Your Troop Guides are some of the best Scouters that the Heart of Virginia Council has been able to find. There are a number of significantly awarded Scouters with many years’ experience working with youth and teaching adults. I am proud of their many skills and you will certainly learn a lot about them.
I’d like to tell you a bit about the Journey that they have been on in order to prep for your course and why you aren’t seeing them much in Weekend 2. Their Journey started last summer when they were asked to serve. Almost immediately, they were given a 450 page manual to memorize, three Patrol Presentations to practice, and a Troop Presentation to perfect. That manual is the encyclopedia from which your Wood Badge Handbook originated. You have the Cliff Notes, they have the book & movie script. Then, they had to attend 5 Patrol meetings from November thru February. They had to give at least two practice runs of each Patrol presentation, practice woggle tying at each meeting, go thru each game and understand the true reason it was selected & sequenced; take a PhD on Tickets; and work together to form a team to create a Staff Presentation. All the while, I modeled their role and left more & more to their responsibility.
But wait, there’s more. They had four meetings with all the Staff. Two were full day affairs and one was a weekend event. Every minute of the Wood Badge course was practiced at least once. Don’t even ask them what a Matrix means or they will pull out sharpened pencils that Karen Streagle gifted to them. These were all times that they were away from their families and personal passions in order to be well prepared for you.
Then, they had the weekend before Wood Badge to assist the QuarterMaster’s to set up camp and do last minute rehearsals. Finally, they arrived a day early for another dry run, set up, preparation. All of this did not include their personal time preparing for this course.
They have invested a LOT in making this the BEST WOODBADGE COURSE EVER! I am honored that they have put in this commitment and you should be thankful that they have invested this to ensure that you have a summit experience.
Finally, where are they? They have been trained to slowly pull back. Just like EDGE, they are moving from Coaches to Mentors as more and more of the responsibilities sink in to you and you learn to be a high performing team on your own. When I went thru Wood Badge I thought I had a slacker of a Troop Guide as she kept disappearing. I can attest – it is intentional. They will be there if you need them as a mentor, a friend, a guide and a resource. But you will become the high performing team as you do more and more on your own.
Reflection from Robert McLemore