A week from today I will head to Camp Westmoreland for the second weekend of S9-113. On that Saturday my job as Scribe will effectively be over. I don’t have any additional responsibilities to the course other than whatever support I can give the participants and the troop guides.

For the participants and troop guides, that Saturday is just the beginning. It’s an 18-month period where they will complete those goals that they have so finely crafted since leaving weekend one.

18 months is a long time and a lot can happen in those months. People change jobs, they move, their kids move up in scouting, children are born, they leave scouting altogether, the list goes on and on. Things that can easily sabotage completion of your goals.

Let’s not forget the 800-pound gorilla in the campsite, procrastination. This is what can really derail you from completing your ticket. You see this in the Life Scouts in a Troop. They have worked so hard to get where they are and now life is getting in the way and besides, they’ve got plenty of time before they turn 18, right? And before you know it, time is up.

I once heard that the rank between Life and Eagle was Procrastination.

I am honored to be a troop guide for the Buffalo Patrol on S9-1-12-1. This was a great course led by Scoutmaster Mike Porter. For the past 17 months I have been helping the five Buffalos finish their ticket so they can receive their beads. Other troop guides have helped by checking in with my patrol and giving encouragement. All the troop guides have been supporting each other this way.

At the end of October 2013 course S9-1-12-1 will be completed. Any participant who does not have all 5 goals approved will not receive their beads. This realization has set in during the past couple of weeks. The amount of completion forms being submitted to SA-TG Larry Lee and SM Mike Porter have been staggering. They are doing a great job reviewing goals to get everyone approved before the end of the month. Most are trying to be approved before the final Gilwell at S9-113. There will be a mass beading ceremony. If you have seen one of these before, you know how special it is.

For those of you in S9-113 and anyone reading this from a future course, let me give you a bit of advice as you leave weekend 2 and head off into the next 18-months.

1. Complete one ticket and turn in the completion form now! If you can get one done, the rest won’t seem so daunting.

2. Write your completion form as soon as you complete a goal. There is no reason to wait until they are all done. Besides, your SA-TG and Scoutmaster would appreciate you not blasting them at the last minute.

3. If you have a problem with a goal, get with your TG and get something worked out.

4. Lean on the staff if you need some help. Everyone is here to help and encourage you.

Congratulations to all of you for signing up for a Wood Badge course. For those of you who are just getting started and those who are about to receive your beads.

Finally, I would like to give a special congratulations to the Buffalo Patrol of S9-1-12-1. Out of the 5 participants who started the course, the four who have remained in scouting have either received their beads or will get them in a little over a week at Camp Westmoreland. Thank you for letting me serve you as Troop Guide.