Thursday, August 12, 2010

Run Boy Run

Several years ago a group of men, leaders of Scouts, assembled in the mountains near Sacramento for Wood Badge training. This experience, where men camp out and live as do the Scouts they teach, is a most interesting one. They cook and then eat—burned eggs! They hike the rugged trails which age invariably makes more steep. They sleep on rocky ground. They gaze again at heaven’s galaxies.

This group provided its own reward. After days of being deprived, they feasted on a delicious meal prepared by a professional chef who joined them at the end of their endurance trail. Tired, hungry, a bit bruised after their renewal experience, one asked the chef why he was always smiling and why each year he returned at his own expense to cook the traditional meal for Scouting’s leaders in that area. He placed aside the skillet, wiped his hands on the white apron which graced his rotund figure, and told the men this experience. Dimitrious began:

“I was born and grew to boyhood in a small village in Greece. My life was a happy one until World War II. Then came the invasion and occupation of my country by the Nazis. The freedom-loving men of the village resented the invaders and engaged in acts of sabotage to show their resentment.

“One night, after the men had destroyed a hydroelectric dam, the villagers celebrated the achievement and then retired to their homes.”

Dimitrious continued: “Very early in the morning, as I lay upon my bed, I was awakened by the noise of many trucks entering the village. I heard the sound of soldiers’ boots, the rap at the door, and the command for every boy and man to assemble at once on the village square. I had time only to slip into my trousers, buckle my belt, and join the others. There, under the glaring lights of a dozen trucks, and before the muzzles of a hundred guns, we stood. The Nazis vented their wrath, told of the destruction of the dam, and announced a drastic penalty: every fifth man or boy was to be summarily shot. A sergeant made the fateful count, and the first group was designated and executed.”

Dimitrious spoke more deliberately to the Scouters as he said: “Then came the row in which I was standing. To my horror, I could see that I would be the final person designated for execution. The soldier stood before me, the angry headlights dimming my vision. He gazed intently at the buckle of my belt. It carried on it the Scout insignia. I had earned the belt buckle as a Boy Scout for knowing the Oath and the Law of Scouting. The tall soldier pointed at the belt buckle, then raised his right hand in the Scout sign. I shall never forget the words he spoke to me: ‘Run, boy, run!’ I ran. I lived. Today I serve Scouting, that boys may still dream dreams and live to fulfill them.” (As told by Peter W. Hummel.)

Dimitrious reached into his pocket and produced that same belt buckle. The emblem of Scouting still shone brightly. Not a word was spoken. Every man wept. A commitment to Scouting was renewed.

Thomas S. Monson, “Run, Boy, Run!” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 19

It's Just a Piece of Cloth

It’s just a piece of cloth, that’s all it is.

Just a piece of cloth.

But when a little breeze comes along, it stirs and comes to life

And flutters and snaps in the wind, all red and white and blue…

Then you realize that no other piece of cloth could be like it.

It has your whole life wrapped up in it…

The meals you eat, the time you spend with your family,

The kind of things boys and girls learn at school,

The strange and wonderful thoughts you get in church.

Those stars on it…

They make you feel just as free as the stars in the wide, wide, deep night.

And the stripes…

They are the bars of blood

To any dictator who would try to change this way of life.

Just a piece of cloth, that’s all it is

Until you put your soul into it and give it meaning;

Then it is the symbol of liberty and decency and fair dealing for everyone.

It is just a piece of cloth

Until we breathe life into it,

Until we make it stand for everything we believe in

And refuse to live without it.

Michelle's Quotes by Viktor Frankl (and one from Dune)

From the novel Dune by Frank Herbert: “A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.”

From Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl:

"Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it."

"No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true."

"Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run - in the long-run, I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it"

Experiment by Carolyn Wood Sherif. “She had succeeded in artificially building up mutual aggression between groups of boy scouts, and observed that the aggression only subsided when the youngsters dedicated themselves to a collective purpose—that is the joint task of dragging out of the mud a carriage in which food had to be brought to their camp. Immediately they were not only challenged by also united by a meaning they had to fulfill. P. 142-143

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Last Minute Things to Remember

Wood Badge Training is Leadership Training:
We will touch upon the different families of scouting, but not go into detail of how to run a den, troop, team, or crew. Instead, we will teach leadership skills that apply to all positions in scouting, from the den leader to the chartered organization rep; from the scoutmaster to the advancement chair.

Size of Cots:
I’ve had several questions about whether tents will hold large cots. The tents are about 7 feet by 9 feet. We plan on sleeping two people per tent. The cots need to fit widthwise rather than lengthwise. A standard size cot is 77” X 28” A large cot is 80-82” X 30-32” Those cots will fit. Cots larger than that will not fit.

If you’d like to bring your own tent, please feel free to do so. If not, don’t worry; we provide tents for you.

I had some reports that the mosquitoes are bad this year at East Fork. Be sure to bring a good mosquito repellent.

Conservation Project Work Clothes:
In the middle of the week we will do a conservation project. Feel free to bring jeans and an old shirt to wear that day.

Needed Medications or Dietary Requirements:
On the first day, your gear will be stowed until late afternoon. If you have medications or dietary needs during the day, please keep them with you in a day-pack so you can have easy access to them.

Wood Badge Ticket:
To help make your ticket more meaningful, you may want to talk with people you work with to get some ideas of things you can do when you get home. Also, please complete the 20 Questions form before you come. No one but you will see the answers. However, this reflection will help strengthen your ticket.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scholarship Update

Update on scholarship funding. Currently we do not have anymore scholarship funding allotted directly to our course. If you are interested in scholarships, there is a lot of money available directly through the Wood Badge Association. Click on the scholarship link on the right, complete the application, and either email it or snail mail it to me. I will turn it in for you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Get a $22 Wood Badge Shirt for Free

Because it is more fun to attend Wood Badge with a friend, we have a special program for those registered for the July course. If you refer a friend who also attends the July course, you will receive a $22.00 Wood Badge Activity shirt for FREE. Let Michelle know who you have referred. She'll even contact your friend for you if you'd like.

Friday, March 12, 2010

$50 Scholarships Available--First Come, First Served

There are a limited number of $50 scholarships available for the July Week-long Wood Badge course. To access this scholarship, all you need to do is register for the July Week-long Course, submit a $50.00 deposit to hold your spot, and contact Michelle Christensen (801-294-3061) to let her know you would like a scholarship. She will track your information, and the money will be credited to your account when you arrive at East Fork of the Bear on July 26.

Hurry. These scholarships will go on a first-come, first-served basis!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wood Badge--Professional Leadership Development

February 24, 2010.
Wood Badge is definitely professional leadership development.

This Wood Badge syllabus was put together with the brightest consultants nation-wide, including Stephen R Covey and Ken Blanchard. The resulting syllabus is equal in quality to any professional leadership seminar.

A few of the Wood Badge instructional sessions include:
  • Listening to Learn
  • Communication
  • Stages of Team Development
  • Leadership Skills for Team Building
  • Conflict Management
  • Project Development
  • Leading Change
These courses are definitely professional-level courses. I know. I've had experience teaching these very concepts professionally. I received my master's degree in Organizational Behavior--which includes team building, organizational consulting, and leadership development. While I was working, I attended and actually helped staff and teach week-long team-building seminars. Fifteen years ago, these seminars cost nearly $2,000. Wood Badge is only $190--literally 1/10th of a professional seminar.

Many companies will pay for a person to attend Wood Badge. Many professional associations,too, will give CPE credits If you would like a letter to your employer outlining the Wood Badge Leadership experience, please let me know!

At the end of the Wood Badge week, many participants who have attended professional seminars and Wood Badge both, praise Wood Badge as being much better. Come and see for yourself.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Welcome to the July Wood Badge blog. Our course number is W2-590-05-10. If you have any questions about our course, please email me at

Michelle Christensen, Scoutmaster/Course Director