(Eagle) Boarded

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.

From Bobcat to Eagle

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.

Over-exercising and under-eating

This is how I know when I am not eating enough.

The thick black line on the chart is what I am supposed to eat each day on my maintenance program. This is a recipe for about a 1-2 lb weight loss. A year ago I’d have been delighted, but I am learning that the maintenance mindset is very different than the weight-loss mindset, and I’m still trying to figure it out.

It’s Good to be a Swimmer

IMG 2159

Passed my BSA swim test at age 54 – and while swimming in a cold pool at an altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level. Needless to say, I’m chuffed, especially given that the last 50 yards I was carrying on a conversation with the waterfront director who was testing me.

Note one of the downsides of going from “obese” to “healthy:” you lose a LOT of natural buoyancy. Swimming is easier. Floating, on the other hand…

The Kid Sleeps

While the rest of the troop curls up in their tents, our intrepid Senior Patrol Leader throws down a ground cloth, a pad, and his sleeping bag alongside his backpack, curls up, and snores contentedly. Behind him is his camp chair, to which he has tied his crutches, upon which he has neatly hung his field uniform (“Class-As”), water bottle in reach.

He’s come a very long way since our first campout together 9-1/2 years ago. Now he wants to take me backpacking along the Pacific Crest Trail.  He has gone from video game couch-potato to an intrepid outdoorsman, and I give all the credit to the Boy Scouts of America and the encouragement of his teachers at school.

A little note to my friends in China and elsewhere who disparage the value of extra-academic endeavors beyond those that will polish college applications: when we slash everything out of our children’s lives but academics, we not only shortchange our offspring: we shortchange society, our nations, and the world at large.

Never in our history has it been more important to raise resilient children.

Start now.