Utah’s Wood Badge course for both deaf and hearing Scouters leaves nobody out

Every Scout deserves a trained leader, and every leader deserves an opportunity for high-quality training.

Well, there’s no better training for adults than Wood Badge, and that philosophy of “No Scouter untrained” led Utah’s Great Salt Lake Council to create a Wood Badge course tailored for both deaf and hearing Scouters.

Though the course does use American Sign Language, it’s actually an inclusion course, meaning all are welcome. What a great way for hearing Scouters to have their eyes opened to the unique perspectives of Scouters who communicate using ASL.

The first course in 2012 was eye-opening. It was sanctioned by the National Council, which sent an observer to watch the proceedings. You can see a terrific video from that course at the end of this post.

The 2013 course last May had 57 registered, including 21 deaf participants and 11 Scouters who are bilingual, meaning they can communicate using both ASL and English. That’s a nice mix.

This is Great Salt Lake Council’s third year offering the course, and this time it’s a weeklong course instead of two weekends — meaning it’s easier for out-of-towners to participate. It’ll be held May 12 to 17, 2014, at Syndermill Lodge in Park City, Utah.

The clock is ticking, but there’s still time for you to sign up and attend.

“It would really be nice to see some experienced Scouters attend to take it back to the other three regions so this kind of event can be done regionally,” says New York Scouter Ursula Seefeld. “The experience for the hearing is something different and new, as well as enhancing.”

You can register and learn more at this link and visit the ASL Wood Badge Facebook page here.

Video from the first deaf-accessible Wood Badge course in 2012
About Bryan Wendell 3269 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.