Kodiak Challenge offers hands-on leadership training for Scouts and Venturers

Looking to add a dose of leadership training to your next big Scouting adventure?

Integrate Kodiak Challenge into the plan, and you’ll double the impact the trip has on Scouts and Venturers.

Kodiak Challenge invites young people to step outside their comfort zones to experience hands-on leadership training. Previously a Venturing-only course, it is now open to Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers.

The six-day course can be a separate training experience, but many troops and crews have success weaving Kodiak into an expedition, road trip, adventure, visit to another country, whitewater rafting trip, cross-state bicycle trek or anything else that helps push participants their limits.

Think of it as a chance to test the leadership skills learned in Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops or Crews, National Youth Leader Training (NYLT), and/or the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE).

The course is special in Scouting because it can be run at the unit, district or council level — provided you get the OK from your council training chair (or his or her designee) first.

Peter Self, who served as national staff advisor when the Kodiak syllabus was created, remembers a Kodiak course held on the San Juan Islands in Washington.

“Kodiak Challenge is a weeklong course, and you cover what are called commissions. There are seven different commissions, and each commission is a leadership opportunity or a leadership skill that you develop in the course,” he says.

On the San Juan Islands, the group spent two days sailing, two days sea kayaking and two days biking around the island. That sounds like the greatest leadership course ever.

“Isn’t that great?” Self said. “The fun part about that is, almost in every case, the training that you experience on this course is used on the course.”

Learn more about Kodiak Challenge

For an in-depth discussion about Kodiak Challenge, listen to the August 2016 episode of ScoutCast. Peter Self was our guest for an engaging discussion about this untapped resource in Scouting.

Photo via Crew 91.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.