We meet and announce all participants’ companions and have one of the ward’s first assistants assign all thoughts and prayers for the day. All thoughts and prayers at Kodiak should include asking forgiveness of our sins, and to ask the Lords spirit to be with us.
During the drive to our camp the RM’s take turns in each car teaching door approaches, street contacting, and role plays using Preach My Gospel and stories from their missions. We prefer that no music is played while traveling. All conversations should be centered around missionary work. We ask that no music is played while they are traveling. This provides opportunity for greater conversation about missionary work. We also ask the young men to not bring cell phone or electronics on course.
Gather together, have a thought and a prayer before and after lunch. We stop for fast food lunch at Evanston Wyoming (exit 5). Boys bring their lunch money. Here we switch cars for the returned missionaries so they can share their mission experiences with a different car.
Drive to Star Valley. Gather together, have a thought and a prayer.
We arrive at camp, Dave Lucero, 385-465 Hawk Haven Dr, Afton, WY 83110 (map location), set up tents, all camping equipment and the presentation area.
Gather together, have a thought and a prayer before and after dinner.
Presentation: Opening, Honor, Parachute, Coin
Principles to be Learned
- The Young Men will understand the rules of the course. Such as, rising in the morning at 6:30 AM, they are asked to have personal prayer, personal study (10 min), companionship prayer, and companionship (10 min) study. Similar to mission rules. Then have each ward gather for a missionary discussion (10 min) under the direction of the Bishop.
- We ask each Young Man what his desire to serve a mission is rated on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the greatest. (This gives us an indication of which Young Men are committed and which young men are not. This assists us in knowing which young men need more attention during course).
- Help them understand the importance of living honorably. Use the Karl G. Maeser story. (I would die first)
- Teach them the principle of “Who packs your Parachute.”
- Teach the principles of the challenge coin.
Three stories included in the first presentation
The importance of honorably during this course and afterwards
We review this story to the young men to emphasize the importance of being honorable in all things they are asked to do during this course. Having established a safe environment, we ask each young man to stand up, state his name and share one thing he is passionate about. After this, we ask all young men to stand up and the questions of honor begin. First Question: They are asked, how many are 100% committed to serve a full time mission to please sit down (at this point, usually, 70-80% of the young men sit down). Second Question: How many of you that are still standing are 75% sure you are going on a mission, please sit down. At this point, we pay tribute to those still standing, (reinforce the Honor) by telling them that they could have easily avoided attention and just sat down with the others. These young men left standing are the reason we have the course. Because we are now aware of whom we need to direct more attention. Third Question: How many of you that are still standing are 25% or less committed to serving a mission? These young men we begin praying for from this time forward that they will receive a direct answer from prayer from the Lord that they need to go on a mission.
This is a story of Charles Plum. Who flew 75 missions over enemy lines, and was shot down and spent years in the concentration camp. (Hanoi Hilton) After the war was over he became a motivational speaker and talked about all this accomplishments. During an evening’s dinner with his wife, a gentleman walked up to them and said, “I know who you are, you’re Charles Plum, a war hero! And I know who you are because I packed your parachute.” This interaction made such an impression on Charles Plum that his motivational speeches were not about him anymore, but about this man who spent hours each day in the bowels of the ship packing parachutes to keep the officers safe.
At the conclusion of this story we ask the young men to think about whom in their lives packs their parachutes to keep them safe and ask them who they need to pack parachutes for, not only on this course, but should include all friends and family back home.
The Challenge Coin
The next story is told about WWI fighter pilots who volunteered during the war and each one carried a challenge coin in a leather pouch around their neck. They used this coin to identify themselves as members of this elite squadron and would show the coin to each other as a sign of loyalty and strength. We then hand out the Kodiak armor up coins to each of the young men. We ask the young men what they see on the coin and how it applies to their lives. Such as, “praying always,” “returning with honor”and “putting on the whole armor of God.” We also read Ephesians 6:11-18 (which is on the coin) and allow them to talk about the scripture and what the “Wiles of the Devil” means in their lives and those around them. Explain to them that every morning after they pray and read the scriptures, that can carry this coin with them to show to others that they have made the sacrifice to pray and read personally in the morning; which gives them the right to carry this coin. Each morning as we gather as a group, the first assistant that is in charge will raise his challenge coin in the air and challenge the members of the group, by asking all that have armored up to raise up their armor up coin in the air. (Did they get up at 6:30 am, did they have their personal prayer and personal scripture study, and pray/scripture study with their companion). By the end of the course the Young Men look forward to showing their challenge coins to others, proving that they have been honorable in armoring up that morning.
We give these challenge coins out to the young men and their leaders for a reason. When the young men and leaders return home and see those who have been to Kodiak whether it be at school, work, or ward and church activities, that they are instructed to bring their Challenge Coin out and Challenge anyone to see if they have been honorable to the Kodiak standards, and have Armored Up that morning. If the person they challenge does not present his coin or has not “Armored Up” that morning, that person owes the challenger a drink. This action is designed to allow the young men watch after the fellow brothers to make sure we’re all “Armoring Up” together (Packing each others Parachutes).
Activity: Fire-boy – 97 ways to start a fire
The purpose of the evening activity is to allow the young men to laugh together and begin to develop friendships. An example of this activity could be a ire show or Gallagher smashing food with a wooden mallet. Any sort of activity that would allow the young men to laugh and start to enjoy each other’s sense of humor.
By this time we have had 20-30 thoughts and prayers during the day and this night will be closed with a thought and a prayer. (In all prayers during the day we ask for forgiveness of our short comings and weaknesses and help us to become strong, along with asking for the Lords forgiveness and his spirit to be with us). The young men will return to their camps with their bishops and young men’s presidents. They will then have another thought and prayer and the bishops will review the young men’s responsibilities in the morning to, personally and with a companionship, armor up.