I had a chance to talk with my Troop Guide for my Wood Badge course on Saturday. This was what would amount to my “exit interview” or my opportunity to go over the items that I chose to work on and what I learned from the process. In all honesty, I thought this would be just a standard “no problems, everything went great” discussion, but truthfully, by the time Don and I got to have that conversation, I realized there had been lots of ups and downs with this whole process, and that at the end of the day, completing my Wood Badge tickets was not at all a simple process.
When I had heard that the minimum amount of time required for completing tickets was six months, I thought “aww, come on, I *live* for this type of thing, why should it take me six months to complete five objectives?” OK, I’ll give bonus points to anyone who recognizes the hubris in this comment, and I’ll thank you all kindly in advance for not throwing things at me and making me feel like a bigger prideful idiot than I already was. The truth is, if your ticket items take you any less than six months to complete, chances are you didn’t give yourself big enough challenges.
My first completed ticket item was one that I thought would be difficult, in that I had to make sure that I walked a fine line between being diverse and still maintaining the integrity of the program that we were offering (LDS Scouting units have a number of differences as compared to secular scouting units or even those that are chartered by other Churches. What resulted was a 20 page document with a lot of hints, tips and suggestions for how a Youth could help develop and lead spiritual meetings for many boys of different faiths and help spur spiritual development regardless of denomination. In many ways, this process was the most enjoyable “up front”, in that it was the one that I assumed would be the most challenging, so I wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. As I got into it, I went and found many different resources that allowed me to look at the role of a Chaplains Aide from a number of different angles, and allowed me to develop a guide that would allow any youth in our troop, regardless of religious denomination, the opportunity to serve in this capacity. As I developed the ideas, much of them most definitely not original or created just for this purpose, I felt a great sense of interest in the role of this youth leadership position, and a sense of sadness that we had not, to date, actually used it in our Troop. By calling and training a Chaplains Aid in troop 250, we are breaking new ground, and I’m excited to see exactly where that journey takes the boys that hold that position.
While I was excited to do this item, I thought the rest of my ticket items would come together in the same time frame and with the same level of focus. Alas, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, and my other ticket items took considerably more time than I had originally envisioned.