Jim Miller Jr. (jmillerjr@LSFCU.ORG)
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 13:49:00 +0000
OK, so I finally did it. Saturday morning I showed up bright and early at
Rock Hill Scout Reservation for the beginning of Woodbadge Course
NE-II-76. We parked the car, strapped on our packs, and followed the
signs. As things worked out, 7 of us, who all knew each other, and all Eagle
Scouts between the ages of 19 and 30, ended up on the trail together for
the first part of the day. I'm still amazed at how many people came to
the course with such a minimal amount of Scouting experience and
Scout Skills background. I now understand the push to limit the experience
to those with direct Troop involvement.
Anyway, I finally got my patrol assignment and I'm a Bobwhite! My patrol is
5 people (apparently a 6th failed to make it for some reason), and we are
3 Assistant SM's, a District Training Chair, and an Assistant Cubmaster.
The only person younger than me (26) is a very quiet 19 year old. The
others all have a number of years on me. This seems strange since the
reality in modern Troops is age grouped patrols, but whatever.
I'm optimistic that the course content will improve because all the first
weekend managed to teach me was that my first SM was obviously
Woodbadge trained because our Troop ran in the same fashion as
Troop 1 does. It has also led me to believe that somehow the Course
Director has the ability to make the clocks run faster, because I don't
know where all the time went!
It's great fun, and I'm enjoying it immensely outside of the frustration of
others in my Patrol who are either not as enthusiastic as I am or don't
have the level of skills that I have. THAT is exasperating. In much the
same way as my SMF course, I find myself biting my tongue when
things that I consider obvious are taught so I don't take away from the
experience of the others. I also seem to do the same thing (which I am
going to try to stop) when the members of the staff do or say things
that I don't agree with. Maybe I'm just trying to hard to remain open to
what the course is, but growing up in the program, and spending so many
years active in a Troop, on Camp staff, in the OA, etc. makes a lot of the
The environment of the course is fantastic! The staff is enthusiastic and
the fun of being a kid in a patrol is great to re-experience 15 years later.
All training should be this hands-on.
I can't tell anymore if I'm raving or ranting about the course. Let me just say
that my feelings are mixed. Neither my worst fears nor greatest expectations
have been met.
Anyway, tips, hint, tricks, and pointers to Bobwhite songs, calls, and kitsch
would be greatly appreciated. As much as I feel that I'm making up for the
staff's failure, I can't help but feel that I have been saddled with the
responsibility of driving my Patrol into a feeling of belonging and
fellowship that is what being in a Patrol is all about. I'm trying not to resent
it, especially after having been specifically separated from EVERYONE
I know well in the course (at least 8 people among the other 5 patrols).
I don't know whether to take that as a sign of confidence in my ability,
or a lack of faith in my ability to take this seriously when involved with
|Jim Miller, Jr. <email@example.com> Systems Administrator|
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