I'm just back from weekend 2 of another Woodbadge experience. Our finely-tuned staff matriculated another 30 highly trained Scout leaders to return to their home units and make their programs better for their Scouts.
I found it extremely difficult to say goodbye to a few folks this time around. One of my dearest Scouting friends was the Course Director. Elaine Mason and I went through back in 2011, although she was in the Beaver patrol whilst I was a Bear. A third member of our class, Phil Weinberger, was also along as the course Scribe.
Do the math; we've been crossing paths with each other for the last six years at one scouting thing or another. Sometimes I'd see Elaine a few time a year; other times I wouldn't see her for a year or more. But no matter what the timespan, whenever we met up it was as if I saw her last yesterday.
There is a certain heirarchy to this; once you're a course director, you can only be a mentor on a future course, and can only do that a finite number of times. National always wants to keep the pipeline moving. I could barely say goodbye this time, knowing it was the last time I'd see Elaine in a Woodbadge setting. Phil too, stated that this was his last time on staff as Scribe.
As for me - another longtime friend of mine is the Course Director for the next one, about 18 months from now in the fall of 2015. I have already indicated that I would love to be on her course. A few more folks are ahead of me on the "Woodbadge Track', but I am taking slow but careful steps to set myself up as Course Director sometime around 2020 or so. We'll see.
In other news, tomorrow I start down the path of my new life. You all know that I have given up on healthcare; for the first time in my life, I don't have a desk job anymore. (October of 1984, when I broke in with Bay State Health Care.)
I'll be driving a 40-foot Freightliner "Trolley Replica Bus" with up to 45 paying customers on board throughout the city of Boston.
I don't know if I'll be any good at this or not - but I couldn't not try. It's interesting for me to ponder it. I hadn't been happy at my work in over a year in the healthcare field. But since I started training for the tour guide, I haven't had a bad day. It sure feels to me like this might be the right choice. So tomorrow I'll be fairly scarce - I may be able to post, or not, but I will certainly be driving happily around my city telling visitors how much better Boston is than the city they came from.