The American in Full

Exercising the democratic privilege of the sovereign franchise for his first time just a week after his eighteenth birthday, Aaron manages to make an American experience even more so by rushing straight from his baseball game to the polling place.

I could be neither more proud nor more grateful.

Saddleback Dawn

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.

Porta-Casa

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.

 

Back to (Scouter) school

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.

Post Meeting Snack

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.