By Maria Milligan
Sep 18, 2016

The Combined Power of Philmont and Wood Badge

I loved Mac McIntire’s latest blog post on the LDS-BSA relationships website because he talks about the power of combining Philmont and Wood Badge training—a power I have seen first-hand. He says,

“Imagine a heavenly place where faithful, stake priesthood leaders—along with their families—meet in a beautiful mountain setting to learn why Scouting is so crucial to the Primary and Young Men programs in the Church. Now imagine another outdoor setting where faithful Scouting leaders—both members and non-members of the Church—learn how to conduct the Scouting program as designed by the BSA to instill the values and characteristics the Lord desires in primary-age boys and Aaronic Priesthood young men.

Fortunately, no imagination is necessary, because both of these places exist. And both are easily accessible.”

He goes on to describe the Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting held at the Philmont Training Center in New Mexico and Wood Badge, the BSA’s adult leader training. Every year, Philmont training provides stake leaders with a deep, spiritual understanding of why the Church uses Scouting to teach and train young men. Wood Badge also delves into the why of Scouting, but it is a more practical training to help leaders understand how they can use Scouting programs to build young men.

Mac explains why the combination is so powerful:

“Both the Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting at Philmont and Wood Badge training sessions are inspiring experiences. Participants at Philmont feel the Spirit of the Lord as they rub shoulders with other priesthood leaders and the general Primary and general Young Men auxiliary leaders of the Church. Participants at Wood Badge feel the spirit of Scouting as they rub shoulders with enthusiastic Scouting leaders from their local council, particularly those of other faiths. Both experiences change hearts and minds, often inspiring once-reluctant or less-fervent Primary and Aaronic Priesthood leaders to enthusiastically engage in implementing the Scouting program properly within their wards and stakes.

Imagine how powerful the Scouting programs would be in your ward and stake if all of your adult Primary and Aaronic Priesthood leaders attended Wood Badge training. Imagine having your entire stake presidency—and your stake young men presidency—attend both the Priesthood Leadership Conference at Philmont and Wood Badge. Imagine the power of having well-trained leaders, firmly rooted in both priesthood and Scouting principles, who run the Primary and Young Men programs the way the Lord intends.”

If you are looking for ways to improve Scouting and the Young Men programs in your stake, try the virtue of this powerful combination. This fall, you don’t even have to go to New Mexico to do it.

Little Philmont

This fall, the Utah National Parks Council is offering Little Philmont training to stake presidents and leaders from the Utah South Area. The objective of this training is to help leaders watch over and strengthen young men. This conference will review principles taught this year at Philmont, with focus on the Older Boy Program (14-18) and how best to use Scouting to achieve priesthood objectives. The sessions will be discussion-oriented and explore simplified approaches to leading our Teachers and Priest-age young men. Speakers will include Area Seventies and other priesthood and Scouting leaders.

For more information and to sign up, click here.

Wood Badge

Stake-sponsored Wood Badge courses have made a huge difference in Scouting programs in the area. When all of your stake and ward leaders have the vision of what Scouting is and what it can do for young men, they can make a unified effort to improve the program. A good Scouting program can increase activity and lead to more young men serving missions and living righteous lives.

You can read about one stake’s experience hosting Wood Badge here. If are interested in sponsoring a course for the members of your stake, contact John Gailey.

Maria Milligan


Author: Maria Milligan | Grant Writer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.

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