Wood Badge, A Conduit from Heaven to Earth

As I get older, I have spent some time pondering scriptures and searching out anecdotes and articles about what the after world would be like.  Would we be assigned to be in a place with the same type of people?  Would the people who hurt us and wrong us on a daily basis be there?  Would the people that we love and miss dearly be there?  Who would be there and how would I feel?  Would I have the torment that this world brings?  Or would it really be a place of peace.  Unfortunately, there is not much information on the subject and nobody has ever come back from the dead to tell us what it the afterlife is like.

The realization hit me this last week during my Wood Badge course that Heaven would be much like Wood Badge, where you have a body of people who are all like-minded.  Like-minded as in those people who have the same values.  If you are honest, hardworking and friendly, those will be the people you will be with.  Maybe in a lesser section of the after-life will be those who maybe are not so nice.  If you are not honest, rude and have lots of bad habits then those are the people you will be with.  But I don't think both worlds will be together.

Wood Badge teaches people to work together and find common ground, without argument, and without judgement.  Never once have I been spoken to harshly or rudely.  All the staff and participants have been encouraging, positive and they get along.  If there are differences they are respected and people are not bothered by it but have learned to use it to their advantage.

The realization of this really hit home after the first day back from the first half of Wood Badge when I encountered a tense situation that got out of hand.  It was the same argument that has happened most of my life and I always wonder why it happens.  I don't want to go into any more detail on that one but its very depressing and having not had to feel that way for the last four days was nice.

The second day after Wood Badge, I had an emergency situation with a patient who was on the brink of losing an eye.  Due to a miscommunication she ended up seeing a different specialist than what I was used to.  He was very belittling and rude both to her or me.  As I battled through the day this affected me as more and more emergency eye situations built up.  Doubt was creeping in and I had to fight it to keep it away.  I certainly will not use him again.  It happened to be one of the busiest days I have encountered this week and it didn't help that I and a lot of other people were having a bad day.  I am not sure why some people just have to find the bad in everything and then rub it around in your face and stomp on it.  Anyway, that is not how Wood Badge is, but the complete opposite with joy and peace.  That is why I can compare it to Heaven.

Switching subjects now.  The other realization I had at Wood Badge was how information as well as inspiration is transferred to participants.  We have been preparing for this Wood Badge course for months now and some of the senior staff even longer.  When you are prepared the Lord can now use you for an instrument to affect those you are teaching.

Take a light bulb.  Say you have a bulb in a lamp sitting on a table but there is no cord connected to the bulb.  You can imagine if you flip the light switch, the light will not turn on.  In order for it to  turn on there has to be something to carry that electricity to the bulb.  The same goes for water.  If water did not go through a hose you could not direct it to the tree or bush or lawn you want to water.

As we prepared for our Wood Badge course it was like we were building that cord to create that connection, only not to a light bulb, but to the light within another human being.  With preparation and knowledge the Lord can work through us as a conduit to another person.  I believe this is how the Lord touches each and every individual at Wood Badge.  At times the air feels electric as the concepts and ideas are presented and then accepted.  It is not our knowledge that the participant gets, but the transfer of knowledge along with the spirit of the Lord.  The great thing about that is the Lord knows each and every person and what he or she needs to grow at that moment.  He can send that inspiration and he uses different people and methods to do that.  But in order to do that we have to put ourselves in that path and be willing.

Aimee wanted us to keep track of any heart connections we made with people on course.  I have made a dozen probably.  As a scribe I did not think I would do much to help change lives, but apparently the Lord had different ideas.  He put those people in my path that he wanted me to meet.  I am grateful for each and every one of the participants as well as each and every staff person on course.

Last thought, is this conduit is not a one way conduit, but it can go both ways.  I have felt inspiration and had my light click on from many a thing another person said or did,whether it was a staff member or participant.  There is a wealth of knowledge at Wood Badge.  Please don't miss it next time around.  I look forward to the next few days and know that there will be much more of this transfer of knowledge and inspiration.

I put a few photos of some of the inspiring moments at last week's Wood Badge.

Why Come to Wood Badge?/Answers to LDS Church dropping Varsity and Venture Programs

I have had several people ask me why they should go to Wood Badge, and this is the answer. This is also in response to to the recent news about the LDS Church dropping the Varsity & Venture programs as of 2018.
Some of you may be questioning whether you still need to attend Wood Badge because you are a Varsity or Venturing Leader in the LDS Church, but let me re-assure you that YES you will still benefit and will learn something that will help you whether you are involved in scouting or not. We do not teach you the Varsity & Venturing skills, as a matter of fact we do not teach you the Scouting or Cub Scouting skills, we teach you LEADERSHIP skills.
We will teach you:
• The proper way to utilize the patrol method and the leadership skills involved, and how to run an effective troop. (Can be tweaked to use in any youth or corporate setting as well.)
• How to become a better communicator and a better listener.
• How to manage conflict amongst others and amongst yourself.
• How team development works and how to help your team transition through the Stages of Team Development until they become a high performing team.
• How to be an effective leader and teacher as the team goes through those Stages of Team Development.
• How to plan an effective project.
• How to problem solve situations.
• How to involve youth that don’t fit into the mold and how to promote diversity.
• How to become a Servant Leader, Mentor and a Coach, and the differences of each.
• How to better yourself and others around you.
• We will also give you the greatest Leadership Secret of all time.
The Wood Badge program works in every aspect of life; who can’t use these skills listed above in your everyday life at home, school, work, church and in scouting? Those that are LDS, these skills can still be used in whatever program the LDS Church Leadership eventually develops for the Varsity & Venturing age youth. I use these skills every day at work, at home with my children and with my husband, and in my church responsibilities, along with my scouting responsibilities. Whatever program the LDS Church Leadership develops for the youth 14 and older will need strong leaders that can support and implement the program, and we can help give you those skills here at Wood Badge.
I would encourage everyone to still attend Wood Badge with us in June and ask that you share this information with others and encourage them to attend as well; Young Women leaders would greatly benefit from this program as well, I used these skills for years with the YW program. I feel that the new program will take a lot of encouragement from the leaders because it will be new and not all the tweaks will be worked out when it is implemented, and will take some time to get through the problems associated with any new program. It will be easier to implement and work through things with the skills listed above.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want to know how to sign up. It is a life altering program and has helped shape me into the person I am today!

Aimee Barry
Scout Master