Kodiak is designed to be an adventure that pushes the boundaries of every participant— one that will encourage you to try new things that may be out of your comfort zone. It is an experience—but one that has its underpinnings in the application of the leadership skills they learned in the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops or Crews, NYLT, and/or NAYLE. It is, as is all of Scouting, an adventure with a purpose.
Where Does Kodiak Fit Within the BSA’s Youth Leadership Continuum?
Because Kodiak is grounded in experiential education, participants learn the skills of leadership as they take part in the various experiences that make up the Kodiak trek. As such, a Kodiak adventure can take place after experiencing the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops or Crews, after taking part in NYLT, or after NAYLE. The growth in leadership depends on what the participant brings to the adventure. More skilled leaders will grow as well as younger Scouts and Venturers; they will simply have a different but equally rewarding experience. Indeed, Kodiak and the process of developing and implementing a vision can be done more than once.
What Does a Kodiak Trek Look Like?
A Kodiak trek is an expedition, a road trip, an adventure, a visit to another country, a whitewater rafting trip, a cross-state bicycle adventure, running a sports week for special-needs youth— anything that helps push the participants out of their personal comfort zone for the sake of adventure and learning. A trek is an adventure that pushes boundaries. Not all troops or crews go on high-adventure outings, and Kodiak need not be a high adventure to be a great experience. Of course a natural setting is always a plus, but the key is ADVENTURE. For some units, it may be more challenging to do a weeklong city tour than a backpacking trip similar to other trips in the past. Do what works for your unit, but do something that is truly a challenge to each participant. Treks should be a minimum of five days. We give further examples of possible trek types throughout this syllabus. However, remember that Kodiak is not about the trek; it is about leadership skills. During the Kodiak trek, BSA leadership skills will become a framework for you to help the participants live out their adventure—and grow from this. Each day there is an activity to showcase one or more of the BSA leadership skills previously taught in the unit Introduction to Leadership Skills course and at NYLT and NAYLE. In addition, each trek will have numerous times where leadership skills are essential for success. For example, all treks begin with planning, and all groups must communicate effectively about expectations and shared tasks.