Monday, August 3, 2015

Canon Fodder - Quote for a Monday

 Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. - Athenaeus


  1. As I age and accumulate life's lessons, today's words ring with truth. Thank you for sharing them and the beautiful image.


    John O. Costello

  2. How I spent my summer vacation:

    Just back from a week at Boy Scout Summer Camp. I need my week in the woods every year. Slept under actual canvas this time, not ripstop nylon – which meant that I also slept under a mosquito net held up over my cot by a homemade frame made out of 1/2″ PVC. I took two training courses and got the certifications for both. Aquatic Supervision – Swimming and Water Rescue required a score of 40 out of 50 on a written exam on BSA safety regulations and techniques and then a 2 hour practical exam in the water on skills and rescue techniques (including how to handle suspected spinal injuries and how not to let a victim drown you). Aquatic Supervision – Paddle Craft Safety also required a similar written test (oriented towards watercraft) and then another 1.5 hour practical exam on and in the water to demonstrate that I can paddle a canoe both with a partner and alone, switch ends with a partner while out in the middle of the lake without ending up in the lake, rescue someone who has dumped their canoe over in the middle of the lake by pulling their canoe up over mine, emptying the water out, putting it back in the water and then getting them back in their canoe, and then finally rescue myself by swimming my fully swamped canoe back into shore from about 400 yards out. Besides those certifications, I also did the mile swim. So I was at the waterfront a lot.

    I also took a fair amount of personal abuse from the other (all 40+ year old male) leaders when they found out that I spent all that time one-on-one with the waterfront director. It’s advanced training, so one generally DOES take those courses directly from the waterfront director – who in this case happened to be a very friendly and quite attractive 22-year old woman who repeatedly expressed pleasure with the fact that unlike other adult leaders earlier in the season I took the training quite seriously and had actually bought the 300-page manual and studied it before I came to camp.

    The thing is, if you are going to be waterfront director at a Boy Scout camp that means that you are 21 or over, have been on staff a while, have taken a week-long course at a National Camp School on how to run a waterfront, and have accepted that you are ultimately responsible for the life of each and everyone one of the 1000’s of people who will be swimming, boating, etc. at camp that year – regardless of whether you were personally overseeing a given activity or not – in the place at camp where a fatality is most likely to occur (and is most likely to be an adult having a heart attack). And will be executing that responsibility through a staff made up mostly of teenage boys. I pointed this out and told the guys to have some respect.

    The Scouts mostly cooked all their own food, earned at least 2 merit badges each, played ultimate frisbee (a game I joined a couple of times), shot rifle, shotgun and (for a few older boys only) .22 pistol, swam, kayaked, made neckerchief slides and bird houses (the latter out of cardboard and fiberglass for Composite Materials merit badge, a new one), built numerous fires (fire is awesome!), made things out of logs and lashings, and generally ran all over camp and had a good time and learned a few things - especially that they don't need to run into a building when it rains, and that they can live without their cell phones or internet access for a week.. I made some apple cobbler in a couple of dutch ovens that was well received.

    The kids need their week in the woods, too. They just don't know it.

  3. I should really drop by your site more often. I enjoy reading your posts.


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..