Musing from the Gate

Few activities take as much effort and mental stress as working with traffic. Most of the time I am working in the Emergency situation and there is no solution to the traffic issue. The road is closed or blocked or multiple roads are closed. Other times I am parking cars and  answering questions. The questions and route map was the case this past SR7B Conclave at Camp Raven Knob. Many of the 1500 arrowmen that arrived Friday were Wahissa Lodge members. Many knew nothing about our lovely CRK.

Camp Raven Knob is a special place that causes many to return again and again. The physical challenges of walking around camp are special to CRK. Sometimes it is uphill both ways to your campsite. Finding the way around after driving halfway across the state can be a challenge. We had our best and brightest at the Gate to welcome Arrowmen from  across the State. Parking passes were emailed and mailed and talked about continually for the past few weeks. We knew most would still need a map highlighted to their campsite.

Parking for Conclaves is always a challenge. Everybody would like to have the vehicle near the site. We have tried to accommodate most. Some areas of Camp had real North Carolina mud. We Spent 24,000 dollars on gravel but still we had mud. Parking for most sites filled up by suppertime. We had overflow parking scheduled but rain had another plan. The rain arrived as most of our folks showed up at the Gate. Maps were still highlighted and questions were answered. Delegates, Lodge advisors, Section officers, Council executives and Wahissa folks all had to stop and pass through the Gate. Almost all were still in a friendly mood even though it was raining.

Folks started getting their vehicles stuck almost immediately.  Lucky for us and them Keith Cook was johnny on the spot and got most issues handled. We had 8 to 10 vehicles in sight from noon till about 8pm at the Gate on Friday. Logistics had about 20 youth and adults for the early work Friday and our numbers swelled to about 50 by the end of the day. It takes about all 20 to keep parking lots and street directions monitored. The gate itself took 8-10 meeting and greeting the folks arriving.  We kept Admin busy sending out for maps and sending our Wahissa folks to Registration in the Barnhardt Training Center. We kept a presence on the Gate until about Noon Saturday. We then shifted the Logistics command position to the Front porch of the Log Cabin. The Adults tried to make sure the Youth of the Lodge were able to join our Delegation at the events. We had a tremendous Youth Leader and he had a faithful following of hard workers.

Logistics worked with all other groups providing whatever it took to make things happen for our guests. Some of the members of Logistics did not eat inside until the Saturday evening meal. We stayed available on the radio for about 18 hours of the day Friday and Saturday. We worked tirelessly along side all of our other chairmen and went out of our way to listen in and help ease everyone’s pain. We got to see almost all of the arrowmen that came through CRK’s gate. We fielded thousands of questions and gave thousands of answers. Some were classic questions and others were very funny. One of my favorites was “Do you think it will Rain?”… “YES”… It will rain at Raven Knob. Put the top up and come have Fun…. We are #1 –18

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Humbled

There is never a more humbling experience then receiving an award of achievement. Some are recognition and some you strive to achieve. The Vigil Honor was an individual but group experience. I was honored but my service paled against what others have achieved in Scouting. Sitting in my first VNC was where it really hit home. Lists of individuals and achievements way longer than I had served or been alive. Well I have found 2 other such achievements in my Life. Silver Beaver and a little reception Troop 919 did for me on Bear Island.

The Silver Beaver Reception of 2017 honored 4 individuals that have given their lives to Scouting, community, and Service to fellow man. It was especially humbling to go Last and listen to the Biography of each and watch the faces. We were surrounded by both other Silver Beavers and Veterans of Scouting. The Historical association also gave lofty awards of achievement and merit.

I know I am busy and have a life of service…. There are others just like me in each and every community in the good old USA and possibly the world.  Our Scouting Service Awards are a reminder of how much everyone around does for his or her fellow man.

One of my seven deadly sins is Pride. I am proud of my accomplishments and the family of service I have had the chance to nurture. I really love it when one of my nurturees gets recognized. I pray I don’t let it get to my head.

This weekend was a total blur. Workweek and Silver Beaver Reception. Packing for a 6am start to canoe to Bear Island. Preparations for Adults and youth to survive and enjoy the trip to one of the North Carolina crown jewels. I take a trip to the coast every year. I enjoy the seemingly endless ocean. I love the solitude that even a crowded place can provide. Just walk a bit up or down the beach and alone!

We arrived with very little issue and found the T919 Adults and Youth unpacking the canoes and stuff. We set about getting waterproofed and packed for water. The youth leadership chose youth for the canoes and tent partners and we all shoved off. All canoes had patrol stuff and personal stuff. I backpacked so I could just carry whatever was needed. WE had very little issue and arrived at the dock in about an hour. We lunched and had less to carry on. We walked about a mile to our site. We setup and started enjoying the sun,sand and surf.

After we ate and cleaned up I walked up to the bathhouse to wash up and fill my water. I was met by Mike and we spent some time gazing at the constellations. When we got back the whole group forced me to sit and Thanks me for my Service 40 yrs and the Silver Beaver award. Then they went around the group and told Lasley stories. Some were hilarious and some were so touching  we got tears. I think there is no other tribute then to positively affect others lives. Thanks for showing me Why I continue to Participate.

Tim

 

Off we Go Again

Troop 919 is planning the yearly trip to Bear Island. Final preparations are tonight. My heart is looking forward to the trip. I am going to try to be a minimalist. Wet and warm or Sweaty and manageable. Rain is forecast and light wind. I have tried to get out in the wind and it is tough.

Bear Island is about 3 miles out from the Hammock’s Beach State Park.  We have chosen to be there before the water taxi starts. Less people and bears. The mosquitos will just be small ones that can only have lunch and not drag you back for dinner. Or if the wind keeps constant no bugs but hard to paddle.

The flat water training went well. There were two scouts that thought the both were in charge.They went zigzag down the lake. I think it got worked out. All preparations were done and we have a float plan!!!.

This will be the last trip that some adults can take it easy. You See… All our Scouts currently are trained in Tenting, Packing, arriving and departing, and setup and cleanup and takedown. From this point forward the Senior Youth and a few adults will make sure nobody Dies.

Our newest Scouts are coming in slowly this spring. Ravens are Cub scouts that have less than 1 year in the Troop. We have a senior youth and adult mentor the group toward advancement. We first try to get them ready to go camping. Spring is a great time to join. Time to get clothing and equipment before deadly weather. Moisture management is key. Don’t get too wet or let the sweat build up wetting you just as bad. Clothing has to be worn appropriate to the temperature.

The quote “Cotton Kills” is bandied about and it takes a Home living, vehicle driving, sheltered individual a while to get straightened out. We are never in the elements of WX long during our normal live. Staying outside for any length of time requires the correct clothing. Hiking and camping are in the elements 24hrs a day. Tents and tarps provide some protection against rain. Cool and Cold and Warm and Hot are completely different animals.  A beautiful day with a strenuous hike and then cloud cover can completely change the possibilities of just surviving to the ability of having fun too.

With some camping trips the possibility of loss of life is minimal. Some hazards are known and avoided. WX related issues are forecast. The canoe trip has added issues. Cold water hypothermia, drowning, and overexertion and exhaustion are possible with just a little wind and cool WX. The trip can be extremely fun also. Warm air and breezes and sand an sunshine. Little or no wind  and great food with perfect supervision are the normal for the Bear island trip… Hallelujah .

We will train for the rest!

 

Those that have gone before…

Those that have gone before…

I am surrounded by History and tradition. I am an Automobile Mechanic in a small hometown shop that is almost 100 years old. The floor was poured in 1918 for a North Carolina State highway garage on the then US 421. I have been here physically 44 years. The walls have stuff on them from the 50’s or 60’s. Auto repair is all about what you remember from your history. Remember cool stuff and you will fix cars faster.

I am also in the Fire Service… 200+ years of Tradition unhampered by progress. To say we have always done it that way is REAL. WE HAVE!… Worked then Works Now.  Well I have OLD stuff and New stuff. Fire Service and Automotive. Cool old trucks, cars and machines. I also have been a Boy Scout, Leader, and Supporter for 40 official years and really 50 years unofficial.

I am a book reader and have a great imagination. I can stand and look across a vista and imagine the settlers walking and pulling wagons across our magnificent landscape.I have stood imagining the others that have come before me standing exactly where I am standing and looking out. I had one of those moments this past Wed. I had the opportunity to visit the Vade-Meccum/Camp Sertoma/Hanging Rock State Park property.

There are multiple buildings and lots of Explored land. There is an old hotel built in 1904. A large gymnasium and Chapel are on the property. There are hiking trails dating back to the original land tracts and old springs, dams and bridges. I stood in the downstairs of the old hotel reflecting on a room full of guests being served. I looked out the rear window at the old incinerator. I could imagine the loads of trash being dumped in then burned. We then looked at the gymnasium. Old exposed wood and steel beams with the wood floor.

Homer Dearmin told about a dance he attended during his CRK  staff years at the property. I could almost hear the music and feel the energy coming out of the building. Groups of teens standing on the porch and near the snack bar seemed almost too real.

We then took a trail to the open fields and area behind the property. Used most recently as a high ropes course. We had to traverse the creek and a few deadfalls but came upon the old bridge and spring house when the “Mineral Springs” were most sought after in the early 1900’s. The trails begged us to follow to the old lake and dam. We took a short time to lean against the bridge and Our Park Ranger Robin told us about pictures and historical facts from the area we were visiting. The Creek bearing the name of the property owners flowed gently under the bridge with minnows already visible in the clear pools. I could imagine the children slipping away and coming down to chase the crawdads and salamanders in this very creek.

I love to stand and reflect on those that have been before me. I hope that one day as we pass through this life I too will leave something that will cause reflection and wonder. I hope its not just the Dash between the Years on my headstone.

With Wings as Eagles

With Wings as Eagles

img_1021Eagles…. Living symbols of power, freedom, and transcendence.
In some religions, high-soaring eagles are believed to touch the face of God.

Eagles soar High at the top of the food chain.

Home is over 10,000 acres

Originally an Award given to any First Class Scout  with 21 merit badges.

The Eagle Service Project was added as well as the Eagle Board of Review after 1924

Eagles are noted for their leadership and character. Proven to work towards and attain a goal.

Eagle scouts are all around.

The Fire Service is full of Eagles.

9 Eagles have been awarded the Medal of Honor

40 Astronauts earned the rank as Youth

President Gerald Ford and numerous other leaders earned Eagle

Personally Troop 919 has awarded …. Eagles

I am proud to be the recipient of Scoutings Highest award

The greatest award of Scouting is the Promise.

Delivering the promise every Tuesday night…

But Scouting is far more than fun in the outdoors, hiking and camping. Scouting is a way of life. Scouting is growing into responsible manhood, learning to be of service to others.

Isaiah  recognized the soaring Eagle. Beautiful in Flight and lifted by God on a cushion of Air.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Eagles start in the Boy Scouts as Tiger Cubs. They are partnered with their parents or Adult Guardians . They grow through shared experiences and mentorship until Boy Scouting.

Boy Scouting brings the Promise. It also brings Adult Male mentor-ship and Youth Lead program.

Baden Powell stressed the Learning through First Class and Religious immersion into our environment

By First Class a Scout has learned the skills of survival and the beginnings of leadership.

Character building begins at the Oaths.

God is introduced Early and Often.

God and Me through God and Country are introduced and encouraged. Each religion has their awards for service and study

Leadership and Service- Awards are not everything. Dedicated Adults and parents deliver the Promise of Scouting each week. Volunteers striving to make the Youth of today their Best.

 

 

Hot, Camp, and Looking Forward

The past few weeks have run together. Vacation and Work, and Volunteering, and Camp and Back to Work. The temperature brings out the beast in all of us. Working in the heat is both a blessing and the proverbial curse. Blessing is we stay hydrated and are acclimated to the heat. The curse is we are acclimated and completely drained by the end of the Day.
Activities after work are most of the time blown off! Cool dark rooms with fans and more water are sought out. Pools are like bathwater right now so a cold shower and AC is the fix. Eating is light fare. Vegetables from the garden and nothing hot is supper. The grill is fired up and then quickly shut off if used.
Our latest heatwave started while my Troop 919 was at Camp Raven Knob. We are like pigs in slop when Adult leaders get to go to camp with the youth. I get to do stuff I don’t usually do. Physical labor but not mechanical repair. Roofs, buildings, wood, electrical, and many other tasks. We actually fixed a welder. We built an Adirondack in Dan Beard, We repaired lighting and electrical at our Lodge #118… and generally got to do whatever we wanted all week. I swim the mile and had to qualify every day. Wed is half mile and Thursday is the Mile. A row boat is required and 2 adults needed to go float the mile also.

These guys that we pal around with are camp regulars. Paul and Donald and several others have been 5th week of camp since I have been going back. WE look forward to a big project from Dave and Keith every year. We got to build a Building.  We had two youth that had Birthdays and became Adults. They got to help build something at Camp that may last out their lifetime. Their kids may come up and sleep in the Adirondack. Working with others for a lifetime and making great friends and learning and perfecting new skills is the reason I come to camp each year. That and the Boys are learning to be men in an ever changing world.IMG_20160722_113325821

As my years roll by; I survived another year and now are 57′; I find myself looking back at what are the good old days. Some not so good and some not so old. I was reminded in the Vespers service on Friday night to keep looking Forward. I know the past is behind us and we must study or be doomed to repeat it. I need to look at the future and embrace the changes. It is increasingly difficult not to rest on my accomplishments and take the “I have earned it” seat in the recliner.  Making myself get up every morning and workout and watching what I eat and Drink makes me have longevity. I actually feel great. We change up the exercises and find “new muscles”… I still look forward to the daily workout with my friend Jay!

 

As I was leaving camp I was leaving one of my favorite spots to muse and think of

life. I took a picture coming in . One of my best views is the Blue ridge escarpment with my CRK in the hidden valley . I am always hopeful when I get off the Exit for 89 and Low
Gap!!!.

IMG_20160717_115851935

Keep looking forward and Great things Happen.

PS Vienna is a Class 3 … Whoop Whoop

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 Stuff* Happens

Events of the past few months have caused me to reexamine my life, commitment, and longevity. Starting late February my already busy life became Extremely busy and complicated. I am the key contact for multiple organizations and many events that happen in the calendar year. Just before the 1st of March the Vienna Fire Department started a run of working incidents. Several were house fires and wind incidents that took a tremendous toll on time and physical effort. Losing sleep and working harder grinds you to a standstill if something doesn’t give.

Wilson’s Garage had a blast of customers calling and coming by the shop. We had enjoyed a busy February but March took off. College spring break and then High school caused me to say YES,YES, YES, when asked if we could geterdun…Roberta joined in and we actually did 3 fuel pumps in one day. ZOOM ZOOM. House fires into the wee hours and on top of it all I hurt my knee at the first big fire. The knee pain was very minimal at first. I motored through about 5 weeks thinking it would get better. It did not.

I was ramping up the camping with the Scouts, Eagle projects were coming, Order of the Arrow activities were starting up , and I was responsible for the next camping trip… Backpacking. I was having trouble making it through the day with a little swelling in the rt knee. I was not sure I could work or play… My brother in Law heard me whining and said why not go get it checked out?  I bit the bullet and worked my way through the Workman’s Comp  labyrinth and found my old Orthopod. They had changed names and the Doc that took care of me twice retired. I asked for a New Young and innovative Dr. and Got  Dr. McCabe. Excellent listener and interested in my past knee issues.

Long story shortened… I got sentenced to Rehab and when the Doc found out I was working out everyday he said just Google the knee rehab and no more jumping. I got a cortisone shot and out the door I went. I have a torn meniscus and am OLD. No more jumping off Decks. Rehab for 4-6 week and keep up the leg exercises. Whew.

I went backpacking, I am Rehabbing, I still have slight knee pain. I think the swelling is down and the fluid has been absorbed by my body. I still have some lateral movement issue and have even danced some. What do you Know? I was about to have to retire from several activities and slow others way down. I guess that’s ahead but not right now…