Explorer Leadership Institute (1984-1993);
Advanced Concepts for Exploring (1994-98)

Explorer Leadership Institute (ELI) was established by Explorer leaders out west wanting an Explorer version of Leadership Development Wood Badge, since Explorer Wood Badge ended in the late 50s.  It began from discussions among volunteers in the Utah National Parks Council in the fall of 1982, with the first course run there in May of 1984. The authors of the course were Williard Hansen, Daryl Alder, and Donovan Fleming. From there it spread to other councils, mainly limited to Area Two of the Western Region (the same Area that produced Varsity Scouting, hmmm).  It was never accepted as a Nationally approved program.  In 1993, ELI was discontinued (unsure why), but resurfaced as ACE (Advanced Concepts for Exploring) in 1994, and continuing until 1998. With the split of Exploring between LFL/Exploring and Venturing, this program has apparently ended.  With the release of "21st Century Wood Badge" covering all programs of the BSA, the need for this program has pretty much ended.

What little I know of this program has come from articles about it appearing in the Leader Lore newsletter. Issue #24 gave a brief history of the program. Go here to learn more about this great resource.  A former participant supplied me with further information.

According to Mike Walton's website, there where 2 experiemental Exploring Wood Badge courses run in the 1970s.  Not sure how different it was from the then standard WB course.  He also states that National then went on to create a National Exploring Instructor course.  Not sure what this course is or how it fits in with ELI/ACE.

ELI is a four day training program.  It teaches the Leadership Development skills from Wood Badge, but in a format and with role playing activities aimed at the then current version of Exploring.

No uniform insignia was created for ELI, however those who completed their ELI ticket received a bronze gavel.  Course instructors (staff) received a silver gavel, and course directors got a gold gavel.  Could someone possible supply me with pictures of these?  Did ACE continue to use the gavel awards?

The only literature I expect from this program is course syllabi, which I have yet to see.

update: 03/29/2002mrb