How Cool is Scouting, or The Awesomeness of Scouting

by Jesse Armitage, Michael Spencer, Garrett Vance, Aaron Miller, Camden Fry, Nathan Shattuck, Cameron Miller, David Hatch – 8 Young Men in the Alpine 8th Ward who together worked on their Communications Merit Badge and wrote this blog.

They came up with the title, and each contributed the reasons they think why Scouting is so cool.

1- Going camping with all your buddies.

2- Building friendships.

Alpine 8th Ward Scouts, Varsity, and Venturers working on Communications Merit Badge

Alpine 8th Ward Scouts, Varsity, and Venturers working on Communications Merit Badge

3- The desserts are great.

4- Getting your Eagle Scout is great for your life.

5- Sense of Accomplishment.

6- We go on fun adventures.

7- We learn helpful skills.

8- We become a better neighbor or citizen.

9- I learn obediance and prepare for a full time mission.

10- We come to Scouts because our mom’s want us to.

11- We become the men we want to be.

12- We feel the Spirit of the Lord around the campfire.

24 Ways to Get LDS Youth to Wear the Scouting Uniform

1- Walk them through the full uniform, show where everything goes.

The second class badge in scouting has important symbols

The second class badge in scouting has important symbols

2- Teach the elements of each award, what they mean
3- Wear your uniform always, talk about the meaning of patches, etc. you earned
4- Show your red jacket or sash with all your patches, etc.
5- Make sure kids all have full uniforms, help trade uniforms to keep costs down
6- Show a video of a military uniform inspection

Marine Uniform inspection is a great example for Boy Scouts to wear the Scout Uniform

Marine Uniform inspection is a great example for Boy Scouts to wear the Scout Uniform

7- Have uniform inspections

Have a Scout Uniform inspection

Have a Scout Uniform inspection

8- Have a Marine come and talk about the US military uniform and wear it (or former Marine)
9- Award random points, prizes, treats for uniform inspections
10- Let them make a class b uniform they help design and like
11- Get older (cool, muscular) young men to wear their uniforms to Courts of Honor
12- Assign a Troop guide (cool older boy they respect) to discuss the uniform and wear it proudly.
13- Make a big deal of the merit badge counts as a sign of achievement on the sash
14- Get all boys a sash, even awarding it to new scouts
15- Link the uniform of scouting to the uniform of missionary work (an important goal in LDS units)
16- Get adult priesthood leaders to wear their scouting uniforms to all YM events (lead by example)
17- Tell the stories of Bayden Powell and how the uniform came about

Baden Powell felt strong about the Scout Uniform

Baden Powell felt strong about the Scout Uniform

18- Start a tradition of uniforms that carries on and is upheld,
19- Have older boys come in and discuss traditions (including uniforms) of the units
20- When calling junior leaders, get commitments to wear uniforms and get others to also
21- Priesthood leaders include the uniform commitment when calling new adult leaders
22- Point out kindly but clearly whenever a boy dishonors the uniform (untucked, unbuttoned)
24- Hand out patrol identity patches to the boys (for each patrol)
25- Give out junior leadership patches to all boys immediately on callings to leadership

Scouting is Not Just the Activity Arm of the LDS Priesthood, It is the Priesthood in Action

I am writing this blog on a break as I sit in a training session in Philmont Training Center near Cimarron, New Mexico. I’m here for a week with the Key 3 from the Alpine District.

“I shudder when I hear someone say that Scouting is the activity arm of the priesthood,” said Elder Wilson, “That lessens it’s role. It is really the Priesthood in action.”

Last night we met with Elder David A. Wilson, the LDS Philmont Chaplain for over an hour and got to ask him lots of questions.


Photo by Jason Swenson – From left, Father Raymond L. Fecteau, David A. Wilson and Charlene Wilson take a break from their activities at Philmont to take a picture. Father Fecteau and the Wilsons have developed a friendship through their chaplain service at Philmont.

We had Sacrament Meeting on a Tuesday night a 7pm, actually a common experience for LDS and non-LDS groups who often arrive back from 10-12 day hikes that range from 50 to 105 miles long. These never cease to be life-changing experiences for the youth and adults and the LDS chapel on site offers evening meetings to allow them to share their experiences and testimonies.

One of the first things that Chaplain Wilson taught us was a new way to look at the relationship between the LDS Church and Scouting, which is coming up on it’s 100th anniversary.

“I shudder when I hear someone say that Scouting is the activity arm of the priesthood,” said Elder Wilson, “That lessens it’s role. It is really the Priesthood in action.”

He went on, “I challenge you to find anything in Scouting that does not prepare a young man for faithful service in the Priesthood.

  • Leadership? The Patrol Method.
  • Service? The Eagle Project.
  • Tithing? The Personal Management Merit Badge.
  • Missionary Work? Family Life Merit Badge.
  • Temple Work? Geneology Merit Badge.”

Elder Wilson is one of seven chaplains at Philmont. He and his dear wife Charlene have served at Philmont for eleven years. He and Sister Wilson are from Orem, Utah. Elder Wilson is the only LDS Chaplain outside of the US Military.

Approximately 22,000 Scouts from around the world visit Philmont each year. Elder Wilson opens up the LDS services to all of them as well as the 1,100 employees of Philmont each year. There are also services for Protestants, Catholics, and Jewish scouts.

Information for Employers Regarding BSA Wood Badge

Boy Scouts of America
Wood Badge for the 21st Century

Wood Badge is the highest and most advanced training course offered by the Boy Scouts of America.  While it is rich in scouting history and tradition, participants will spend 6 full days and nights learning modern leadership theories from contemporary scholars such as Ken Blanchard (author of the One Minute Manager series of books), Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle-Centered Leadership), and Spencer Johnson (author of Who Moved My Cheese).  A complete set of references can be found at the end of this document.

Many companies feel the investment in Wood Badge makes a huge difference in the leadership capabilities of their employees who go through the experience.

Wood Badge has five Central Themes that encapsulate the course content. These are:

  1. Living the Values
    1. Values, mission, and vision
    2. Aims and methods
  2. Bringing the Vision to Life
    1. Listening to learn
    2. Communicating
    3. Giving and receiving feedback
    4. Valuing people and leveraging diversity
    5. Coaching and mentoring
  3. Models for Success
    1. High Performance Teams
    2. Team Development Model
    3. Team Leadership Model
    4. Situational Leadership
  4. Tools of the Trade
    1. Project planning
    2. Problem solving and decision making
    3. Managing conflict
    4. Assessing team performance
    5. Self-Assessment
    6. Managing change
    7. Celebrating team success
  5. Leading to Make a Difference
    1. Leaving a legacy
    2. The greatest leadership secret

These workshops are taught through lecture, group discussion, hands on exercises, and through the creation of goals that apply the leadership training received.  At the conclusion of the course, attendees will have created at least 5 goals.  A counselor will be assigned to work with each attendee for 18 months to ensure application of the training they received and the completion of the 5 goals.

Dr. Blanchard’s courses and workshops, offered through The Ken Blanchard Companies, run $500 per day ($3000 for 6 days).  The Boy Scouts of America have negotiated royalty fees and intellectual property rights, which allows them to offer the entire 6-day course for just under $200.

Leaders at many companies (such as IBM, Motorola, and Intel) have recognized the value this training is to their employees.  As such, many agree to pay the course fees and/or give time off as part of their employee’s professional development and training plan.  Individual company policies vary, however.  If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact the Boy Scouts of America, Grand Canyon Council at (602) 955-7747. 

Wood Badge Training Resources

Bennis, Warren, and Joan Goldsmith. Leaming to Lead-A Workbook on Becoming a Leader. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company,1997.

Bennis, Warren. Managing People Is Like Herding Cats. Provo, Utah: Executive Excellence Publishing, 1997.

Bennis, Warren. Old Dogs, New Tricks. Provo, Utah:  Executive Excellence Publishing, 1999.

Bennis, Warren. On Becoming a Leader.  Reading,Mass.: Perseus Books, 1994.

Bennis, Warren. Why Leaders Can’t Lead – The Unconscious Conspiracy Continues. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989.

Blanchard, Ken, Bill Hybels, and Phil Hodges.  Leadership by the Book- Tools to Transform Your Workplace. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999.

Blanchard, Ken, John P. Carlos, and W. Alan Randolph. Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute. New York: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1996.

Blanchard, Ken, John P. Carlos, and Alan Randolph.  The 3 Keys to Empowerment-Release the Power Within People for Astonishing Results. New York: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999.

Blanchard, Ken, Sheldon Bowles, Don Carew, and Eunice Parisi-Carew. High Five! The Magic of Working Together. New York: William Morrow and Company, 2001.

Blanchard, Kenneth, and Norman Vincent Peale. The Power of Ethical Management. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1988.

Blanchard, Ken, Donald Carew, and Eunice Parisi-Carew. The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams. New York: William Morrow and Company, 2000.

Blanchard, Kenneth, Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarrni. Leadership and the One Minute Manager-Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1985.

Covey, Stephen R. Principle-Centered Leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.

Covey, Stephen R. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Covey, Stephen R., A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill. First Things First. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

De Pree, Max. Leadership Is an Art. New York: Doubleday, 1989.

De Pree, Max. Leadership Jazz. New York: Currency Doubleday, 1992.

De Pree, Max. Leading Without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.

Deeprose, Diana. The Team Coach. American Management Association, 1995.

Giber, David, Louis Carter, and Marshall Goldsmith. Best Practices in Leadership Development Handbook. Linkage, 1999.

Greenleaf, Robert K. Servant Leadership-A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness. New York: Paulist Press, 1991.

Heenan, David A., and Warren Bennis. Co-Leaders: The Power of Great Partnerships. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.

Hersey, Paul, Kenneth H. Blanchard, and Dewey E. Johnson. Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.

Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese? New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 1998.

Kotter, John P. Leading Change. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.

Lee, Blaine. The Power Principle-Influence With Honor. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

McCauley, Cynthia D., Russ S. Moxley, and Ellen Van Velsor, eds. Handbook of Leadership Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.

Weaver, Richard G., and John D. Farrell. Managers as Facilitators: A Practical Guide to Getting Work Done in a Changing Workplace. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999.

Welcome Alpine District Scouters!

Dear Alpine District Scouters,
I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Ken Krogue and I’ve been called to replace Rod Lisonbee as the new Alpine District Chairman.
I work in the District “Key 3” with Grant Hansen, the District Executive, and Kevin Card, the District Commissioner.
The three of us just spent all day in Richfield, Utah on Saturday getting trained to help you in the Alpine District.
  • We are bringing back the “Stake Corners” to Roundtable. It will begin at 8:15 on the second Thursday of each month.
  • We will be having some training by one of the stakes all together during this time this first month for Stake Corners so don’t bother preparing much.
  • Kevin Card, Grant Chandler, and the whole Roundtable team will be ready for fun, information, and inspiration! Don’t Miss!
  • We will be using a new communication system to make everyone aware of key information.
ROUNDTABLE SCHEDULE (2nd Thursday, May 10th)
  • District Committee – 6:30PM
  • Roundtable Begins – 7:15PM Scouts+, 7:00PM Cubs
  • Breakout Meetings – 7:30PM
  • Stake Corner Meetings – 8:15PM


  • Scouts/Varsity/Ventures – 5980 West 10400 North, Highland Utah (Strasburg Building) – 7:15 – 8:30PM
  • Cubs – 10962 N 6400 W, Highland Utah (Hollowcrest Building) – 7:00 – 8:30PM
  • (see maps below)
Ken Krogue

Ken Krogue

District Chairman | Alpine District | Utah National Parks Council
Let’s use social media to communicate better!

Alpine District Blog |
Let’s connect by LinkedIn |

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Why Training?

Taken from “Scouting and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” (May 2010)

The LDS Scouting Handbook places an increased responsibility on Church leaders, both stake and ward, to train LDS Scout leaders in the Scouting program. This means that stake and ward leaders need to know the Scouting program and must be trained themselves.

In January 2010, the Young Men General Presidency wrote,

“Mandatory training for Scout leaders will be rolled out over the next three years. All direct-contact leaders will need to attend in order to remain registered. It is the local council’s responsibility to provide training for all leaders in the program. Each council needs to focus on training individual leaders, and should not solely provide training for leaders to attend. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports the mandatory training policy and desires all Scouting leaders to receive the training necessary for their individual position.” 
The Young Men General Presidency also stated,

“We must find ways to help each adult who works with Young Men to have a desire to become fully trained. If we are going to be able to provide a dynamic Aaronic Priesthood activity program that develops them spiritually, creates strong brotherhood, provides wide opportunity for service to others, and reaches out to all young men, we must be better prepared to use the tools of Scouting through proper understanding. That understanding only comes through effective training and proper implementation.” 

The Boy Scouts of America offers basic training (New Leader Essentials and the appropriate leader-specific courses) for each Scouting position, as well as other courses such as Wood Badge, to help leaders learn Scouting methods and skills. Taking training should help the leaders properly understand the program so that it meets the intended results of both the BSA and the Church. Scout leaders may enroll in these courses to supplement training from local priesthood leaders.

In the February 2007 LDS Relationships Newsletter, President Dahlquist of the Young Men General Presidency emphasized the importance of Wood Badge training:

“If we are really intent in touching the lives of our young men—in building, as Elder Ballard has challenged, ‘the greatest generation of missionaries this world has ever seen’—then we will do whatever is necessary to help msp hack 2017 us to accomplish that, including getting trained. For most of us, Wood Badge is life-changing because it has to do more with vision and understanding this great tool for strengthening young men of the Aaronic Priesthood than anything else.”
Elder Christopher Munday
Elder Dan Jones

The Importance of Wood Badge Training

The Importance of Wood Badge Training

President Dahlquist

The Importance of Woodbadge Training - Comments by Charles W Dahlquist, II - Young Men General President

February 2007 Comments by
Charles W. Dahlquist, II
Young Men General President

It is vital that we, as Priesthood and Aaronic Priesthood/Young Men leaders take training seriously. We are part of this great partnership with Boy Scouts of America for very specific reasons: If we fully participate, our young men will be blessed and better prepared for missions and for the blessings of the temple. Part of the participation is training – especially Wood Badge training.

If we are really intent in touching the lives of our young men, in building, as Elder Ballard has challenged,” the greatest generation of missionaries this world has ever seen…,” then we will do whatever is necessary to help us to accomplish that — including getting trained.  For most of us, Wood Badge is life-changing because it has to do more with vision and understanding than anything else.

Just to be candid with you, I struggle with the goals of “1 per ward per year” or “two per stake per year” or “3 1/2 per unit per two – three years…”  And even more ridiculous is the goal that a leader take Wood Badge within 1-2 years after he has taken Basic Training.  Statistics tell us that by that time, 90% of our leaders will be doing something else!

I suggest that it would be helpful to re-read D&C 128:19-22 and see just how important training was to the Prophet Joseph.  Granted, his training came from beyond the veil.  However, without it, he could not have accomplished what he did.

Just because this is God’s work, why do we think that we do not need to be trained in that program which the Church has espoused for nearly 100 years as the “activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood?”  And the reason why Scouting training is vital is that, by and large, we do a very poor job in training the leaders we call to Aaronic Priesthood/Young Men callings — and yet expect them to work miracles in the lives of their young men.  One of the great blessings of our partnership with Scouting is the marvelous training that is provided.

The call is for every leader, including stake presidency members working with youth, high councilors, stake Young Men presidents, Bishoprics, ward Young Men leaders and Scouting leaders to be trained.  By my count that is, at the least, 7-10 per ward and 50-75 per stake.  I know companies that don’t even allow a new employee to step into the plant or office until he has received initial training.  They do that because they know that, without training, most individuals will be ineffective in the job they were hired to do.  And yet, we call leaders to strengthen, motivate and prepare young men for missionary service and life in general — without one iota of training.

In contrast to that, I know one bishop who has 17 Wood Badge trained leaders in his ward.  Imagine the strength of their youth program.  I was in another ward the other day — a new ward with little Scout tradition.  I was there because my grandson, now 11 years old, was getting his Second Class and First Class badges.  As I spoke with a member of the bishopric after the Court of Honor, he indicated that their entire Scouting team — Bishopric, Young Men presidency and Scouting leaders were heading to Wood Badge in October.  I can only imagine what a great blessing that will be to the boys those leaders serve.  INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT 1 FROM A WARD AND TWO FROM A STAKE — WHY DON’T WE JUST COMMIT TO GET EVERY LEADER TRAINED, INCLUDING FAST START, BASIC TRAINING AND WOOD BADGE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEY ARE CALLED.  Once a priesthood leader makes that type of an investment in the training of a leader, he will be less likely to release him after 6 months of faithful service — but will leave him in long enough to have a positive effect in the life of a boy.

There is one other reason why training is important.  In the BSA, we have approximately 17% of the boys registered nationally.  However, 50% of the fatalities arising from activity-related accidents were in LDS sponsored units.  As we have evaluated each of these, there are three reasons for these accidents:  (1) lack of training (most didn’t even know what the BSA “Guide to Safe Scouting” was);  (2) lack of tenure; and (3) lack of common sense.

One final thought and then I’ll stop.  With some exceptions, generally the best Duty to God progress is made in those units that also have vibrant Scouting programs.  The lessons on achievement programs learned in Scouting are the same that will make Duty to God effective.  I seldom see a ward or stake that has a vibrant, exciting, building Duty to God program, that does not also have a great Scouting program.

Not long ago, I spoke with a ward YM leader who was excited about the Duty to God program they had for their priests.  “One week we have one mission president come and talk to the boys about this subject, and the next week, we have a returned missionary come and talk about that subject, …etc.”  I asked, “Are they all lecture/discussions in the Church building?”  “Yes,” was the answer.  “And do they constitute your full activity program for priests, except for the joint activities?”  Again the answer was “Yes.”  Then I asked, “And are your priests excited about what you are doing?”  After some dragon city hack cheat reflection, this Young Men president said, “You know, they really aren’t.  We are having a very hard time getting them to attend.”  Had this leader been to Wood Badge, he would have learned early that when you take “fun” out of youth programs — most of the youth take themselves out as well.  Scouting teaches us how to build character and spiritual depth in our young men, and how to help them become involved in service and making a difference in the lives of others — while they are having fun.  I, personally, am grateful for the effect of my own personal attendance at Wood Badge at Camp Maple Dell 23 years ago.  I may not remember how to make a woggle, but I can still recall my feelings experienced during the training — it was life changing for me.

Thanks for all you do to strengthen the programs of the Aaronic Priesthood within your area.  I had not intended to be so long-winded, but have strong feelings — as if you couldn’t tell.

Best wishes,
Charles Dahlquist
Charles W. Dahlquist, II
Young Men General President