Kodiak Log


This log chronicles the Kodiak course conducted during Crew 1501's trek to Out Island. The log begins with the introduction to the course, done at the home of the Crew 1501 advisor in Springfield, VA the evening of 27 June 2010. Trek Director: Tony Waisanen, Crew 1501 advisor Assistant Trek Director - Instructor: Cassandra Waisanen, Crew 1501 President


  • Kodiak Planning Schedule:
    • Compared syllabus to trek, identified opportunities for sessions.
  • Materials:
    • Leadership bags. Bought one each from Tandy Leather Co.
    • Bear Claws: Bought one each from Tandy Leather Co. Too expensive for full set for each. Bought bag of 100 black plastic claws via eBay.
    • Magic Slates: Followed recommendation by instructors of Kodiak Directors Course to use notepads. Acquired copies of "All Weather Notebooks" for each member; pages are waterproof. Color codes each with colored duct tape. Allowed members to turn in their notebooks to the instructor (rationale: trek to Out Island involves a lot of gear; notebook could get lost during moves unlike backpacking trek where only personal/patrol gear is involved).

2010-06-27: Opening Session.

Took an hour, 15 min.

  • Who Are You?
    • So Much in Common. Good for beginning to share. Need to build on to get less mature youth to continue to share.
    • I Like Me Because.
    • Getting to Know Your Instructors. Okay.
    • Values List Questionnaire Instructions. Was not clear if values were internal to crew member or were expected of others. Most youth struggled with meaning of terms. One member clearly has trust issues; "None of these are important. Where is 'Good enough'?"
    • Assessment of Current Leadership Qualities Questionnaire:

2010-06-28: Effective Team – The First Commission.

  • Short Stay Campground, Moncks Corners, SC. Heavy rain forced crew inside 2-room log cabin. At breakfast on 06-29, crew decided to split up after resupply trip to food market; three of the youth and two adults to drive to Charleston, SC for sightseeing while the trek Instructor and Assistant Instructor (father/daughter) drive to Laura S. Walker State Park, Waycross, GA to secure campsites for the night.
    • 2010-06-29, Moncks Corners, SC: Effective Team – Reinforcement Exercise #1, Oxymorons. The members going to Charleston worked on the exercise while on the leg to the store. Lessons about beavers and geese were reinforced (geese were heard often during discussions regarding potential menus).
    • 2010-06-29, Waycross, GA: **Effective Team – Reinforcement Exercise #2, Trust Me. Encountered heavy and constant rain on trip to Georgia. Rented two sites at $26 each. When the remainder of crew arrived, we held an ethical controversy; the picnic pavilion was reserved campers, but it was raining. Members of the crew suggested we pitch tents under the pavilion. Some members felt it would incovenience the other campers. The crew decided to pitch camp, and move it if/when necessary. Once the decision was made, we ran the preparation for the third commission, Shut Up (while setting up campsite). The objective of the exercise was to demonstrate how hard it is to communicate without speaking, but the members discovered they had no problems using gestures, body language, and facial expressions. After setting up tents and the cooking area, we ran exercise #2 under the picnic pavilion using Long Needle Pine (Pinus palustris) needles to mark out grid patterns. Had each member lead as well as follow. Took 40 minutes, but each member gained an understanding of the need to define terms of references (e.g., "baby steps") and the importance of dialog (feedback). One member said "I could have done this (easier) grid blindfolded without help." That led to a discussion about how a leader may discover they are in a "beaver" situation (there is a clear, shared vision and everyone knows their job). In that situation, the leader should act accordingly (facilitate the group, not be directive). However, followers should make sure they understand and share the vision, not presume they know because the situation looks familiar.

2010-06-29, Waycross, GA: Values/Vision – The Second Commission.

  • After dinner, the Crew wrote down their personal vission statements. For unknow reasons, one of the crew refused to read his vision. There is a possibility he had a very personal or embarassing item in his vision. It was impossible to tell because his handwriting was illegible.
  • In the future, recommend being as clear as possible that all visions would be shared. If necessary, emphasize the importance of creating visions that can be shared (i.e., the group is not helped if only the leader knows the vision).

2010-06-30, Florida City, FL:

  • Communications- The Third Commission. This commission was begun during breakfast (we'd arrived around 10:00 pm; the crew had opted for a 3 hour tour of the eastern entrance to Okafenokee Swamp). The objectives were understood and accomplished.
  • Murder One Exercise 1 Hour. Since the drive to Sea Base would only take a couple hours, the crew worked on the exercize after breakfast. The results were entirely as expected; highly opinionated crew members were the last to realize the different instructions sheets held slightly different information. When the information was shared, all members completed the exercize successfully within a few minutes.

2010-06-01, Brinton Environmental Center:

  • Communications Reinforcement Exercise #1 (Take This Job And ...) 30 Minutes

2010-07-02, Brinton Environmental Center:

  • Communications Reinforcement Exercise #2 (Charades) 20 Minutes
  • Done while waiting for rain to pass so we could paddle to Munson Island.

2010-07-04, Munson Island:

  • Communications Reinforcement Exercise #3 (What's This?) 30 Minutes
  • While sitting around table at campsite, swatting bugs.

2010-07-05, Munson Island:

  • Decision Making – The Fourth Commission 1 Hour
  • Decision Making Case Studies 45 Minutes

2010-07-05, Munson Island:

  • Decision Making Reinforcement Exercise #1 15 Minutes
  • Decision Making Reinforcement Exercise #2 30 Minutes

2010-07-05, Munson Island:

  • Introducing the Commission
  • On the beach, in the sand, digging ruts instead of using toothpicks.

2010-07-06, Brinton Environmental Center:

  • Planning – The Fifth Commission 1 Hour
  • Done while washing clothes

2010-08-22 Closing:

Planning Reinforcement Exercise #1

  • 30 Minutes. Since members were parents and youth, plan was for friends of parents. The entire team agreed they could use the planning process for personal issues.
  • Closing Session 2: was held outdoors, in the dark, on a deck table. Reflection indicated communication was the greatest challenge. Likely reason was due to unrealized, unstated expectations. A mother/daughter pair indicated they had commitments until late August. The rest of the Crew opted to support activities during August (e.g., Scouting On The Mall). The Crew advisor was unorganized and was able to keep one family informed. The family who was not informed accused the advisor of purposefully excluding them and announced they would be looking at other Crews. At that point, the advisor announced he was transferring out of the Crew and out of the District.