Tobal returned from the village in plenty of time for circle. There was a light drizzle of rain making everyone damp and irritable. It was late morning and he looked around for Becca but didn't see her,Melanie or Nikki anywhere around and wondered if they were still waiting for newbies at Sanctuary. He saw Zee and Kevin and asked them if they had seen the girls.
It was Zee that answered sourly, "They dumped them off this morning to be initiated and proclaimed them ready to solo. Then all three of them left for sanctuary again. They didn't even have the decency to stay for the initiations."
"It's not right", Kevin told him. "People are concerned more about getting Journeyman than they are about giving the newbies the training they need. Just rushing through the training and not even being there for the initiation is not right."
"I've thought a lot about this myself", Tobal looked at both of them. "I've been to every initiation since I came here. Not just those for my own newbies. I believe it is very important to be here and give each other all the support and encouragement we can."
Then he shrugged. "I still don't know how much training a person really needs. I felt I needed to go back and prepare Nick, Melanie and Sarah for winter and spent an extra month doing that. Still Tyrone and Crow didn't need the two months of training they got and Llana certainly didn't need more than a month."
"If I had to say where I thought the problem was, I'd say it was in having us train six newbies before moving on. We could probably get by with training four or five instead." Then he grinned at Zee and Kevin. "Still, that's because we are good trainers. There are some people out here that still struggle to survive after two years. I would hate to train with them. I guess the bottom line is if you can survive out here for a year you must know what you are doing."
"You have always done a good job training newbies", Zee told him. "No one has ever complained about your training."
"I don't think anyone has ever complained about Becca, Melanie or Nikki either", he reminded her. I guess the best thing is to trust the Council of Elders to make these decisions for us."
He looked at Zee, "I have heard you are the most thorough trainer out here. You teach things many of us don't even think about."
She blushed and looked pleased. "Thank you Tobal. That was a very nice thing to say."
Kevin nodded and gave her a squeeze. "We'd better get going. I want to get out of this rain."
They laughed and with a final wave headed toward one of the shelters.
Sarah's, Anne's, Derdre's, Seth's and Crow's newbies were all going to be initiated along with Zee's, Kevin's, Melanie's, Becca's and Nikki's. That was ten initiations and it was going to be a long night Tobal thought as he watched and listened to the Council of Elders.
Crow had proclaimed his newbie ready to solo but the Elders had not approved demanding one more month of training.