Monday, June 27, 2011

First steps to Philmont

Going to Philmont with my son has been a goal of mine for many years. Originally I had hoped for this to happen the summer after his 8th grade year but that did not work out. The good news is that we ended up with two slots in 2012 (Troop and crew) and I was invited by the SM to participate. Over the next several months, I will blog from time to time here about our experience as we prepare for this trip. I am sure there will be many ups and downs along the way.

Last week we began our training and team building with a five mile hike. The Scouts are working on the hiking merit badge and the was the shortest of a series of many hikes. The guys seemed to be in good spirits and kept a brisk pace. This was a week night hike and the Oklahoma June heat was certainly in full swing.

It seemed all the guys did well and I am looking forward to the future hikes just as much for the fun time walking together as anything. Next up is a 0530 10 miler and I know that is going to be great.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sea Base is over : (

We all made it back a little tired, a little tanned and full of memories that will last a lifetime. Our Florida Sea Base Coral Reef Adventure lived up to and exceed all of our expectations. The Scouts all agreed that is was a great high adventure trip that they would love to do again someday.

Reflecting back, I just can't say enough about how proud I am of these guys and they way they worked together as a team and learned something new each day. Believe me that with nine people in that small of space there was plenty of potential for conflict and issues. They did their best to just enjoy every moment and experience everything the boat had to offer.

Now....only 396 today to go until Philmont :   )

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Final day....

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of our Sea Base Adventure. Today we had the gift of wind and for the first time got to really sail. Each of us had a specific role to play from setting the jib to hoisting the main or navigating to ensure we are in the beam. No I don't know what the heck most of that means but luckily the Scouts all do by now.

Our Captain ended his time with us by awarding the Scouts their Sea Base patch and telling the story behind the symbols. He talked about the Scout Law and asked several to relate what the words meant in their own lives. Living life to its fullest and doing so with the Law as a guide was a great message to hear from our amazing Captain. 

Back at port the entire crew worked to scrub the boat clean to prepare for the next group that will head out on Friday. There are around 17,000 Scouts that experience Sea Base every year.

Now evening is here and we a all showered, short of money thanks to the gift shop, and ready to travel home in the morning. I am thankful to have spent this time with such a great group of young men and feel privileged to have see them grow and learn this week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shore day

Today is our shore day and was our first fresh water shower in a few days. What a fun time the Scouts had today with small boat sailing, tubing, volleyball.

The wind has not been our friend the last two days and this has kept us sailing. Instead we have spent our time with some great snorkeling. Our Capt tells us these are the best conditions he has seen this season. Captain Tom has been a fantastic teacher to all of us. The boat we are on is his primary home.

Tomorrow it is back to the boat and the forecast is for some great wind. We are looking forward to it.

Until next time....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sea base day 1

We were the first crew to arrive which worked out great for us. Right after dinner it was time to head out and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sea Base day one

Today was our first day on our journey to Florida Sea Base. We began with an early 600 flight that eventually got us to Ft. Lauderdale late that afternoon. Soon it was off to lunch and a little time at beach. The highlight of the evening was dinner at Bubba Gumps and as you can see from the picture our Scouts made the most of their last full day of electronic access.

Tomorrow it is up at 700 and a 0900 pick up to travel down to Sea Base. This has been a great trip already!

Blogging from my phone

I am going to try blogging a bit from my phone this week during our Sea Base adventure.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Well it was almost 18 months ago when I found out I was going to have the opportunity to be the adult leader for our 2011 Troop high adventure trip to Sea Base. Now finally the time is here and we will be stepping on the plane at 0600 in the morning.

Having done most of the logistical work, it is going to be great to turn things over to the Scouts starting tomorrow and let them run the show from here. They are a wonderful bunch of guys and I am as excited to spend time with them and the other two adults as I am the trip itself. I just hope I don't end up barfing too much!

In many ways I do not know what to expect. Mostly I am just happy to be going and very appreciative to have this wonderful opportunity. I would have never imagined years ago when my son brought home that flyer from school that his Scouting journey would also become such a grand adventure for me too. How blessed we are to be part of the Boy Scouts of America!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Walking the Walk

At our last campout several of the adults were sitting around enjoying our usual nice evening conversation and the topic turned to the BSA guidelines that have been implemented around weight for high adventure. These rules require that high adventure participants meet certain height/weight requirements if they are to participate. The intent of course is to promote a safe experience and at the same time also promote a healthy lifestyle. After all, a Scout promises to do his best to be “physically strong”.

At bit of contention for many in the discussion was the pushing of the rules from BSA leadership when they themselves appear to be well into the obese category. “Who are they to push these rules when they themselves would not qualify for high adventure” was a typical statement.

I am excited to see that BSA leadership has heard the call and decided be an example through a new program called Walking the Walk. Even our Last Frontier Council Executive Jeff Woosley in participating.

It takes some guts to be so public with your journey to good health and I wish everyone participating the best of luck.

The American obesity epidemic is a genuine problem and as youth mentors we have an opportunity to be examples of change. It seems over the last few weeks I have noticed a real upswing of Scout leaders joining in the fat and fitness battle so they too can live lives that are a positive example for the Scouts to follow.

Yes I know it is hard to change a lifestyle but it can be done. I grew up in a world of chicken fried steak, poor eating and seldom exercise. I am genetically inclined to be overweight and believe me it is an everyday battle. Nonetheless, I am becoming more and more convicted that I need to make the right choices as much to be an example for the Scouts as for myself. That is very inspiring and motivating. Plus, I want to be a leader that can barrel down a trail or climb a mountain with the Scouts and hold my own. I don't want any kid to miss an opportunity for high adventure because their leader could not cut it.

Do you want to be an example yourself?  The great folks over at Scout Nation have a Fit Club in the works for Scout leaders and it looks like it is going to be a fun program. You can learn more here.