It’s official

I am honored and humbled to report that the membership and the Executive Board of the Ventura County Council, BSA met today and confirmed my nomination as Council Commissioner for 2022-3.

In this role I will be responsible for supporting two District Commissioners, two dozen unit Commissioners, and over a thousand adult leaders spread out across 2,200 square miles.

Sadly, I will be compelled to step away from my role as Scoutmaster of our Troop, but I am blessed to be able to leave it I’m more capable hands than my own.

Onward.

On the Trail Again

It’s fire season, so I am avoiding all back-country camping for a few months. That said, we have Scouts and Scouters who need to break in backpack gear and get used to our packs.

So we took some of our Scouts out on a shakedown hike to Sycamore Falls in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It was warm, a couple of our number did not bring enough water, and it was more strenuous wearing masks, but it was a lot of fun and a real confidence-builder for a Troop that has made car camping a habit over the last few years.

I can’t wait to head into the back country in a few months…

Retirement Goodness #2

Another nice thing about retired life: stepping outside each morning at 7:55am and hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing over the loudspeakers at Naval Base Ventura County in the near distance, singing along under my breath.

It sounds corny, but it is a calming and edifying way to start the day.

Unpopular Opinion

Now hear this:

Wearing a tee shirt with the logo of a locally-based military unit when one has never served themselves is not a case of “stolen valor.” It is support for the home team.

That is all.

Early Morning, BSA Golf Classic

I swore my retirement would not be about golf, but here I am, not four weeks in, on a golf course at 8am Monday morning.

In my defense, I am here for a fundraiser for our local council of the Boy Scouts of America, and I am not playing, just carrying drinks and snacks to the foursomes as they work their way around the course.

I am more of a hiker than a differ, but on a day like this, with the temperature a modest 73F and a light breeze blowing off the Pacific onto the Spanish Hills, I see the appeal of the game.

Phase V: Back to the Store

Working during the Pandemic had a few upsides, one of which was that I could justify ordering groceries online and having them delivered. The tips, the service charges, and the higher prices could be justified by the extra layer of safety offered by shoppers and contactless delivery.

We may not yet be post-pandemic quite yet, but I am certainly post-career, and that means masking up and going back to shopping the old-fashioned way. I’m hitting one grocery stop per week, reading the store circulars coming in the mail, learning where to get the best deals, and buying in slightly larger quantities. At some point, we will probably add a freezer to take advantage of sales and overstock.

As much as I enjoyed groceries on my front doorstep, there is a deeper satisfaction in going out and picking out my own food and finding the better deals. 

In the months ahead, more bulk buying, coupon clipping, and leftovers.

Urban Hiking

People say to me “urban hiking isn’t real hiking. After all, what is there to see aside from cars, lawns, office buildings, panhandlers, and pavement?”

The answer: everything great about a city is revealed when you approach it with the eyes of a hiker, a seeker, an explorer. 

The landscape is layered, and the eyes see the layers they seek. Look one way, and  you see a city of art. Look another, and you see a city of food. Peer at a city through the spectacles of the fourth dimension, and you see a city of history. Focus on the faces, and you see the souls that form the living contours of the city’s geography.

Walk a city, and you have the time to see all of those layers, individually and together. Hike a city, and you become a part of it all, and it invites you in to become a part of the story. 

Achievement Unlocked: Scouter of the Year

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…

Raven IPA

I make no excuses: after fifteen months, I felt like a dinner out with neighbors was an appropriate time to have a local craft IPA. The beer was delightful, and despite having made the journey by truck from Escondido it was fresh and fully flavored, hoppy but not heavy.

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