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It is that time of year again (actually, Im a little late this year....)

BSA is mixing things up this year for Leadership Challenge.  The summer session is held at Summit and the fall session is held at Philmont.

The official description is

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Adults learn to internalize and practice their leadership skills in this action-packed backcountry conference. The conference hones the skills taught in Wood Badge in an outdoor experiential learning environment. PLC underscores the values of Scouting and teamwork and promotes the concepts of servant leadership. Open to all programs. Participants will not have an opportunity to be with family during the week.

My description is: 

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It is what comes after WB on the training continuum (yes, there is something after WB!).  It is a 6 day leadership experience in the Philmont backcountry.  The course uses activities such as search and rescue, geocaching and wilderness first aid to provide the real-world context for practicing your WB skills.  There are no lectures, it is completely hands-on - each skill session incorporates and/or is followed by an activity to use the skills.  There is lots of Philmont and Waite Phillips history woven in (including a Villa tour).  Most of the week is spent at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp with an overnight backpacking trek to Zastrow camp. 

Philmont in the fall is amazing.  Ive never been to Summit but Im looking forward to learning some WV history and helping deliver the course at this location.  Who will join me at the Summit?

 

 

And if you call right now, you'll get this great bonus :-)

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) is the youth version of Leadership Challenge - they are nearly identical courses.  There are several sessions of NAYLE at each location - one of them runs the same week as the summer Leadership Challenge course (July 5-11).  How cool would it be for you and your Scout to both attend during that week?  Imagine the leadership conversations you could have with this common experience.  Imagine the difference you would make back home.

 

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Thanks for the heads-up!  

Do you know if there is more in-depth info about the program someplace?  Maybe a syllabus or instructor guide?

It sounds like an interesting opportunity, but if they're asking me to give up a week of my precious vacation time, then I want to be sure there's solid pay back for the investment...

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1 hour ago, jjlash said:

Imagine the difference you would make back home.

Imagine the difference it would make to my bank account.

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The syllabus is not available except to staff and, unlike WB, it does not seem to have leaked so - no it is not available. 

I understand the desire to judge for yourself if it is a good investment.  My response would be - a) knowing too much can take away some of the experience and b) like most things, you will get out of it what you put into it.

That said, this will be my 4th time staffing the coursed and I am happy to answer questions and give you as much of a picture as I can.  

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1 minute ago, David CO said:

Imagine the difference it would make to my bank account.

Yep - it might be pricey for some folks.  I view it as an investment in myself and my Scouting community.  

I know there are scholarships available from Philmont Training Center.  Dont know about Summit but I'll check.

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Do I have to sing, or worry about silly totems, or pretend my shirt doesn't have a collar and have a uniform inspection?

Because all the good leadership development programs I've attended contained none of those elements, and the in one that included them it seriously detracted from the program.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

Do I have to sing, or worry about silly totems, or pretend my shirt doesn't have a collar and have a uniform inspection?

Because all the good leadership development programs I've attended contained none of those elements, and the in one that included them it seriously detracted from the program.

LOL - no.  None of that.

You are in uniform when you arrive at the course and you are in uniform for the closing ceremony/banquet.  Otherwise in activity uniform (tshirts provided).  No inspections and no playing games.  This is all about the participant experience. 

There is a "songfest" during crackerbarrel one night but it is campfire type songs.  There is no song for the course and the one you already know is not sung even once (at least on the 4 courses Ive been involved with).

There are no totems. Crew identity is very down-played. There is a project similar in purpose to the totem (to accomplish something and build team espirit) and they often do get silly but on your terms.  

 

Full Disclosure - there really is nothing new here in terms of the leadership skills.  But there is not supposed to be.  This is about practical application of the skills you already learned (in WB).  It is the context and environment to apply those skills that makes it great.  Most things are scenario-based with discussion/debrief for most every activity.  

It is kind of like - if WB went for 6 more days. You know - by the end of WB there is less classroom and more hands on time.  The patrol is very much on your own and is (usually) performing pretty well.  If you went a few more days where you just did activities, as a group, where you needed to solve problems as a team - that would be helpful.

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Thanks a lot for the course info.  I've been intrigued by it for a while now.  It's good to get a bit more context.

Sadly the Summit course conflicts with the families summer vacation.

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When did singing become a bad thing per se?  😩  It can be misused to put an individual "on the spot," but many otherwise ok things can be misused.

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11 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

When did singing become a bad thing per se?  😩  It can be misused to put an individual "on the spot," but many otherwise ok things can be misused.

Best thing about World Jambo: hearing the contingents (Germans and Finns stick in my mind) sing as they hiked.

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

Best thing about World Jambo: hearing the contingents (Germans and Finns stick in my mind) sing as they hiked.

I would enjoy heart them. There was a crew of older scouts that dressed in perfect Class  “A” uniforms and some thru their trek. We could here them when they were close. It’s the kind of stuff I believe OA scouts could do for elite status.

Barry

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Sounds as if they have basically put the old WB course into a new format.  8 days on the side of the mountain at a summer camp.  Formed into the traditional patrols, and you were scouts all week, with patrol challenges and all that it entailed.  Most of that is lost from the current WB plan that can be completed indoors for the most part, often using dorms, and multiple weekends.  

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7 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

When did singing become a bad thing per se?  😩  It can be misused to put an individual "on the spot," but many otherwise ok things can be misused.

I enjoy singing, people near me may not enjoy that as much, but my WB experience was definitely on the misused end of the spectrum.

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Thanks for all the comments - this has gone a wee bit off topic....

There is still a bunch about the Summit session that I dont know yet, but I see in the schedule that participants get to visit the Consol Energy Bridge, the Sustainability Treehouse and get to ride the Big Zip.  

Edited by jjlash

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