Monday, July 28, 2008

Ego Over Matter 2008: Week 8: Scout Camp Post-Mortem Edition

One week, 7500 feet of elevation climb, lots of walking, service, various projects, and sleeping away from my own bed for seven days… just another week in Paradise (LOL!).

This morning’s weigh-in had me at 201 pounds. That translates to no movement on the scale… and I couldn’t be happier, at least for this week :). My goal was just to get through this week with no injuries, no hurt feelings, and no calls home to parents to pick up boys for bad behavior (which would *not* have been trivial, considering we were 240 miles away from home).

For those who have followed this adventure of mine through this time, you’ll remember that my goal was to get myself back to ‘fighting weight” to bring my boys to Scout Camp this year, and frankly, I’m glad I did. The camp the boys chose this year was Camp Oljato, which is one of three camps located on Lake Huntington (about 70 miles East of Madera and Fresno, between Yosemite and Sequoia Natl. Monument). Entry to the camp is by boat only, so it helped to be economical with what was brought, and the fact that bears are in the area required all food items be locked up at the main dining hall in a second story bear box only accessible by ladder. Our camp site was the farthest west of all the areas, about 1200 feet away from the dining hall… needless to say, this kept snacking to a minimum, as every trip from the campsite to the dining hall and back resulted in a half mile walk. Meals were adequate if not stunning, but hey, I don’t really expect culinary excellence of a high order at a Scout Camp. I’ve had better, but I’ve also had far worse. The fact that getting more food in the dining hall meant that you had to wait in a really long line (300 people up at camp all told this past week) also made me choose the salad bar over the main steam tables many, many times. In short, I worked hard, I walked a *lot*, I ate well, and I came back at a dead even weight from when I left. That’s a good feeling. Now if I can get it to translate to my daily life the rest of the time, that would be awesome (LOL!).

Some highlights from this week… a very successful camp for all of the boys. Out of eight boys attending, we bagged 25 merit badges (including two that were completed just before we left for camp), 6 rank advancements, and did enough while there to earn the Honor Troop award and have all of the kids and both adults that attended qualify for Tribe (many Scout camps have a set of goals that, if you complete them, qualify you as a member of the camp tribe; of course we decided to go for it :) ). My son Nick bagged the Environmental Science, Camping, Wilderness Survival and Climbing merit badges. He also sat for his Life Boards of Review with the camp staff at Oljato. He said this was the toughest Board of Review he’d ever been through; they grilled him for a full 45 minutes. He was very relieved when they said that he’d passed (for those not familiar with Scouting, the Life rank is the one just below Eagle Scout). Nick is just shy of turning twelve, and has only been in the Boy Scout program for fifteen months, so he’s come a long way in a short amount of time. The only thing separating him from his Eagle Scout award is three required merit badges (Citizenship in the Community, Personal Fitness and Personal Management), an Eagle Scout Service Project (he’s already got ideas as to what he wants to do) and a minimum of six months active tenure as a Life Scout. The thought that my kid could earn his Eagle at age twelve just totally blows my mind!

One other huge success and great revelation from my boys is that they almost to a man have decided there’s one activity that they really love and can’t seem to get enough of, and that’s Rock Climbing. I’m talking the full ropes and harnesses, cliff face kind of Rock Climbing. The Troop as a whole decided that they wanted to focus on Rock Climbing as a troop specialty… which means that their Scoutmaster now has a new hobby, whether he was looking for one or not (LOL!). Thus, Ego Over Matter now has a new element to it. I pledged to the boys that I would get certified in climbing so that I could lead expeditions with them, and now my diet and fitness has a whole new trajectory. I wonder how hard it is to become a proficient rock climber at 40 (LOL!).
So there it is, we made it home safe and sound, and now I have some new goals to aspire to, and yet even more reason to bring my weight down, my strength up, and keep a focus on staying in “fighting shape” for the long term. Wish me luck :).

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