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.
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.
Beautiful morning. Storm coming to the Strawberry Coast.
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…
Sunny dropped us at the beach at Sycamore Canyon around 9am. It was a later start than we would normally like, but as it turns out it was a good thing we were rested.
The twelve mile uphill hike wasn’t particularly strenuous, except for a portion where we gained about 600 feet in a mile, and that was only a challenge because it was after 8 miles and 2:40 of steady walking up slope without rest. What is more, Aaron keeps up a steady 3mph pace with a full day pack, so it was a bit more than a leisurely stroll up Sycamore Canyon.
In theory the last four miles should have been an easy downhill stroll to the 101, but fatigue was starting to set in, and even the kid was audibly relieved when our stopping point hive into view as we crossed the freeway.
By the end we had taken a bit over 4 hours to walk the 12 miles, but we had crossed the Santa Monica Mountains, burned 2,000 extra calories, and started our training program for the big prize: the John Muir Trail.
Heading out camping with school, he enjoys a last home-cooked meal: eggs and turkey bacon with vegan cheese on a bagel. He’s dancing with contentment.
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.
This is what happens when your body changes after decades of obesity.
- You go through all of your old clothes.
- You put everything that is so large that it is clown-like into trash bags.
- You fill the back of your truck with the clothes bags
- You take it to the Coalition Thrift Store in Ventura.
- And then you come home to discover you have nothing to wear.
- Honestly, I don’t even know what size I wear anymore.
Not complaining, mind you…
Foods I don’t eat anymore: Caesar salad. Too often they’re more like “Cheese-ar” salads, and even the hard cheeses are off my list. Oh, I’m sure I’ll indulge in a little of the old fromage when we traipse through Europe next year, but as a special treat to be enjoyed on its own, not as an ingredient.