It’s been 30 years since I attended BSA’s adult leadership training course called Wood Badge. A very patient counselor in my stake presidency invited me several times over a two year period to participate. As 2nd counselor in the Bishopric, my assignments included stewardship for the youth as well as being the Chartered Organization Representative over Scouting.
Previously I had attended Basic Training and thought I had done my part in being informed of my duties. President Nunley gently suggested I had more to learn. He was right!
The morning arrived for me to leave. As I waited on my front porch that beautiful September morning for one of my ward members to pick me up, I thought, “Why am I going away from my family for a week to spend precious time with people I don’t know? I have so much to do here at home and at my work. But I’ll keep the promise I made to one of my Priesthood leaders.”
What I experienced was life changing. Among many things, I learned solid leadership principles that helped me in my present and future callings, as well as my family and employment responsibilities. I learned some Scout craft skills that helped me on numerous days and nights of camping. (I still wonder why a sleeping bag is called a “sleeping” bag.)
Being taught Scouting’s patrol methods, I learned the principles and experienced the feelings of quorum brotherhood. It gave me a greater testimony of why the Lord inspired the creation of Priesthood quorums and their value to the men of the Church and their families.
As I look back on that training experience, I am grateful for a loving Priesthood leader who gently encouraged me to attend. I think of the great friendships I have found over the years. Most of all I’m grateful for coming to understand that by learning my duties, I have been empowered to “Do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout law.”
For more information about the history of Wood Badge click here.
Author: Joel Zabriskie | Council Comptroller, Utah National Parks Council