Life is But One Long Canoe Ride


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.


4 thoughts on “Life is But One Long Canoe Ride

  1. Congratulations to your husband on his service to the Scouts and their recognition of that! We served some time in the Scouting world also, first with our sons, and then with our oldest grandson. I even did a winter campout with him a couple of years ago, when it was below 20° at night. Not bad for an old grandma of nearly 60. 🙂 Whether a Scout has a good experience overall is definitely related to the parental involvement on every level. There are some very dedicated people in Scouting, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

  2. I echo the above comments, as an Eagle Scout and a Scoutmaster, I certainly appreciate hard working parents like your husband. Thanks for taking the time to post and share your feeling about your husband!

  3. What a wonderful achievement. Our experiences and the people who help us through those experiences contribute greatly to who we become. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving because those you’ve helped will go on to help others long after you’re gone. What satisfaction he must feel. And what about your son achieving Eagle! That’s something to be proud of, too.

    His Super Bowl/birthday dinner sounds yummy to me.

  4. It was delightful. We count on snow for his birthday, so we eat at home or at a nearby restaurant. Right now, I am helping girls in my daughter’s Girl Scout troop achieve the Gold Award—makes Eagle seem like a walk in the park. 😉

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