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Tag Archives: Oregon

Boy Scout Camp: Camp Meriwether – The Camp of Broken Dreams, Tears, and Crybaby Hill

Boy Scout Camp: Camp Meriwether

  In June, I took over as Scoutmaster for my son’s Boy Scout troop.  This was my first Boy Scout camp where I was in charge as the head Scoutmaster.  In year’s past, I have always been the Assistant Scoutmaster; not the guy in charge.  I’m happy to report that this year things went smoothly at summer camp.  No major issues to report.  The new First Year Scouts (that have recently joined our troop) weren’t too homesick and our older scouts weren’t too much of trouble makers this year.  No fires to report; no hazing; only one scout who wandered off in the middle of the night; and only one disrespectful scout (who won’t be coming back) because as I told him “There is a new sheriff in town.”

  We had 19 scouts and 6 adults attend Camp Meriwether (located on the Oregon Coast near Tillamook) this summer.  It was nice to go back to the same Boy Scout summer camp again this summer.  Again, we were luckily enough to have a great campsite with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.  It is quite a bonus to wake up and see the surf crashing on the beautiful sand beach each morning.

  Boy Scout summer camp is in no way a picnic.  It is fun but it isn’t a vacation.  A vacation would entail me actually relaxing, sleeping in a comfortable bed, drinking a nice bottle of beer (or scotch) and having some really good food.  In reality, Boy Scout camp is me having to walk at least five minutes to a flush toilet, ten minutes to a hot shower, and waking up every morning at 6 am.  Not exactly my ideal vacation.  I also have to supervise 19 Boy Scouts who are mostly teenagers or pre-teens.  Imagine herding cats and you now know what Boy Scout camp is like.

  Some of the Boy Scouts are good; some are misdirected.  They are typical teenagers.  They want to sleep in (but they can’t).  They stay up too late.  Their nerves on at their last shreds of working and they begin to annoy each other.  They don’t take enough showers.  Some scouts like to take two showers a day while others don’t shower for the whole week.  Throw four boys into a cabin and it looks like the room was tossed by some overzealous vice cops on a drug bust; the cabin is just plain awful.  God knows if they actually brush their teeth or not.  Wash their hands?  One can only hope.

  On the plus side, we had great weather with mostly sunshine and no rain.  The food isn’t bad but I wouldn’t eat it long term.  To be fair, Camp Meriwether has the best food I have experienced at a Boy Scout camp.  Overall, the Scouts (and the adults) had a positive experience. 

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A Must Have for Every Music Collection!

Luckily, a few weeks back while I was on vacation in Newport, Oregon, I found a music CD that will make every road trip more enjoyable forever!  I was given this idea by a friend Kris who did a huge road trip with his sons to Boy Scout camp.  How I envied him and his kids after I heard what kind of music CD he had and all I could think about was I must look high and low for this remarkable music CD.

It is a CD that everyone should have.  But what is it?

It is called “Irish Drinking Songs”.  It really doesn’t matter who the artist is, you should have this CD in your music collection (or download it and add it to your ITunes collection).  If you happen to be Irish, like to drink, and know all the Irish drinking songs, then you get a pass on not having this CD in your collection (or on your iPod)Irish Drinking Songs

However, for the rest of you, it is a must have!  Think of the hours of pure enjoyment and bliss you’ll have singing along to songs like “Wild Rover” and “Bog Down in the Valley-O”.  You don’t really sing along as much as mumble along to these delightful tunes.  Frankly, I can’t understand most of the words the singer is singing but at least I can pretend to know what the heck the singer is singing.

I’m pretty sure that I can find the lyrics online and really learn these songs but what would be the fun in that?  It is much more exciting to mumble along and struggle to understand the thick Irish tongue.

What if you don’t drink?  Not a problem, just because these songs are called Irish Drinking Songs doesn’t mean you have to drink when you sing them.  I’m driving my car when I am listening to the songs so I can’t be drinking alcohol.  But I can still treat myself to these wonderful tales of woe and misfortune that only the Irish can truly express in song.

With Irish Drinking Songs, I know my whole family will be banded together in common song on any road trip.  Even a short jaunt to the neighborhood store should allow us a tune or two to soak in.  Can you imagine if I have to drive up to Seattle in morning traffic?  I almost faint in the sure joy it will bring knowing I can listen and sing along to the songs while stuck in the Seattle crawl of doom.  Perhaps there will be hope when I have to drive to Bellevue by myself, hope in the form of an Irish Drinking song!

So raise your glass and toast to the Irish Drinking Songs CD I have recently acquired!

As always your comments are enjoyed and encouraged.  And hit that “Like” button so you can make my writing career skyrocket upwards to fame and fortune.

Boy Scout Camp: The Torture Continues

We just returned from another week at Boy Scout Summer Camp.  As with all the years prior to this, a few of us always think of ways we can improve our experience as adult leaders.  This is our reflection time.  This is the time when we think back and review all of our mistakes and ask ourselves “Why?  Why do we still keep doing this?”

Our view from our campsite.

Our view from our campsite.

Over the next few days, I hope to gather my notes and thoughts about summer camp.  Last year, I didn’t blog about my experience because I was lazy.  Hey, I’m honest.  It is one point in the twelve points of the Scout Law.  There were good stories there but I just couldn’t get my butt in gear to write about them.

This year I actually spent 20 cents and purchased a 70 page spiral notebook binder (it was on sale; I’m frugal).  We had our brainstorming session where no idea is a bad idea (unless I tell you it is a stupid, really, really stupid idea and why do you even think you should be talking?).  And I now have some material to work with.

These thoughts will be wrapped into a Guide Book for Assistant Scoutmasters.  A rookie Assistant Scoutmaster will definitely benefit from my vast amount of knowledge.  I’m pretty sure jaded seasoned scoutmasters will also enjoy it as well.  I’m sure all Scoutmasters will find it helpful as well because frankly, it will be awesome.

This Guide will be directly to the Assistant Scoutmaster.  I know you probably want me to write about the head honcho job: Scoutmaster.  Here are my thoughts about the Scoutmaster job: I don’t want to be writing or commenting on a job I don’t do. We’ll stick to the back up Scoutmaster’s job that I know.  A tale about taking naps and wearing flip flops.

Overall the Boy Scout camp we did this past week was a great one.  We trekked all the way from Kent, Washington down to Tillamook, Oregon and attended Camp Meriwether.

Camp Meriwether's Beach Enterance

Camp Meriwether’s Beach Enterance

Camp Meriwether is located right on the Oregon Coast and we had a truly wonderful campsite location.  Our campsite was on a bluff overlooking the beach and I must rave about how amazing the view was.  I was able to see the ocean waves from my bunk.  Each night I fell asleep listening to the waves crashing and the sounds of four scoutmasters snoring away….

We had great weather through the whole week.  Not too hot, not too cold.  We really lucked out.

As always your comments are welcome!  Put down the milkshake and hit the “Like” button!

80s Dance Attack 2012 in Portland, Oregon

Last night, my wife and I attended the 80’s Dance Attack at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon and had a fantastic time.  If you enjoy dancing to the music of the 1980s, then I think you’d really enjoy this event.  VJ Kittyrox does an outstanding job spinning the tunes and the Crystal Ballroom is an awesome venue in which to host this event.

Being from the Seattle area, I was a little hesitating in my desire to make the drive down to Portland for a Halloween party.  However, my wife encouraged me to consider this a getaway from the kids for the weekend and to enjoy our time away.  I agree with her in this observation and glad we made the trip.

We stayed at McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel  and found it to be a delightful hotel.  The staff was helpful, friendly, and courteous.  Our room was clean and the bathrooms just as clean.  It is a European style hotel (however they do have bedrooms with private baths if you like).

We managed to enjoy happy hour at Zeus’ Café and the food was excellent.  We dined on mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, & basil pizza, Chickpea Plank Fries, and a Zeus’ Piedmontese Burger.  Not to miss out on a fine beverage from McMenamin’s Brewery, I enjoyed the limited Black Widow Porter (which is advertised as only being available from October 15 through October 31 each year).

We had a great time dancing to the mighty songs of the 1980s decade in our Halloween costumes.  The Crystal Ballroom was packed the whole evening and the music was nonstop.  The crowd seemed to really get into the spirit of the music.  Songs from Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Madonna, and many others filled the evening with hours of dancing.

After an evening of dancing, an added bonus was the fact our hotel was only a block away.  A short walk back to our hotel and it was time for bed.

We’ll definitely be back for next year’s event.

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