By Angela Shelley
Jun 25, 2019

Leadership Development with a Twist on Tradition

Great leadership has immeasurable value and the potential for endless positive influence. Businesses and corporations know this and easily pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to support leadership development and growth each year. Have you given your leaders the best tools to succeed? Are you satisfied with your leadership skills? And did you know Scouting offers world-class leadership training for adults as well as youth? If you answered no to any of these questions, this is for you.

While some are counting down to the exit of the largest chartered partner of the Boy Scouts, others have found endless optimism in leveraging and customizing existing infrastructure and proven programs to support their own objectives. Wood Badge and NYLT/Timberline are two examples of traditional Scouting programs for leadership that we see people using and adding their own twist to, in order to achieve great leadership training for adults and youth alike.

Recently, the Polynesian stake in Utah County sponsored a customized version of a Wood Badge course to support the leadership development of over 80 adult leaders. Combining the course’s traditional strength, brilliant leadership principles, and cooperative activities of Wood Badge with the BSA camp infrastructure (and tailored to their unique challenges, objectives and roles), the group accomplished an empowering, bonding experience for their adult leaders. Typically spanning a week or two weekends (customizable) to disconnect with the world in order to better connect with nature, yourself and your peers makes it easier to explore a life-changing course and goes a long way in contributing to future success.

When asked about their experience at Tifie and the customization of the program, course director Gabe Reid expressed how their stake has done this a few times over the years and has a great love for the principles and values learned in Wood Badge. While initially concerned and disappointed that this might be the last year, Gabe was pleased to know that his local council, Utah National Parks Council, is excited to support all kinds of groups — church, community, sports, professional, youth and more — in promoting positive leadership development and using popular camp facilities and Scout programs as part of that initiative.

As always, the mission of Boy Scouts of America is to serve communities by providing training and experiences that will contribute to leadership and future success for all that engage in its programs and activities. If you or someone you know has benefited from the inspiring training of Wood Badge or NYLT, you can bring those benefits to yourself, youth groups, your employees, a team or a corporation. We invite you to contact the Orem office now to discuss how you can customize Wood Badge programs to meet your objectives.

Author: Angela Shelley| is a writer, traveler, and Program Assistant for the Utah National Parks Council

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