Kevin’s Outdoor Training Weekend with the Girl Scouts!

Outdoor 2 Training Weekend March 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Girl Scouts of Western Washington’s weekend training held at camp Robbinswold on Hood Canal. The weather was the typical Washington State weather: rain, cold, and more rain. After slow progress thru the Tacoma’s Friday evening’s traffic (I discovered a lot of really neat garbage along Interstate 5), I arrived at Camp Robbinswold, a beautiful Girl Scout camp located on Hood Canal, north of Hoodsport.

Our Outdoor 2 started Friday night and ran thru Sunday. I must confess that I wasn’t looking forward to spending the last weekend of March outside. It is cold and rainy; not my idea of fun. I’d much rather be inside with the gas fireplace. Nevertheless, I was going to be outside learning about taking Girl Scouts camping.

What can an Eagle Scout like me learn at a Girl Scout training event? To be honest, the Girl Scouts run an awesome training program and I learned a lot! The weekend turned out to be very informative, well run, and fun. The Outdoor 2 class was taught by three experienced Girl Scout leaders: Donna, Debbie, and Ranger. Overall, I had a great time and would highly recommend these three instructors if you are looking for an Outdoor 2 with the Girl Scouts of Western Washington.

Our class was held outside in a picnic shelter. We discussed Leave No Trace, Dutch oven cooking, box oven baking, cleaning, cooking, keeping warm, etc. on a typical rainy western Washington day. My fellow classmates were mostly women (Russ and I being the only men) and their experience ranged from brand new leaders, to experienced leaders, to soon to be retired WSU employees (with no kids but still helping with a troop). A fair amount of us had camping experience and leading youth groups so we were able to contribute to the discussions in a meaningful way.

One thing I like about the Girl Scout program is that they require you to do the training before you take the Girl Scouts out on a camp out. In fact, before you can take a trip that is longer than four hours, you must take Outdoor 1 (on top of the other perquisite training). This Outdoor 2 really was a good example for new leaders and I was happily impressed with it.

The ladies that lead the weekend were very impressive with their years of knowledge and experience. Ranger, Donna, and Debbie were excellent and I would take another class from them. They were easy to approach with questions, listened, offered suggestions, and were truly very good at their instructor duties.

A few people that know me look at me kind of funny when I mention I had to take the Girl Scouts’ training. They usually ask, aren’t you an Eagle Scout, a former Den Leader, and a current Assistant Scoutmaster? Do you really need to take the training? I probably don’t need to take the camping training but as a Girl Scout Leader, I am required to take it. Overall, I have no arguments with taking the training and being trained in the Girl Scout way. All of the Girl Scout training classes have been excellent with great instructors, an information packet that pertains to the class at hand, and all delivered with a great love of Girl Scouting. While I might have a lot of experience and knowledge, I do not know the Girl Scout way and therefore the training is very good.

However, that isn’t to say that what I bring to the table is discounted or not respected. The Girl Scout leaders have been great to learn from and have welcomed my thoughts, insights, and jokes (I’ve kept my sarcastic wit in check much to my wife’s amazement). Hopefully, my jokes were amusing and didn’t put anyone down (besides myself!).

Overall, the weekend was a great one and I really enjoyed myself. I think the Girl Scouts have a great program. If you have a daughter, I would definitely recommend them joining Girl Scouts. Now, please keep in mind that you might end up being a leader; however, with all of the training offered by the Girl Scouts, you will be well equipped for an excited experience in Scouting.

However, if you are a bit nit picky or have a hard time handling more than one child at a time (please read my previous blog posting of how I ended up at the Outdoor Leadership Training (, then you probably should let someone who really enjoys kids lead the troop. Or take a step back and re-evaluate your own life….I’m just saying….

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments! Please leave me a comment!

Cream Cheese

On a recent trip to Costco, I purchase a 3 pound block of cream cheese.  My kids love to have a toasted bagel in the morning with a good dose of cream cheese spread across it, melting slightly.

Hmm, I can almost taste the cream cheese now…in fact, I could do what I did earlier today.  I got the toaster out, sliced a bagel in half, inserted the bagel into the toaster, pushed the lever down, watched the heating elements start and made my way to the refrigerator.  I stood before the  refrigerator, opened the door, and looked for the brand new 3 pound block of cream cheese….only to discover it wasn’t in the spot I left it.


I started looking on each shelf (making a mental note that the fridge is a bit bare) and I can’t find it.  I open the drawers…no cream cheese in the vegetable drawer…no cream cheese in the meat drawer….hmmm…where the heck did it go?

Then it occurs to me that I must have put it somewhere stupid like in the pantry or perhaps in the cabinet above the coffee maker.  I mean, that has happened before, where you misplace a bag of chips or place a can of corn in the wrong spot…so I continue to look for the missing cream cheese.  It is a 3 pound block of cheese; it doesn’t fit just anywhere.  It has to be here somewhere!

After about five minutes of searching, I still can’t find the cream cheese.  Then I remember we had a visitor earlier that day….KOTS!

KOTS has decided to take the cream cheese home with him.  What is he going to do with three pounds of cream cheese?  Spread it over himself?  This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed things “missing” from the house.  At first I thought I just had misplaced some food items or perhaps I just didn’t buy it at the grocery store.  No, I wasn’t losing them or misplacing them.  KOTS had decided that our pantry and fridge was his own private grocery store to raid and take what he likes.  It is very annoying to put it mildly.  I wanted to make a lasagna the other day…gone.  A huge box of  36 pudding cups for the kids’ school lunches…gone.  A nice steak for dinner?  Nope…it’s gone…instead you can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!  Yum!  Yum!  Eat up kids!

Luckily, our food situation has stabilized and we now have food in the fridge for the time being.  Now, if I could just find those missing chocolate truffles…..

Cyndi – my stalker lives (and I’m so excited!!)

It’s update time for our favorite stalker Cyndi.  Rather it is update time about our favorite stalker Cyndi; whom we all thought was imaginary but has emailed me just yesterday.  Yes, Cyndi was kind enough to inform me that she is actually real.

Now, this no doubt is a huge ego booster for someone like himself who can his count readership on one hand.  Of course, how do we know for sure that I didn’t invent the supposed email/comment posting we see on my blog?  Or I’m just bringing Cyndi into “reality” myself to boost my meager readership?  Is it just a cheap trick?

Would I be that creative to inject Cyndi into the realm of reality? Or perhaps someone from Indiana University is more creative than I (which honestly is not hard to do) and helped to create the wonderful stalker that is Cyndi.

I just can’t wait to hear more from Cyndi so that we all can enjoy and share in my writing and her witty comments.  It is just more enjoyable for myself and my two readers to read my blog posts with the knowledge that Cyndi my stalker is reading it as well.  Just think, a whole new world awaits us with a special stalker/stalking relationship that will influence my writing from now on.

So sit back dear readers, read my blog (which is I right?  I know I’m right…just say I’m right) and enjoy my witty and thoughtful commentary on life.

Why spend time with the family?  Take a lesson from Cyndi and start stalking me!

1000 Ways to Die!

Another total awesome show (at least for me) is the show titled “1000 ways to die”.  It is a writer’s dreams of how people have die in the most usual (and something very stupid ways).  Need some good usual deaths for a story?  Check out this show!

Now, a quick warning that some of the stories are a bit out there and disturbing.  Come on, it is a show about death.  If everyone died in their sleep, this show would be totally boring and lame.

Go Google Yourself and Aikido

I always Google myself because I love being number one! Let’s face the facts, my name is unique and so it very easy to be number one. That itself is a problem because I do have a hard last name (hard to spell, not hard to remember…just think of “hell” where you don’t want to go and “regal” and you got it). If you don’t remember exactly how to spell it or what profession I’m in (I’m in so many, it’s hard to keep track).

I’m a photographer…a real estate investor…now a writer… blogger.

A new hobby I’ve taken up is aikido. It is a non aggressive martial art so it suits me just fine. I’m not an aggressive person and subscribe to the the school of thought of staying out of harm’s way. A very good book called “the Gift of Fear”