Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Used To Be a Staffer…

…and a good old Staffer, too.
But now I’m finished staffing,
I don’t know what to do,
I’ve grown old and feeble,
and I can staff no more,
so I’m going to work my ticket if I can.

Those are some of the words of an old song that are sung at a special training course offered to Adult Scout leaders all over the world. This course is called Wood Badge, and represents a significant time commitment from those who participate and those who teach. Each participant in the course gets to go through for themselves one time (WE3-55-07, Buffalo Patrol for me :) ), work on the improvement items they have chosen for themselves, and when they do, they get their “Wood Badge” beads, which they can wear for the rest of their lives as long as they stay active in the Scouting movement.

Most participants are just that; they participate in the course, complete it, and then go on with their units and their lives. At times, the core group of people that work to put on the course ask recent participants if they would like to join Staff and become a “staffer”. For those that do, they then get to participate with the course development group, prepare presentations, and model the course so that the best experience can be had by those who participate.

I’ve now served as a staffer for one Wood Badge course, and am currently serving as a staffer for a second course to take place this fall. I’ll let you in a on a little secret… in addition to being a lot of fun, it’s also one of the best learning opportunities around. While you do indeed learn a lot the first time around, you learn even more when you are the one to teach others. In my testing life, I’m now just days away from starting my first stint as a “Staffer” for the Association for Software Testing’s “Black Box Software Testing: Foundations” course, and I anticipate a similar situation. While I believe the participants will learn a lot from this course, I have a feeling I may learn even more. Class officially starts Sunday. I’m excited to see where this journey leads.

Back To Gillwell, Happy Land
I’m going to work my ticket if I can.
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