As I packed my bags this week, I also tried to prepare myself mentally, taking the advice of the pre-course paperwork I received by taking some time for reflection. I was feeling pretty anxious, so I decided to take some time out from my "To Do" list to sit down and begin my "Wood Badge Journal."
I selected a small notebook I thought would be appropriate to carry around with me taking notes in during the week, both during classes and of my reflections, thoughts and feelings about my experiences. I started my journal by listing the reasons I was feeling anxious. The next page I filled with reasons not to be anxious. Then I filled in my answers to the twenty question pre-course assignment. I had already thought about these a couple of times and written some answers down elsewhere, but I wanted to go through them one more time and get them all written in the same place my other reflections would be going.
After all of this I was feeling much less anxious. I had also read a few blogs and comments online, which inspired me to write a list of questions for myself - things I want to get from the experience. This is similar to the approach we have been told to take to General Conference. I put and extra effort into doing this during the last conference, listening with specific questions in mind I would like answered, and I found it so effective, I actually took notes on some of the talks for the first time ever (which I wasn't planning to ahead of time). So I filled a page in my Wood Badge journal with questions, in the hopes that having that focus will help me to get more out of it.
As I completed these things, I realized that this was the real preparation I needed. The things I carry in my pack next week are probably not as important as the thoughts and intents I carry with me. Off I go!