Its been over three years since I became an Assistant Scout Master in our troop. That entire time I have been effectively stalked to go to Wood Badge. Each time it came up, there was something always in the way; which didn’t entirely disappoint me. You see… Whether those who know me realize it or not, I’m quite shy by nature. When I actively greet new parents, its to try and lessen that burden on them. I don’t want them to ever feel like an outsider. My chosen career (human resources) has forced me to put on a mask of confidence because I have to be the outspoken one when I coach owners of businesses on how to manage their human capital. Still, inside, I’m shy.
Why is this important? Because I am absolutely freaking out, as a few leaders who are close to me have seen, about going to Wood Badge. Having never moved as a child, I went to 3 year old pre-K with a large number of kids I that I also graduated high school with. Starting college caused me great anxiety because I had never dealt with me being the new student. In the same vane, going to Wood Badge is causing me great anxiety. The idea of hanging out with 60 people who I don’t know stresses me out!
So, in reading the material again for Wood Badge, I just had an epiphany. Wood Badge is supposed to simulate a troop. So if I truly put myself into the role of a boy scout, my anxiety may not be too far off. How is my concern over whether I will fit in, make a fool of myself, that I will say the wrong thing, or that they won’t like me any different at all than what the 10.5 / 11 year old boy feels when he enters a boy scout troop?
I am going to take these feelings and use them to benefit scouting. I am going to learn what it is like to be a boy scout and ways I can, as a leader, work to make their transition easier.