“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Before a Scouter attends Wood Badge, they receive a list of 20 Questions. Those questions are for them to answer and for no one to see. The purpose of the 20 questions is to discover just who they are and what they want in life.
If the Scouter takes these questions to heart and really puts some time and thought into them they prove to direct the Scouter to finding a personal Vision. That vision leads to their mission and sets them up to achieving goals which in turn make their lives better, their units better, and those around them better.
Many people go through life without a sense of purpose or direction. It is important to understand where we want to be in life in order to get there. Life for many is a daily grind. It is a means to some end that may or may not have meaning. For many people WHY is not important in life.. “Do” takes over and soon they are just living but not being.
At Wood Badge we know that a life with purpose and direction leads to everything in life being better. We do this through instruction and allowing the participant the time with the tools to set a life course. Eating the elephant in small chunks to realize success and see their dreams come true.
The beauty of this process is that it is for the individual.. NOT Scouting or anything else. Well, since it is Wood Badge is a Scouting activity we do ask that they make goals to make their units successful.. but we all know that when we are successful everything around us seems to fall in place.
The 20 questions are not hard, in fact for many these seem real simple. Yes, they are simple, so simple in fact that most people do not give them second thought. But if you do.. and you really put thought into them, they do in fact lead you to a better understanding of you.
I first took the time to answer these questions in 2005 when I attended Wood Badge. And to be honest, I did not take them as serious as I should have. I thought it was just another exercise and part of the ticket punch that typically comes with Scout training. It was not until I was asked to staff for the 2011 course that I really sat down and answered the questions. I wanted to be prepared to assist those in the patrol I was guiding. I figured that I needed to be more in tuned with the ticket process and setting a personal Vision and Mission. And so I did. It was a remarkable change in my attitude and direction both in Scouting and in my personal life.
I thought I would share my 20 questions with you. Not from 2005 or 2011, or from any other year that I have staffed Wood Badge. No, I am rethinking my 20 questions. As I look at this coming year and my journey as a Course Director, I know that life over the last 10 years has changed. My values remain the same, but life has changed course. Our youngest son is 21 years old today, that means the kids are no longer front and center with School activities, sporting events, and the drama that comes with the teen age years. My wife and I are older and setting a course in life that is about us. Time and energy being spent preparing to retire and looking to the rest or next chapter in our lives. So as with everything, it is time for assessment and reflection and reevaluation of who we are, what we want, and where we are going. Time to hit the reset button and it starts with 20 questions.
So over the next few blog entries I will share;
1. What do I feel are my greatest strengths?
I feel that my greatest strengths are they way I communicate and see things for what they are. I believe in living on realities terms. I am compassionate and fair. I am honest. I have an ability to lead and provide a desire for others to follow.
2. What strengths do others notice in me?
Communicator, Leader, Trustworthy, Kind, and fair.
3. What do I most enjoy doing?
Being with my family is first and foremost. I love being in the outdoors. I love to teach.
I think that beyond my family I have a desire to teach. I love to see people learn and practice what they have been taught. I like to share my knowledge. It forces me to be life long learner my self. I try to learn something new every day. Sharing what I know is very important to me.
4. What qualities of character do I most admire in others?
Honesty and Loyalty. If you are not honest and loyal we can not be on the same team. I have a need for people to be honest and forthcoming. I absolutely can not stand people who are not honest.
Ok.. there are the first four. More to come. As I answer my 20.. consider your own. If you have been to Wood Badge or you are going to go, take some time. Set aside some time to honestly answer the questions. Take them serious. Don’t worry about what the “right” answers are or about satisfying someone else’s idea of how you should respond. No one except you will see what you write. These questions could set you on a course to great discovery and success in your goals.
Have a Great Scouting Day!