Friday, April 17, 2015

Why Scouters are so great!!

Evenspor shared this story with me:

Last night's pinewood derby was run differently from any I have seen before. Our Cubmaster ran only two cars at a time, and he set it up so that everyone would have a chance to race everyone else once (there were 14 cars). Run this way, it didn't take long for it to be obvious which were the fastest cars, and which were the slowest.
In fact, it was quickly obvious that one little guy's car was much slower than all the others. As it lost every race, his little scout face fell more and more.
Now it just happened that his dad and my husband had been asked to be the line judges, and they were talking, and after it had run several races, they took the car and looked at it and did something to it. Finally, the car won a race. That was its second to last race.
Its final race was against the gold car that has completely demolished everyone else. And.. the race was so close they had to run it again. And a third time.
Now, I know that fast pinewood derby cars will wear down after a number of races and eventually become not-so-fast pinewood derby cars, but this seemed a bit extreme to be explained but just that. How did the slowest car suddenly become as fast as the fastest car?
So I asked my husband after, "What did you guys do to it?"

He said, "We added graphite." This inexperienced dad had not known about adding graphite to the wheels, and somehow at check-in (where there were several graphite tubes on the table, for that last minute little bit extra), no one had mentioned it to him. What a difference that one little piece of information made.

This is why Scouters are so stinking great!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Goruck Experience

Goruck is a military style event similar to Special Forces training.  It is a small glimpse into what Special Operators go through to prepare to defend our country.  I learned about Goruck after following Brian's Backpacking Blog.  Brian is the kind of guy I would be friends with if he lived next door.  I chose the Goruck Light version that was a 7 hour event--I didn't want to die too bad.   Here is a Youtube video of another class.

3 years ago I decided to do one of these events but wasn't quick to do the hard work required to prepare.  About 8 months ago while dealing with a trial I started training hard and to date have lost 66 pounds.  I am still out of shape and Goruck taught me that but I will get into that.

We arrive and were quickly oriented on first aid, how we work together (similar a Scout patrol) and the importance of working as a team in all the things we do.

We did all of the following with a 25 pound backpack.  Only my backpack was 45 pounds.  I carried extra weight.  You carry bricks in your backpack.  I have shared with some of you a letter I attached to my bricks.  Carrying these bricks was a bit emotional for me and I am glad to be done.  I no longer have to carry the mental and emotional weight attached to my bricks.  

We hiked to the first park and here is where I received my first reality check.  My sister in law was shadowing us for a little bit and I am sure she got some great pictures of me with the expression "You want me to do what????"  We started by doing 8 exercises which included: the bear crawl, pushups, low crawls (one of my least favorite exercises--pulling yourself across the ground with your butt and your head down), squats, flutter kicks, lunges and reverse lunges.  I did horribly.  It was embarrassing with my sister in law taking pictures of me just struggling.  I took my medicine though and just did the best I could. 

We traveled to park two and in the process got separated by a very busy street and traffic.  Because we got separated we learned the 8 point push up which is a push up with burpee blended in.  I think this exercise can be described as pure hell.  My class learned quickly to never to get separated again.

We refueled and filled out water bladders at a local gas station in downtown Dallas.

This shirt was made by a friend for me and fits me to a "t".  I love this quote because it is so true!!
We then traveled to another park on the Trinity River.  Normally they make classes get into the river and do water exercises but we did not and I could be more grateful to not have had to climb into that nasty river.  When we hiked to the Trinity we climbed up a wall to get onto the bridge.  I did better on this than I thought and needed almost no help.  We were then told we had 20 minutes to hike to the end of the bridge and then back.  Previous in the day we had a lady almost pass out and another guy pull a muscle so I was concerned we would not make it as we were told there would be a punishment if we did not.  We got to the end of the bridge in about 7 minutes and the Cadre (a title of a military trainer) then had us remove a shoe and hike the other half mile back.  We completed it in 15 minutes.  We then were instructed that 8 of our group of 37 were injured and we needed to carry them back to our starting point of our event.  We hiked the 3-4 miles back to our starting point with some carrying others rucks (backpacks) and 3 people alternating between carrying and being the injured person.  That took us forever.  It was painful to say the least.

Everywhere we went in downtown Dallas we go stares.  We had a Texas and American flag at the front of our group always and we were constantly running with our heavy backpacks.  It was crazy.  

We completed our course 90 minutes early.  I was a bit scared by that as I have heard stories of false ends.  They tell you you are done, get you to relax and then slap you with more to do.  I knew until I got my patch in my hand, I wasn't done.  We did though over 10 miles of rucking.  I am pretty sure we did closer to 12.

I got my patch.  Am proud of it.  Will wear it often.  

My feet hurt, I am pretty sure my shoulders are bruised, I am sunburned and I am extremely tired but glad I did it.  I would do another one but I would train a bit differently.

So what did I learn from this 3 year experience?
  • I have a lot more friends than I thought.  They are constantly cheering me.  I hope in return I am cheering them.  Having this kind of support has been very humbling and my parents have constantly mention often on how grateful they are that I have such good friend.
  • I can do hard things.  I preached it to my Scouts and today I lived it.  There were parts where I questioned why I was out there torturing my body.  Either way I lived up one of Goruck's tag lines -- DFW - Don't freaking quit.
  • Team before self.  You could replace word "team" with God, family or friends.  Serving others is huge!
  • I learned by watch others who were given the opportunity to lead during the day that screaming isn't a good leadership skill.  Yes it was loud downtown but constantly yelling at those we lead doesn't work.  In fact for me, it was just the opposite.  I wanted to ignore one of my classmates.
  • I still have a lot of work to do physically.  After being overweight for most of my life and being really overweight for the past 20 due to using eating as a crutch, I am done being fat.  It is exhausting.  Doesn't mean I won't enjoy a Code Red every once in a while but it means I am finally committed do make much better choices in my life in relationship to how I deal with stress, what I eat and the amount of exercise I will be doing.   I have 60 more pounds to go and I can do it!
  • I am proud of myself.  About 8 months ago I didn't think this was possible.  Today it is.  I wasn't the fastest or the best but I tried my hardest and I finished and earned my patch.  I am beginning to love myself for the very first time.
I can endure more than I think.
I can suffer more than I think.
I can do more than I think.
I have freakin' ridiculous friends.  What else could a guy want?

Class 675
More pictures to follow........

It has been a long day.  I am going to bed!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Interesting Turn of Events

In June 2014, I was released as my Ward Varsity Coach.  It was a tough.  I went camping with my Scouts this past weekend and I realize how much I miss them.  I want back in!  Bishopric says no.  I still work in district advancement.  I am now my ward's Executive Secretary.

5 months ago I started with a trial that is the size of a whale.  No need to go into detail other than the support system that has surrounded my kids and I.  I have had friends come out of the woodwork including my own family surround and support most importantly my kids.  I have had some really good days and some really bad days where I just wanted to just go to sleep and not wake up for a few days.  Two friends especially (and their wonderful families) have been ridiculously inclusive including Christmas and New Years.

Due to this trial I have spent more time on my knees, in the scriptures, talking with family and friends and per my Bishop's instruction serving those around me so I can forget myself.

Today I feel like I have so many opportunities in life.  Today I feel like I can overcome anything.  Today I finally feel like I will finally be happy soon.  Today I am extremely happy I have such good friends.  

I will still have trials but it will be OK.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Best Foil Dinner a Scout Could Eat

Let me first start by saying my Scout Son will eat anything but this is one of his favorites when there is a fire.  It is my version of a foil dinner, hobo dinner, etc.  Instead of using raw chicken or beef I use pre-cooked meatballs and he loves it!  This meal costs a bit more than I would normally like to spend on a Scout meal but the meal goes a long ways and could depending on the size of your Scouts and their ability to share feed two.

Here are all of our ingredients.  Cost was about $15 but $11 of that was the meatballs and I can feed my family the rest of them while my son is away.

Cut the veggies up small enough to cook easily.  I used the whole pototo and whole white onion.  Used baby carrots because while expensive compared to regular carrots, they are quick and easy.

Cover it with the cream of mushroom, add a bit of water and/or butter (I didn't use any this time but it is a great way to make sure it doesn't stick to the tin foil) and then add the meatballs.  

Special Texas touch, add some BBQ sauce that you have on hand.  I used Rudy's Sissy Sauce.  

Wrap that thing like it is a new born baby.  Cook and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Advice from a Navy Seal - Admiral William H. McRaven

Here is some advice from a Navy Seal:
  1. Make your bed each morning.  If you can't do the little things right, you might not be able to do the big things right.
  2. Find someone to help you paddle through life.
  3. Measure a person by the size of their heart, not their flippers.
  4. Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving!
  5. You will likely fail; you will likely fail often.  Don't be afraid of the circus.
  6. Sometimes you have to go head first.
  7. Punch a shark in the snout.  Don't back down from a shark.
  8. You must be your very best at the darkest moments.
  9. Start singing when you are up to your neck in mud.
  10. Never, EVER EVER ring that bell!!

This is powerful message especially to our Scouts.


Friday, May 16, 2014


This guy lives in my neighborhood.  He has grown on me.  He is EVERYWHERE trying to share his message.

Monday, May 5, 2014


On Twitter, a member of the #twitterstake asked what the #BestAvice for someone in your calling would be.  Here are mine:

  • Scout leaders: Get trained quick as possible and don't think training is beneath you Lean not unto your understanding
  • Scout leaders: Have fun. This is ur chance to be a boy again only you have experience of making mistakes in the past.
  • Scout leaders: Relationships are better than merit badges towards Eagle. Minister instead of administer.
  • Scout leader: Boy run means boy run. It will never go the way they plan it. That is OK. They take ownership that way.
What would you add??

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Scouting Legacy...........

I started this post a bunch of times.  Like a million times!!  I know what I want to say.....I think........I think but I don't know how to put it into a post.

My biggest concern as a leader is someone coming to me later and saying "You should have done this to help me" or "You had no clue what you were doing and that hindered me".  I can see clearly that two leaders who served before I did who lost two boys records and they did not achieve Eagle because of it.  I hold myself to a much higher standard than I do anyone else.  I mean really high almost to a fault.  I wish I were perfect.

So, what has been my Scouting legacy?

I am fully trained.  I look for further opportunities to be trained.  It is only through training that I reach my full potential.

I am training my boys to lead.  It is hard at time when they don't show up but I am sure trying to turn the program over to them.

I am leaving a legacy.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More serious or a joker

I thought I had a pretty fun, light, joking personality..............until a conversation with my wife and my Scouts.

I was on the way to my wife's work Christmas Party when I asked if I joked around with her too much.  She told me that I used to joke a lot more than I do but I have gotten more serious.  I didn't know how to take this.  I love to joke and tease (lighthearted and never to really embarrass or mock anyone).  And I can take joking and teasing back.  I take a good share from my friends especially from our Scoutmaster and our Bishop (our Charter Organization Rep). 

So today I shared my conversation that I had with my wife with my Scouts.  And they agreed.  I was shocked.  They said I used to joke and kid and be more like them when I was first called into Scouts.  I know I take my calling serious.  I really do.........but I wonder where I have lost my "love of life".  I wonder if I have lost the zest for life.

Maybe old age has make me more serious.  Maybe the worries of the world have sobered me up.  Maybe I no longer spit the first thing that comes to my mind out and get in trouble.  Maybe I am censoring myself more.  Maybe I just see what Scouting can do for the Scout and for me.