Entwining Experiences: Working Your Judge Slip

Charles FeathererEgg Harbor Township, New Jersey

Charles Featherer
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey

Today, I want to share with you a special way to look at all of your goals as a Judge. To do this, we need to take a little side trip into the concept of a Wood Badge Ticket.

Wood Badge is a course taken by adult Boy Scout leaders all over the world. It’s the only course taught to Boy Scout leaders the same exact way regardless of nationality. At the end of the six-day training course, each participant leaves the course with a Wood Badge Ticket. To me, the best part of the Ticket is that the participant writes it. A Ticket is five goals that will better their Unit, Council, or other group within Scouting.

The Ticket is a unique way to reinforce the lessons learned during Wood Badge. It’s named after the process that British soldiers went through in the late 1800s to get home from serving overseas. Obviously, being Judges, we need a new name for this process. To that end, I’d like to introduce a concept for you to personally implement. It’s called the Judge Slip.

Your Judge Slip will consist of at least four goals (but don’t get stuck on numbers here — if you want to do five, great, but I find four to be more manageable). These goals must be SMART: we just talked about this in the previous article, so please refer to that for a refresher if you feel you need to. At least one of the goals should be a community goal, which will push you to improve either the overall Judge community or your local gaming community. In addition to the goal itself, you should write an explanation of how you will accomplish that goal.

A Judge Slip for an L1 Judge may look like this:

Goal 1 – Work at least two PPTQs this year for two different TOs.

I’ll apply until I am accepted for 2 different PPTQ events this year. I’ll work the events for a full day, learning everything I can in the process in the effort to become a better Judge.

Goal 2 – Introduce myself to a LGS where I don’t currently work or play, in an effort to broaden my Judging opportunities. Work at least three events for the new LGS if they are willing to take me on.

Explanation – This sounds straight forward. By promising to work at least three events, I should be able to gauge how I am impacting the player experience at the store, as well as how well I get along with the owner and staff.

Goal 3 – Have an article published on the Judge Blogs.[*]

I’ll write and submit articles until at least one is accepted posted. I’ll ask for feedback for rejected articles. I’ll refine article ideas and submit at least one completed article a month until I have reached my goal.

Goal 4 – (Diversity Goal) I’ll work with my LGS owner to make the game space there welcoming to all players.

I will open a dialogue with my LGS about how to best start and execute a plan to make the game space a friendly environment for all. I’ll ask about creating and posting a gamer’s Bill of Rights.

Of course, creating goals and listing them is only the first step. The next is to actually work your Judge Slip. Make phone calls. Send emails. Talk to people in person. Work on one goal at a time to the best of your ability. Goals should be challenging, but never impossible. They should offer you a chance for growth and to make a positive change on those with whom you interact. If you’re having difficulty completing any one goal, enlist the aid of a mentor Judge who has experience in the area in question.

Where you are in the program will strongly influence what your Judge Slip looks like. An experienced L1 looking to test for L2 may have goals that look at improving different skill sets, with a focus on Competitive REL. An L3 may develop a list of goals centered on projects or their region. You can have any number of goals on your Judge Slip, but I’d personally recommend the first time you do this you limit yourself to four, perhaps five.

Completing your Judge Slip will require a great deal of dedication. But you have already made it this far. To me, that tells me you’re not only qualified to create and follow your own Judge Slip, you’re also ready and equipped to do so.

* Editor’s Note: The Judge Blogs are always eager for new content! Besides the various blogs that might be open to guest posts, you can always submit a general article. Evan Cherry, the current Articles Lead, is very friendly and generally provides great feedback! — Bearz