At a recent Scouting event one of the busiest stations around was putting together care packages for our soldiers who are the real heroes of this generation. This station was one of the required service activities toward earning a patch for the day and putting together just one package was the only requirement. The true pride of this station was watching kids and adults go through the line, over and over again in a non-ending "tour of duty".
As seen in the picture to the left each pass through the line began with writing a thoughtful letter of gratitude and appreciation to a soldier at random. The letter was then placed in your box then, as seen in the picture above, you would work yourself down the line and place the allotted number of items into your box. It was then sealed and packed away for shipping to Iraq or Afghanistan. This was a great service project where we had an opportunity to express appreciation for something bigger than ourselves AND something other than ourselves.
This activity reminded me of another project started by two 12 year old siblings from Massachusetts several years ago to provide Cell Phones for Soldiers. I've been following Robbie and Brittany who are young adults now as they have inspired the donation of almost $2 million and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. They started the project with just $21 of their own money then nurtured their plan into something huge.
Everyday I find more reasons to be inspired about the next generation.
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.