thought of so much soul-searching stand in the way of your desire to go. It will all work out, trust me!

Bottom line: do the best you can, and we'll work together to become the best we can be! (No matter how you answer those twenty questions.)