Monday, February 20, 2017

Wood Badge 120 - The Quartermaster of All Quatermasters

I don't think I have ever been so tired in my life. Ever. 

Wood Badge was awesome and harder than any other Scout event I have ever participated in. Hard in a good way and hard in a bad way. I should have learned from being an Assistant Quartermaster how difficult it would be. Even now 8 days after Wood Badge my body is tired and achy. My feet still hurt like no other. My body pops and cracks when I move (OK, that might be because I am partly old).* Seriously, my feet still stinking hurt. Like hurt after a Goruck event.

How much stuff can you cram in a Jeep? A ton.
The Quartermaster touches everything on our course and by that I mean everything that the Scribes don't touch - for me I can see that both of these jobs are just ridiculously involved (I have never served as a Scribe). When things were needed everyone comes to the Quartermaster. I would have been a billionaire if I got paid every time I heard "Go ask the Quartermaster." I will say I have had dreams of being the Quartermaster on a Philmont Course where the Quartermaster doesn't cook (and for the record, according to my Council's rules I can't serve as Quartermaster again so this will never happen). Not being able to serve again as QM is probably a blessing and a curse. I think I could handle things a bit better and plan a ton better. I put a ridiculous amount of stress on myself because I wanted to cook good food and come in under budget.  The budget was one of my biggest worries. I saw so many examples of how to manage the budget from breaking down costs in each meal to manage the budget individually in each day to just planning a menu and then making changes to make sure you are under budget through substitution. I tried extremely hard to use a lot of the same ingredients in meals so that I didn't use something just once. This also created a fear of not having diversity in the food I planned on serving. Stupid fears? Probably but there is nothing worse than bad food at a Scout event. Nothing..............

My staff was great. They really worked hard and did everything I asked of them on course. We had a lot of fun and we worked our butts off (in 8 days on course my Fitbit said I walked 65 miles!!). If anyone said my staff didn't pull their weight, I would probably attempt to run them down to hurt them but my feet probably wouldn't allow it.

All work and no play makes a lame Quartermaster Staff.

I got to meet very quickly Charles W. Dahlquest II who was at one point the LDS Church's Young Men President.**

At one point during the course, we had a huge meal to cook and I also became short-staffed (family and providing for your family ALWAYS comes first). I got to invite a Wood Badge friend and my wife to come help cook in the kitchen kind of on short notice. My wife watched us sing, she watched us sing Back to Gilwell, etc. She told me later "I finally get it. I finally get why you Scout." At one point I even heard her singing her own version of Back to Gilwell called "Happy Gilwell" a few days after her visit. Having her understand why I Scout it huge. Christi Jo has been a huge calming force for me since the preparation for this course started and when I was ready to lose it due to stress. 

Nothing like having fun during lunch!

I think for now I will be stepping aside for a while from Wood Badge. I want to do another course - I want to be clear about that but it has to be well timed in my life. Doing back to back courses has been extremely hard on me. I wouldn't change it but getting married in between courses (and not knowing I was getting married) was a huge surprise. Getting married was an easy decision thanks to Christi Jo. Serving on a Wood Badge course is an easy decision knowing who I was serving under. Learning how to balance both of those responsibilities is extremely hard especially when I probably micromanaged myself a little more than needed.

I am sad and glad this course is over. Glad for new friends and sad that it won't be like it was before.

* I am preparing for another Goruck event in about 2 months with a honeymoon in about a 3 weeks. I am busy and my body keeps telling me to slow down. More on this in a post later.

** Charles W. Dahlquest II bio. He currently is serving as the BSA's National Commissioner.

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