Meet the man who has floated my boat for over 32 years. Today is his birthday and he is celebrating with a snowy day, the Super Bowl, a chili and chicken quesadilla dinner with a chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream chaser. Canoeing is in his blood and he is never happier than when he’s taking the Current River at full speed, though sometimes he’ll settle for a placid local lake as is pictured above.
Camping is also in his blood and so it was a pleasure to see him honored last night by the Boy Scouts in our region for his contributions to our son’s troop. My husband served that troop as camping coordinator throughout our son’s tenure, taking the troop spelunking and camping and canoeing every month of the year for upwards of 5 years. (Someday I will regale you with tales of the girls-weekends-out my daughter and I enjoyed during those halcyon scouting years.)
My husband stayed on with the troop long after our son achieved Eagle, mentoring the new young dads in the ways of orienteering and water safety and schooling them in the secrets of tasty camp cooking. So it is fitting that he be recognized for his efforts, though he and I would both assert that tremendous parental involvement and support made all the difference for all the kids all of that time.
This honor is well deserved and meaningful, but what really makes his day is hearing the scouts themselves or their parents tell stories of the great fun they had and how much they now enjoy the memories of crawling through a dark, muddy cave on their backs, cooking cherry cobbler in a dutch oven over an open fire, or flipping a canoe full of gear and living to tell about it.
Someone once asked me—before we had kids—if my husband had gone very far in scouting. I said, “Well, he became a park ranger; how much further can you go?” But now I know just how much further you can go: you can pay that scouting experience forward and far into the future simply by sharing it with others.