Grateful for autumn

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 …


Team Puerto Rico

Word has it prior to departure that our work team will assist “La Hormiga” as they work on demolition in a suburb of San Juan, PR.  The homes do not qualify for FEMA funds because the occupants didn’t legally own the property, so private groups are assisting with the rebuild. The state government is assisting the squatters with acquiring legal right to the land.  I do wish them well and not the speed with which matters typically happen on ‘island time’.

The days will be long in the sun. I am looking forward to cool nights and coqui frogs chirping all night.



Camouflage, new hat, thrift, and the scout

I actually loath camouflage

Not because camouflage is inherently evil, or associated with warfare.  It’s the aesthetics.  Ugh, those lines!  I think it is hideous; camouflage is awful for this old art student.  However, it’s practical in many respects.  It might help with repelling insects.  Maybe hide you from insurgents, and certainly profit a bad artist for the MIC.  Let’s admit – so few look good in it.

But surplus is wide spread (thrift!).  When you need a floppy ‘boonie’ hat you are mostly likely to end up with one that is camouflage due to the market availability (or MIC) of the woodland or desert patterns.  In my case I have an old woodland pattern cover.  A perfect hat for summer sun and downpours. (Trust me on the downpours).



This Rover near Viñales, Cuba.  Is it official scouting if I wear this hat? I discovered that camouflage is widely worn by the Cuban people. “That’s an ugly hat, but it looks good on you” – Rodney Dangerfield, Caddyshack


The BPSA-US re-introduces ‘traditional scouting’

Not replacing the old immediately was my thrift plan.  I never wore it for an official Scout picture, presumably not conflicting with a no camouflage uniform rule. I needed a new Scout hat for official BPSA-US uniform stuff.  Note – I’m not crazy about uniforms either, but I empathize with the ‘feel like you’re part of the team’ espirit de corp.  Slowly (very) I’m working on acquiring my official Rover Uniform.  I am grateful the 66th Confluence bought me a scout shirt otherwise I may have opted out.  I chose to replace my floppy camouflage hat with a solid olive-khaki one.



Another non-official hat for this scout, but worn for safety in the woods on a fall day during hunting season.  Improvements for safety in uniforms and gear are permissible for BPSA-US scouts.


To extend my thriftiness, I did not buy a hat from the Quartermaster! No!  I found an adjustable floppy hat, in olive that is just right for less money than the Quartermaster offered.  Yes, it’s new, please consider I have a big head – literally a size 8.

So, a new big floppy hat was purchased.  It is tough to scout with a headache.


Mo. bear aware

Missouri has bears. Yup. Department of Conservation estimates 300-350 black bears now. Most still south of I-44.


Black bear tranquilized by the Mo Dept of Conservation for study. Image from @moconservation.

Leading a relief group for hurricane relief

In July 2018 I will lead a Hurricane Maria relief group to Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.

I am expected to raise $1,000 that will cover my expenses like airfare, food, etc, but will also include my buying building materials for things like roofs.

A tax-deductible donation to assist me can be made through:

Midtown Church

4148 Botanical Ave.

Saint Louis, Missouri 63110


One reason I am leading this is I know the island well. Some of our family is from the island. Additionally, I have carpentry, fabrication, search & rescue, and emergency radio operation skills as KE0JIT – ham radio that will aid this work.

As a Rover Scout, I will be prepared!

Thank you in advance for any small assistance, even if $5 or $10! Please specify in the ‘memo’ on your check ‘David Holden PR hurricane relief trip’.


Camp fire prep

No, this isn’t a scout how-to about lighting your camp fire. It’s about thrift; a scouting virtue.

Went looking for scrap wood to take camping. There was an old pallet in an alley I remembered but it departed before I could retrieve it.

Sure enough I have a stockpile of 2×4 ends in the basement that are nice and dry. Pine burns kind of fast, is kinda smokey, but it’s free!