Time to clean up the mess.
It’s about 40F outside of my tent as I make my early morning run for bladder relief, and the sun and sky are putting on a show as the rest of the troop sleeps. I had to stop and gawk, letting nature’s call go temporarily unanswered.
Camping in the desert is a delight for me in all but the hottest guy of summer, and it is moments like this that remind me that I need to get out here more often.
If I can’t be on a train, I want to be in a tent.
Camping out with the troop. The youth leaders have got their patrols to sleep, held their quick meeting to plan the next day and turned in for the night. It’s 10pm and totally quiet in the camp. I change my socks, tuck into the bag, zip up, set my alarm for 6:30, put my shoes by the tent door, prop up on my extra sleeping bag, and turn on my Kindle.
A long day, a full belly, a quiet forest, and a warm sleeping bag conspire to shorten my time catching up with Fyodor Dostoevsky, and I’ll be snoring in a few minutes.
Spending the day at University of Scouting, taking five classes and teaching one.
The one thing most people don’t realize about scouting is how much we invest in training, training ourselves and others. Starting with Youth Protection Training all the way to the pinnacle, Wood Badge, for every hour I spend leading my troop, I spend an hour training, being trained, or preparing to train. This is all in addition to the time spent planning, fundraising, and preparing for activities.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. If we are to provide our youth with the development and guidance they and their families expect com this program, every leader needs to be a student.
Finishing up the Thursday night troop meeting around 8:30, we were both starving and I was way short on calories.
The sidewalks roll up early in our little beach town, so we found ourselves at IHOP. Unperturbed, Aaron ordered up two full entrees: T-bone steak and eggs, and tri-tip ends and eggs. And yes, he ate it all.
He probably ate five times the calories that I did, but I’m 55 and on maintenance and Aaron is 17 and bulking up for baseball season. He can get away with it.
As an aside: there is nothing like bonding over diner food.
It takes a village to form and run a Sea Scout Ship, and I have been privileged over the past two years to work with a village full of heroes. A team of yachtsmen, Coast Guard Auxiliarists, and Navy NCOs who all make me realize how little I know about the sea have made it all possible. It was great to see fellow scouters Marie Edson, Liz Conner, and Jon Conner also recognized for helping bring this program back to Ventura County.
Note the Eagle Scout photobomb…
It’s cold outside. It’s cold inside. I’m alone at home and am not only too cheap to fire up the forced-air heater, I actually kind of like this: it’s like camping indoors.
After Aaron’s Eagle Board of Review. Two troops of scouts, his troop and our affiliated troop of young ladies, were there to encourage him. Just incredible.
What a contrast: the kid’s first day in uniform ten years ago, and then last month right before his Eagle Scout Board of Review.
There are 29 merit badges on his sash, his National Jamboree neckerchief on his collar, and his Order of the Arrow Brotherhood sash on his belt. I am one proud dad.
At their request, we took our Sea Scout ship camping at Lake Piru last weekend. In order to work themselves into a pre-kayaking sweat, the boatswain suggested a hike. Here we are near the end of our 4.7 mile trek through the September heat.
Needless to say, the Scouts were ready for lunch and some on-the-water time when they got back. A fantastic two days in the hills, and more proof that the BSA is just an unbelievable organization.