So, now that you know what Wood Badge is and more importantly what a ticket is, let's talk about tickets, my ticket, and what resources you'll eventually find here. In "What is she doing???" I told the story of what a ticket is. Now I want to share more information on this concept.
A ticket is 5 goals you set for yourself. They should be SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). Before I went to Wood Badge, I spent time talking with other participants about what makes a goal "acceptable". Your ticket *MUST* include at least 1 goal that encompasses some kind of diversity (which is a W-I-D-E range of options including religions, cultures, backgrounds,etc) and in our class one goal *MUST* (usually optional) be a personal goal. The remainder of your goals focus on your current position in Scouting. Your ticket *MUST* be completed in 18 months. Extensions can be made available but are granted by the council and require extensive information on what happened that you were stuck.
Here's some tips if you're working on your own ticket development:
1. Keep your goals SMART and also have an answer to the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How for every single goal. It will look redundant on paper if written correctly - that's okay!!!! It means your goal is concise and organized, not "too little".
2. Think about that goal - would you accept this goal as a project from one of your Scouts? Do you think your Wood Badge mentors will accept it? Is it too much? Too little? Does it feel slightly overwhelming but also super exciting to do? Then it's probably the right goal for you!
3. When juggling the elusive "A" in SMART, remember that when we keep a goal attainable we also want to refrain from shooting ourselves in the foot. Don't rely on labor you may not have, weather that may not cooperate, or kids that might not want to help with a project. Get feedback BEFORE Wood Badge on the needs and interest in your ticket and make adjustments accordingly. "Offer Merit Badge ABC" instead of "teach Merit Badge ABC to 5 boys". "Propose _____ to the troop committee and then plan Event X if approved" vs "plan Event X". The boys might not want Merit Badge ABC. The Committee may have to postpone event X for another year!
4. Almost everyone struggles to write at least one of their goals. Sometimes it's the diversity one that you just can't decode. Other times it's the personal that is the most difficult. It's okay if you're ready to beat your head against the wall. Stop, breathe, and contact your mentor or find a local Wood Badger to sit down and go over your ticket to help you get out of the rut. Sometimes a 2 minute conversation is just the enlightenment you need.
5. Aim EARLY for your goals to be done. They might take MUCH longer than you think. Don't get caught in that 18 month trap!!! The first day you start working your ticket should be NO LATER than the day after you get home. I set all of my tickets to be done early so if I get bogged down in paperwork, logistics or other issues, I'm still CLEAR and safe!
Now that you understand more about the infamous "Ticket", we can talk about my ticket, which has already been approved and gone through the entire process, minus execution.
This is a summary of my Ticket's 5 goals:
Goal 1: Offer to conduct an in-troop Trail to First Class event to help boys achieve rank. Recruit older boys and parents to help teach skills.
Goal 2: Offer to organize an Honor Guard for our troop. If approved, recruit and train boys and help them develop a training program to train future interested Scouts.
Goal 3: Offer the Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge. For all attendees of the class, extend an invitation to continue learning to achieve the Morse Code or American Sign Language Interpreter Strips. (Diversity)
Goal 4: Develop a new popcorn reward system for our troop and propose it to the Troop Committee.
Goal 5: I like you all a lot, but my personal goal is....well.....personal. ;) Sorry - not sharing this one but I promise it's approved and honestly one of the hardest things I am trying to learn to do. (Personal)
So.....there it is. 5 goals, 1 ticket. Next article....how your ticket is truly often out of your control....