Six days of pure Scouting fun

Troop 1 - Wood Badge Course (W2-591-11-3) was inspiring and entertaining. Photo: Candace Paongo-Lavaka

Last week I wrote about all the fun Super Mom and I nearly missed out on as we vacillated over the decision to attend Wood Badge Course or not. In the end we attended all six days of the Course and our outlook on life has been changed tremendously thanks to the wonderful people who staffed the camp, as well as those who attended the camp with us.

Every day we were in camp provided us with insight, introspection and amusement. Some of my fellow campers referred to it as “Summer Camp for Adults”, but it was so much more than fun and games, it was a time to learn about ourselves and the nature of our callings as Adult Scout Leaders and role models for our young people.

From sunrise to sunset and into the night we received instruction from a competent, experienced, knowledgeable staff that coached and sometimes coaxed us on the intricacies of helping boys to become honorable, selfless and upright men. It was an enjoyable time filled with laughter, tears and heartfelt experiences.

There were many highlights from my six days of training and I can honestly say that there was not a single moment where I felt like my time at Wood Badge Course was wasted or diminished in any way. On the contrary. Every moment spent at Maple Dell provided me with the motivation to be a better leader and ultimately a better father, husband and man.

In our final evening at Wood Badge we spent an hour as a patrol (I was assigned to the Owl Patrol with six of the most amazing men I’ve ever met in my life), talking about our experiences at camp and how our training would help affect the lives of our young men in a positive way. I was deeply touched by the love and sincerity expressed by all in our circle. In just six days, seven strangers became brothers and I owe them a debt of gratitude for sharing their life experiences, good laughs, great food and their testimonies of Jesus Christ.

I believe in my heart that every person involved in this particular Wood Badge Course was profoundly affected by the lessons learned there. I also believe that each of us has a renewed sense of urgency in relation to our young people who are living in troubled times, and who are often exposed to spiritual filth, degrading influences and soul-searing deprivation. But if we can all put in an honest, sincere effort to assist our young people I know that we can make a difference in the lives of impressionable young minds.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Wood Badge Course, take advantage of it. You will not be disappointed by the wealth of information you will find there to help you, not just with the young people you serve, but also at home with your own children.

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