Thursday, June 08, 2006

Scout Nerd

Those of you who know me or have read many of my posts will know that I’m a member of the Boy Scouts. I’m the Scout Master of our local troop and I’m one of the assistant course directors for our council’s NYLT program. So, yes, you could say that I believe in the program. I love watching boys change, going from shy little guys to strong leaders. I love seeing boys that are, maybe, a little out of control to young men who know how to lead themselves.
Sometimes, the program can get a little... nerdy.
Skits, songs, cheers... all part of that program. I can’t tell you why. It just is, and it works. And to my way of thinkin’, don’t screw with what works.
So, here’s what’s been weighing on my mind.
There's a training course for Scout Masters called Wood Badge. It's a program with a lot of tradition, and a lot of prestige for those who go and put forth the effort to finish. What I mean is: Wood Badge is not one of those things that you go and do, and at the end of the week, they hand you your certificate and you go home. In Wood Badge, you attend a week-long course, then you write several goals onto what's called a “Ticket” and then you work that ticket. It can take 6 months to 2 years to work (took me 16 months) at the end of which you are awarded a couple of wooden beads on a leather boot lace. Seems like a lot of work for something so small.
My experiences at Wood Badge are some of the best I’ve ever had and I look back on those 7 days with alot of fondness. I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the men in my patrol. Most importantly I learned how Scouting is supposed to work.
My boss, who is also a Scout Master and a man I have great respect for, is at Wood Badge at this very moment, and hating every minute of it. You see, I went to Wood Badge because after I became a Scout Master, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, and wanted to be trained. My Boss… not so much. He’s being forced to go by his charter organization. He believes that he knows what he’s doing and doesn’t need any training, which may or may not be true. Finally, he feels that all of the “Rah-Rah” in scouting is just stupid. The weeks leading up to his going to Wood Badge have been a constant dump on scouting... dump on me... parade. I work with a lot of younger people who follow the example of our boss pretty blindly. (It's funny how many Utah Boys have picked up a New Jersey accent.)
I know that the people here at work have respect for me. I’ve been here since the company formed and have attained to high of a position not to know that. But, I know that they all see me as a Scout Nerd.
Maybe I am.
Then again… is it so bad?
I just hope that my boss catches the vision of Scouting before his time at Wood Badge ends, because if he doesn’t, it will have been a wasted week for him... and I know that he hates waste.

I used to be an Antelope, and a good old Antelope too.
And now I’m finished Anteloping, I don’t know what to do.
I’m growing old and feeble, and I can Antelope no more,
So I’m going to work my ticket if I can.

Back to Gilwell, happy land,
I’m going to work my ticket if I can.


ablondeblogger said...

My son just started doing scouts this year and loves it! It is a great program for boys!

witness said...

THOU SHALT UPDATE THY BLOG. Here I am patiently awaiting the next installment!!

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