The beauty of autumn.
I thought about this yesterday as I drove the winding back roads that my aged GPS selected for me. She is past her prime and now her usefulness. I am saddened by this. There is nothing wrong with her mechanically, it is the software to blame, 100%. I imagine it have been programed with a self destruct, getting dumber and dumber as the count down counts down.
Global Warming? Hah! We'll be buried alive in working products that our economy drove into the dump heap. Building quality will only kill the economy. It is American to throw out the useful and look to the new, shiner toy which never works as well as the first.
This weekend I attended Introduction to Outdoor Living Skills. The staff teaching the course was Excellent! My Patrol was exemplary. We were motivated and demonstrated Scout Spirit to the nth degree.
I'm wearing the dark green colors of a Venture Scout. Our little put together patrol for this operation was the 'i' patrol. Our cheer was, 'We have an App for that!"
I made the patrol flag and in a way that would make anneheart proud, it GLOWS IN THE DARK! (Yes, Anneheart would not approve of the caps, shouting thing. Please forgive.)
This was a course designed to introduce the student to the fundamentals of camping the Boy Scout way, AND, most importantly, is mandatory for all leaders to take.
Seriously, it is mandatory.
I have been a scout since 1970. I have held every office up the chain. I am an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. I have been a scout master in Japan, Morocco, Spain, Germany and Yugoslavia. I have worked as staff at both a National Jamboree and a World Jamboree. I have worked for Counsel, District and National levels. I have done a 50 miler and a 75 miler in the Adirondack and Appellation trail. I have been a program director, a rifle range director and a waterfront assistant director. I was a cook, counselor and medic.
I have taught First Aid, cycling, archery, Safety, Cit in the Community, Nation and World, swimming, rowing and lifesaving, athletics, Rifle and Shotgun.
And I am still the last Eagle Scout of East Flatbush, Brooklyn New York.
I am currently a Scout, Explorer, OA Brother and Venture.
Seriously, when it comes to Boy Scouts, I am the shit.
So to come to me and require me to take a basic course is like walking up to you and saying that you failed to take a course in the first grade that wasn't required then but is now and you have to take it now or you're fired. And the time for you to take this class will come from your vacation time. Sure it's fun the first day because you can rapid fire through the alphabet, but it gets boring after a while and you're not allow to check FACEBOOK while you're at nap time.
The teachers know it's crap, everyone else there know it's crap, we all know it's crap, but we all played along because why make a potentially miserable time miserable by being miserable?
We all did great and I enjoyed the fellowship of my classmates and instructors. With these guys leading our youth, our future is bright indeed.
As for the guy who runs boy scouts? He needs to go away. The incompetence of the Scouts on a national level is astounding and it trickles down. Yes, I expect more from my paid officials.
We have this mandatory training.
Them: You have to take this training and you have only two months to take it, and we don't teach it anymore.
Them: Look, we told you in 2010. You had two whole years to get this done!
Me: I wasn't signed up until May of this year and it wasn't required of Venture Leaders.
Them: Oh, that's right. We changed it in the summer of this year to make it apply to Venture leaders. We did provide it all summer, why didn't you take it then?
Me: Did you provide it during Venture Week?
Them: No. That was the one week we did not offer it.
Me: Why's that?
Them: Because it wasn't required for you then, but it is now. You better get started.
So, I ran all over the place and found a class in another counsel and got it done. On the night I came back I got an e-mail asking to join a class in my counsel.
Me: I was told that class was canceled, that's why I went out of counsel.
Teacher: Oh, I just checked, it is canceled. You'd think they would have told the guy teaching the course.
So this leads to a very important question.
Why am I doing this? Why am I working for morons?
Once there was a guy named Bernie. I didn't know him, he didn't know me and he didn't owe me nuthin', but he gave up his weekends, put up with me, taught me, trained me, corrected me when I fucked up and encouraged me when I needed it.
Call it karmic debt, call it what you will. But Bernie, he gave the one thing I could never repay.
His weekends, his evenings once a week. Whatever he had to do to show me there was more to life than the streets.
So now, I'm Bernie.
It's how it is. A little weird, a little surprising. I'm passing on what was given to me. A conduit, nothing more. An investment that Bernie made all those years ago.
And this is Carlo.
He is a Boy Scout, a member of the Order of the Arrow and he's one of my Venture Crew.
We have a world of Adventure ahead of us.
Catch us if you can!