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The Kodiak Challenge course combines the elements of leadership and service to others as the two key tenants of Venturing. Servant leadership is a philosophy that teaches the leader to work with and through a team to accomplish the mission.

Kodiak's methods are the following: Challenging outdoor treks to use nature as a classroom (no indoor sessions). Five leadership skills, called "commissions," are taught. They can be offered over a week, or over two weekends. It uses a hands-on teaching approach with very short presentations.


Kodiak Challenge is … 

1.    Fun!

2.    Relevant to each participant’s life.

3.    Internalized by participants.

4.    Based on nature.

5.    Based on the servant leader concept.


Course Methods 

1.    It is taught by two instructors (one adult and one youth if possible) in an "instructor team."

2.    Only five skills are taught.  They are called "commissions."  The five commissions are: 

  Effective Teams,    Values/Vision,     Communication,    Decision Making,  and  Planning 

3.    It is based on symbolism using the Kodiak bear.

4.    Commissions are introduced with a hands-on exercise followed by a short presentation, then reinforced with one or more exercises.

5.    It uses constant reinforcement.

6.    It creates an older teen leadership fraternity.


Who May Offer a Course? 

This course may be run at any level (crew, district, or council), but must be approved by the Council Scout Executive.  Most courses will be offered at the council level to maximize participants, facilities, resources, support, etc.  However, the course could be run by a crew going on a weeklong trip to the Amazon River.  It works well on any outdoor trek that last at least 6 days where an hour or two a day would be available to teach the course.  There are two trek options; a six-day course or a two-weekend course.


Trek Setting 

One course characteristic that the designers of this course (including Venturers) felt very strongly about was that this course should be taught in an outdoor setting.  Fight the temptation to teach the sessions in a dining hall, classroom, or even an outdoor pavilion.  Have your participants sitting on a log, on a sandbar or rock, or other outdoor setting.


For more information on Kodiak Challenge, contact Rick McIlvoy 636-394-5728 (home), 314-609-8001 (cell)


Kodiak Challenge Course Director Course


In 2012, the Central Region Area 3 Venturing Conference had a Kodiak Challenge CDC.  The next Area 3 Kodiak Challenge CDC course is yet to be determine.  Stay tune for more information.


Links for Kodiak Challenge

National Kodiak Challenge site: Link

Central Region Kodiak Challenge site: Link

Kodiak Challenge Course Director Course site: Link