Rated as “difficult” by St Louis County Parks and alltrails.com, I managed to get lost on the 12 miles of trails yesterday. Was a brief problem when I accidentally walked what I thought was the trail and it wasn’t. Ended up on private property but quickly back to the official trail.
As I noted before, this park connects to the back side of Castlewood State Park that is cut off by the Meramec River from the main portion of Castlewood. It then connects to the trail behind Lone Elk Park of St Louis County Parks.
Perhaps St. Louis County and the State could coordinate some trail ‘blazes’ to better mark the official trail? Would be helpful. Perhaps it is a future project for a Rover Scout.
At any rate, the only thing I had trouble persevering with was that it was too warm for Oct 1st. I had started early enough at 8:30 am so I managed not to get drenched with perspiration. All together I did about 6 miles.
I will return in a week when it is cooler and go a little further.
Rover Scout: “Service”
The Rover Scout motto in the BPSA-US is “Service“.
It’s part of the whole concept of errant knighthood, looking to do something useful other than fighting windmills, of course. BPSA-US Rover Scouts are adult scouts, much as Lord Baden-Powell envisioned when he helped start the scouting movement early in the 20th Century.
The idea of course is to be helpful, as it states in the Scout Law. Perpetuate a lifestyle of being useful in the scout group and in the community at large. Encouraging others to do the same.
Scouting is a great structure to let your inner-nerd shine, particularly for the introvert. So far I’ve had success at being useful in the community. Thus far:
- As a licensed ham radio operator, KE0JIT. At present as a Technician license operator. Ham radio licensees are your best friend during any disaster. With study I would like to go for the General license in 2019.
- A secret project. Nope, not saying what it is here. It wouldn’t be a secret if I did.
- Disaster relief (Hurricane Maria) in Puerto Rico through the La Hormiga Project and La Travesia Iglesia.
- Civil Air Patrol (CAP) – Emergency Services. If you get lost, or there is a downed pilot, we’ll help come find you. I also help keep a squadron at CAP safe.
CAP balloon launch SAREX
Making friends in Havana
Rebuilding what was broken in Hurricane Maria
This Rover near Viñales, Cuba
Rover Scout: “Service”
And there is other stuff, mostly less organized or more personal.
And during late 2018 into 2019 because time management may not be as big of an issue, I hope to assist in the scout group specifically. Chiefly the 1st Lone Scouts is my aim, but we’ll see what happens. Juggling priorities has been an obstacle to attending a hullabaloo or assisting at a BPSA -US Brownsea scout training.
So, yeah, getting old. As the official summer wraps up I am concluding a couple of things.
One is the importance of keep moving about. If you stop moving, you don’t want to start up again. Newton was right, particularly as it applies to aging bodies in motion.
So despite my interest in carrying a larger pack and hiking a long distance it probably isn’t going to happen without a beast of burden. Or an ATV. I think I’m limited to about a 25 pound load.
Lastly, heat. Really do not do well in it anymore, especially if somewhat laborious. So temperatures above 90′ F are managed unlike when I was in my 20’s. At 52 you can do things in the heat, just not for a very long time. I discovered this in my early 40’s pouring cement in the back yard when I couldn’t take long breaks. It hasn’t improved with age.
So being older and a scout has its challenges. Go for the shaded trails!
Me in the cold where it had a different set of challenges than the summer heat.
Don Robinson State Park
Hike today at Don Robinson State Park. Second time on this trail, my first being right after the park first opened last year. But I’m out of shape from less hiking this past year so I had to take the cut out and do about 2 miles. Lots of scenic hills and Karst.
A scouting friend of mine recently used the term “co-ed” outside of a scouting discussion. The movie Animal House immediately came to mind. Admittedly, I found his usage a bit dated, but nonetheless correct in its context. We’re both ‘old’ guys, so I at least got where he was going with it.
There has been a lot of talk about the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) dropping ‘boy’ from the name. They are going co-ed, much to the chagrin of the Girl Scouts. Personally speaking, I am mystified why in the first place as a country we didn’t do co-ed. I suspect there was more than just religious views of the day influencing the separation of the sexes, not sure. (Read Charles Taylor Gatto’s books for clues about this). There is a view of why separating boys and girls works ‘better’ for learning. I’m not sure I am on board with that for a host of reasons. At any rate, it is good that BSA will be more inclusive going forward. As fellow scouters I wish them well. However, the USA Today story accurately points out that there were co-ed scouting groups even prior to BPSA-US. They too are fellow scouters.
Serving others and getting out and see stuff. It’s what being a Rover Scout is all about. (Trail location – near Berea College, Berea, KY).
Originally I was attracted to BPSA-US because my daughters could participate with me (but their participation didn’t stick). However, BPSA-US follows the ‘traditional’ scouting model, which means that as a kid-at-heart I get to be a Rover Scout as Lord Baden-Powell intended all along. I continue to be a Scout. The “game of scouting” is a fun one. I mean, in the BSA to be an adult scout you have to be an administrator (perhaps it will change?), sometimes missing out on the trail fun. Learning by doing (and serving) is great for me somewhat due to my Aspergers. The same Pathfinder skills expected of the children are expected of me. Not all of those skills are so easy to learn I might add. Try starting a fire with iron and flint and see what I mean. (I found fellow Rovers were quite patient with me learning knots and camp craft at my Brownsea). I mean, who wants to just be an adult administrator when camping, woodcraft, and hiking are involved?
You can’t be good at everything as as an adult. But Rovering in scouting provides me a fun structure, be part of something bigger with like minded scouters (regardless of the hang-ups about sex, orientation, religion, etc). I like that. And I like that USA Today saw the value in reporting that too.
It’s autumn. It’s time for scouting. Let us hike, make knots and figure out how to survive in the cold together! You can learn to do this by being a Scout.
Lord Baden-Powell (BP) is credited for starting the scouting movement. The following Scout Law is taken from the 1908 edition of Scouting for Boys. It’s important to understand that this is the traditional scouting law as envisioned by BP.
The BPSA-US is a traditional scouting organization. And it’s inclusive; so regardless of your sex, how you identify, religious or not, or even if you’re an adult (like me – BP wanted adult Rover Scouts), you can be a Scout with BPSA-US. But the BPSA-US improved upon the idea of ‘traditional scouting’ making it inclusive, without all the colonial and other unfriendly trappings of Victorian Era scouting.
Traditional Scout Law
- A Scout’s honor is to be trusted.
- A Scout is loyal.
- A Scout’s duty is be useful and to help others.
- A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout.
- A Scout is courteous.
- A Scout is a friend to animals.
- A Scout obeys orders.
- A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
- A Scout is thrifty.
- A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.
The BPSA-US is not affiliated with the BSA or Girl Scouts. Despite not being affiliated, we are all fellow scouters.
Since I used to associate autumnal anxiety with school, fall was often unpleasant. No more. That is decades gone. Now it’s meant for Rover hiking and camping!
So to kick it off I am getting my Rover – 1st Lone Scouts ‘necker’ purchased and a warmer weather BPSA t-shirt from the Quartermaster. Also found a ready made woggle for my necker.
Now if the summer heat would disappear …