This weekend I participated with more than 100 Scouts and Scouters at Camp Raven Knob in the first work oriented event of 2010. This was an Order of the Arrow sponsored event by Wahissa 118 but as you can see from the picture to the right, PackMaster Nathan (in blue shirt) was also leading a very motivated group of his Cubs on a conservation project. These boys were too young to be OA members but these kids were a big help and welcomed partners for their cheerful service.
Friday night the rains fell extremely hard on the 3,200 acre Scout reservation but on Saturday morning the sun broke through for wonderful working conditions. As seen in the picture to the right my first crew helped clear several fallen trees that were left from the tremendous winter snowfall leaving trails blocked off everywhere.
Camp ranger Dave Whitfield had already cut up the trees so that we could haul them off the mountain for pick-up. By the way that is Raven Knob in the background so we had a beautiful backdrop in scenery as we cleared the brush and others dug holes for night lights, and erosion control on this trail leading to the Wahissa Lodge building.
As seen in the next picture the afternoon brought back more rainfall so many chores were brought inside. Below one crew is busy in the massive sized dining hall giving the floor the loving attention that it needed. Others are seen cleaning the air duct system that runs throughout the ceiling like a creeping creature from outer space.
Even with inclement weather shadowing our every move, the Scouts who turned out for this event are the cream of crop in my opinion. Unlike other OA events such as Conclave, Spring and Fall Fellowship, this was strictly a work day and a time for living up to the OA code of cheerful service to others. But when you're working together as a team for a cause greater than any one person, a lot of fun can always be found.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.