Of Service and Spirit

Some of the best times, in my Scouting career, have been spent with my friends in the Order Of The Arrow.  They know how to have a good, insane time while still managing not to burn the place they’re at down.  They possess an enthusiasm unrivaled except by maybe the Camp Staff.

Just a couple of weekends ago, I was back at my “home” at Camp Friedlander for Fall Fellowship.  Friday night was insanely awesome.  We got caricatures of us drawn, the Dance and Drum Team in the Dining Hall, some epic belt buckles courtesy of my brother, a little movie, and just a chance to see all the Arrowmen from camp or not.

The morning dawned on us, a little cold, but not much, and we managed to tramp over to the Dining Hall for breakfast, some messages, and then going immediately to add some gravel to a trail.  Now you might think that that sounds like a terrible morning job, having strenuous work at that time – and in truth there were probably a few people who thought that… for a bit – but then we got into this rhythm of working and singing all the camp songs we could think of.

What with the Titanic Song, some number thing I can’t really remember, Top-Notcher, and Mike making Matt go hoarse by yelling Red Wagon back and forth, it was hard to not have a great time, especially because of our great – a little out of tune – melody.

Right after lunch is usually when people want to sleep right?  As it turns out, nobody fell asleep thanks to a bunch of adrenaline, Magic: The Gathering games, and activities spread across the camp.  I, being a more than insane person, must have played Magic for about an hour before finally getting out of the Dining Hall and heading for the farthest outpost.  The Climbing Tower… on the other side of camp.

So I made it there after dropping my stuff off at the home within my home, better known as Trailblazer, my favorite area from when I worked there as a CIT for two weeks.  I was actually lucky, and got there at a time when there was an absolute minimum of people.  So, I got first dibs at climbing or rappelling.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of climbing, rappelling, and then immediately going straight back to climbing instead of resting my arms from the first climb.  While climbing the first time was easy, – as it was the easy side – the second time was just painful.  Ow.

Anyway, after that tiring experience, I walked around the longer way back to the Dining Hall.  I managed to plop myself down on a bench and reach the water jug, but other than that, I had nothing.  I’d like to say that I got out of there and did many more activities, but the truth is, I stuck around the Dining Hall for most of the rest of the night.

Camp Friedlander at night is a peaceful place, and rather quiet… however, if you go walking in the dead of night with two people who have makeshift phone flashlights, it gets a little creepy.  Never walk blindly into a forest where you can’t see two feet in front of your face.  It is a very bad idea.  Oh, and if you see little lights like flashlights or fires, just turn back, in case you are burninated by something over there.

So after that nice little walk in blackness, what did we decide to do?  An unofficial official Magic tournament.  Watch Back to the Future 2.  Then back to a Magic Game that lasted until 2am.  Needless to say, I was dead the next morning… until I got COFFEE.

A bunch of elections followed shortly, lives were saved, etc. etc.

All in all, it was a good time, mostly because… after all… it’s what we Arrowmen do.

Their Unknown Faces

Scary much?  I was able to compile my thoughts on this a little bit, so it might be a “little” more thought out.

I have no idea what happened.  It was all normal and I assumed everything was fine, but there was that twinge of unease… again.  I always look forward to spending time with the homeschoolers, but that day, it was different.

It’s like they were all strangers to me, and it was really different talking to them again.  I suppose life does that to you.  You spend enough time away from people and they start to seem unknown.  You have absolutely no idea who they are anymore and frankly, it was a little disturbing.

My brain was exploding with talking to these people again, because I remember talking to them almost all the time and then… it stopped for such a long period of time…  There are drawbacks to disappearing into a rather isolated place for two straight months, so while that has its benefits, it also has its quirks.

Well, I might as go over the pros and cons of disappearing from the world for an entire summer.

Pros:

You hang out with some of the greatest friends you will ever have within the camp staff.

You have an epic summer of fun-filled epicness!  Duh!

Have some life changing experiences and train the kids of the future (Trailblazer… *hint hint)!

Basically, go out and change the world starting with your small but great part!

Cons:

You have pretty much no idea who your other friends are afterward.

That’s about it.

There aren’t a lot of negative things about camp, so really, it might be a plus for you!  Plus, you can probably fix that problem by inviting your friends to visit whenever they can!  Just, don’t overwhelm campers with the presence of your friends.  That might get out of hand.  Yeah, make sure you do invite your people especially if they are uber close friends of yours.  You will need them,

I have no other things to say on this subject for now, so might as well leave it for another night, right?  There is so much more coming tomorrow, I just know it…

Watching The Dream and The Return To Reality

Do you ever have those dreams that seem to outline some important part of your future?  Yeah, I think I can have some of those.

In the dream, I’m always chasing something in the shadows, which is a pretty apt description of life at some points.  Stumbling forward in the darkness, following a faint sign to my next hour, day, week, year, you get the picture.  Well anyway, dreams are confusing, just like life at most… parts I guess?

Speaking of life, I’m about ready to return to reality!  I mean, every weekend, I’ve been away from home, so it’ll be good to change that this week.  There’s this thing called DTS that I look forward to every 2 weeks or so.  It is my favorite activity with the rest of the homeschoolers.

Things have been really looking up lately I think.  The Eagle Project is really coming along well, and life’s not too terrible, which is a new feeling.  Do note, that it should be normal, but for me, it usually isn’t at all… or maybe I’m just pessimistic…  Whatever the case, I’m pretty weird – by my standards and those of others as well.

I look forward to starting with Trail Life USA.  That’s going to be epic.  Going for Freedom should be really enjoyable.  It’ll be totally different, more of a family program; imagine, twenty years in this program from the age of 5 to 25!  The Convention really blew me away, and there will be many things to look forward to next year.

Maybe even a trip to Steubenville!

On that note, I’m sleepy, and I should probably crash now.  I’ll probably be able to speak more coherently tomorrow…  Goodbye world, and hello slumber *Face slams into pillow*.

The Blade Wielder

Weapons have always been a part of me, even when I was much younger.  You have no idea how much I enjoyed pretending I was wielding swords, axes, guns, etc. etc.

I started training in Tang Soo Do at 5 years old.  Fighting has been in my blood ever since.  The control they taught was amazing.  From a young age I was able to complete advanced forms, and at 7 years old I achieved Black Belt rank.  It was pretty cool getting my red belt replaced by the cool dark one.  There was a certain precision in the forms that was unmatched, and I enjoyed them highly.  I also mostly liked sparring.  The only annoying thing was probably at my testing, where they had my brother and his friend try to continually bop me on the head.  I remember trying to keep them all in line and at the same time not get cornered.  It was not made easier by the fact that I was rather short.  It was all unarmed fighting, and it was very beneficial, especially breath control, most useful thing ever.

Moving into the future.  At 14, I began training in Kali, or Filipino Martial Arts.  Stick fighting, knife fighting, sword fighting, and unarmed combat.  My teachers rolled it into one, and no matter where I am, I eventually find myself performing the moves unconsciously.  When I get Eagle, I feel like getting myself a Filipino sword.

And to now.  Here I am, still young, but not as much as then.  There’s a lot of things that I’ve seen since I started so long ago.  Things I know now that I didn’t know then.  So now I watch and wait for a time.  Just wait for the right moment… It’ll come…