Coping

Aaron at school, getting his mind around the devastation.

#thomasfire

#OVSstrong

#OjaiStrong

We will rebuild.

Even better than before.

Thanks and best wishes to the Ventura County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, CalFire, the thousands of firefighters who responded from ten states, and the crew from Lake Dillon, Colorado (WL-8) who walked every inch of the OVS grounds making sure that the fire was “cold out” in and around the campus.

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Patch of the Month: National HQ

One of our few “fun” stops on our recent trek to Dallas was a stop at the National Headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America, which has been in Texas since moving from New Jersey in 1979. The building is massive but utilitarian, reflecting the approach of an organization that is increasingly focused on economy.

Sadly, this is the headquarters of a shrinking organization. We’re down to about 2 million registered scouts, a not-insubstantial number to be sure, but a far cry from the numbers in the past. While the program has done a truly unbelievable job of remaining up-to-date and relevant (far more than it was in my day, to be sure, when the organization had become hidebound), some organizational issues (now addressed) and the battle for the time and attention of young people have combined to take its toll on the organization.

I fear that in order to survive, Scouting in the USA will need to cut back on the number of organizations, and move toward a unification of Boy and Girl Scouting.

In the meantime, though, I will dedicate my spare time to supporting the organization, its units, and the youth who make up the organization. I can think of no worthier cause, political correctness be damned.

The Return of the Canon

The library at Melk Abbey

I think elites abandoned the Western Canon in part because Mortimer Adler et. al. made it “middlebrow” during the mid-20th Century via the Great Books series.

That’s rather ironic, given that there is nothing middlebrow about Heroditus or Henry James.

I think now we’re coming full-circle, returning to the Canon, albeit with some interesting additions – more women, more “people of color.” I expect the Canon will grow, and that the intellectual fights going forward will be about what to add, not what to eliminate.

Coffee Mug of the Month: Easing Back into the Classroom

Returning higher education after an absence of nearly three decades – and while working a big job, being an engaged dad, a supportive husband, and an committed scouter – demands a VERY gradual approach.

Fortunately, the classroom is no longer the sole locus of education, and I can get some “enrichment” style learning under my belt as I build school back into my schedule. I’ve gone through four of The Great Courses (which are truly excellent, BTW) and have a dozen more ahead. By the time I hit my Fourth Age, I will be ready for the lecture hall, if not the Blue Book.