September 18th marks 30 days after I first reported to Gilwell for the W1-492-17-2 course at Butte Creek. It was time for the Gilwell staff to come together for pre-course and transform Butte Creek into Gilwell for our 43 soon to be friends.
As the admin staff, we knew our parts and what needed to happen. Butte Creek had not been used as Gilwell for 10 years plus. However, we quickly transformed it. The Troop Guides had only known Wood Badge as participants, but were more in sync than they knew. It was evident after the participants arrived.
As a whole staff, we jelled just like mandarin oranges in green jello! It was awesome! Meaning, we found our groove and it was pure magical the whole nine days we were there.I was the Assistant Scoutmaster for Logistics. I had not been on course since W1-492-11
as a Troop Guide for the Bobwhites. I went through Wood Badge on WE1-492-09 and I am a Beaver. While I was a guest presenter for W1-492-13, it had been awhile since I staffed and had to learn a lot of what I needed to do. While the course really did not change, nor the games or what I needed to do. What I was respondsible for on course was making sure the items needed were there ahead of the participants and staff. I was the stage manager. I played my part and did it well. I had one job. I found out later that I did it very well even though I kept second guessing myself.
The whole Wood Badge experince is unique to each course. There is no one flavor that moves from course to course. The content and objective of Wood Badge is the only constant throughout the process. It is the staff and the participants that make the magic of Wood Badge happen. Good, Bad, Ugly and whatever. This course, was different.
I have seen patrols and staff turn into a high performance group. I have not seen a whole course of both patrol, staff and then Troop become a high performance group. As this was a weeklong course, we had a lot of time to be together.
I made many new friends, deepened long standing friendships and felt the power, weight and uplifting energy again of Wood Badge. While I knew the course and what it would teach, to see it unfold and envelope the participants and staff, it sucked me i n as if I was walking into the front gates of Disneyland for the first time.
I saw our Course Director give the best ever talks that he pulled from his soul and spirit. I heard our Senior Patrol Leader give a great talk on Servant Leadership, and Dark Sucker Theory. The Troop Guides gave the funniest and best Leave No Trace presentation ever. The Kitchen staff made some of the best food ever and we ate quickly without lines. I saw patrols deep in thought as well as participants on what Wood Badge was doing to them. Making them THINK.
In the end, I saw 43 Scouters become seven patrols and one Troop. Troop 1. The Wave has started. Each participant has a 5 ticket items that will better themselves, their unit, their family and those they know. That is 215 items making waves within their community that they serve. I look forward to attending as many Wood Badge Beadings as I can in the coming 18 months.
Wood Badge 2018 course is now open. I urge you to take one of the two courses offered. You will not be disappointed.