Scouting London

by Idaho Dad on August 21, 2014

Continuing the story of the big adventure to England that my son’s Scout Troop embarked on this summer.

Before they hit the trail, a few days of sightseeing were planned for London.

Most of these boys are from small towns and rural areas. They aren’t brimming with experience of dealing with the big city, especially not one of the largest in the world.

The traffic, the Tube, the people, it can all be so chaotic.

But, being Scouts, they were prepared. They dealt with it, even reveled in it. I think a few of them could see themselves living in a place like London.

We walked for miles. Rode the Tube for miles. Rented bikes. Took the train. And a boat.

Even got lost for a time.

In other words, these boys really moved through London.

Here’s a little bit of what they saw:

Meeting a Beefeater at the Tower of London

"If you're walking across England, you'll want to go this way."

It's a long way down from the top of St. Paul's Cathedral

They've been known to bite!

Admiring the tapestries at Hampton Court Palace

Household Cavalry

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Exploring the Thames on a rocket boat.

Queen Victoria, Empress of India

Harrod's Confectionary, Home of the $5000 box of chocolates

The Shard, Europe's tallest building

Westminster Abbey

Ancient Assyrian frieze at the British Museum

A sleepy guard

Bangers 'n' Mash

The Victoria Memorial, outside Buckingham Palace

Chilling on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral

The Baden-Powell House at night

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Lake Life

by Idaho Dad on August 14, 2014

When you live near one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, you want to spend as much time at it as possible.

This is what we try to do all summer.

We look at it, swim in it, walk next to it, boat on it, take pictures of it, and brag a lot about it.

It will still be there in the winter, it’s just not as much fun.

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The Biggest Challenge

by Idaho Dad on August 5, 2014

More about Troop 3′s amazing England adventure…

Who knew that the biggest challenge to taking a group of teens and adults halfway around the world for a week-long hike would be getting them all to look in the same direction at the same time for group photos?

It took an average of 7 clicks of the camera to get most of them facing forward and attempting a smile.

But there was always one who couldn’t quite get with the program.

Here are the boys on the deck of the HMS Belfast.

And also with some of the dads in front of Buckingham Palace. Notice the rare coordination of t-shirts!

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Making History

by Idaho Dad on August 4, 2014

They did it.

Troop 3, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, became the first Boy Scout troop in the history of the Inland Northwest Council and the State of Idaho to travel to Great Britain and to walk the entire length of the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

They came, they saw, they blistered.

And they conquered the 84-mile trail from the North Sea to the Irish Sea.

They made history while seeing history.

It was a long journey, but worth every step. I’ll write more about it in the weeks to come.

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You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

June 30, 2014

I felt much like Ralphie, the bright-eyed optimist in A Christmas Story, who asked for an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle. In my case, however, it was a simple proposal that began nearly three years ago when the adults in my son’s Boy Scout troop were discussing high adventure trips for [...]

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The Finnish Line

June 24, 2014

Awhile back, there was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal about teenagers in Finland, and how they are among the smartest, highest-testing students in the world. There’s much debate about what, exactly, the Finns are doing right, but I noticed a couple of items in the article that bear highlighting. I think parents [...]

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The Collector

June 20, 2014

The need to collect things must be in our DNA. We never taught our kids to gather their favorite toys together in one place, but that’s exactly what they did from the earliest age. Blocks, balls, figurines. Even as babies, it seemed to be instinctive for them to sort and display their most cherished items. [...]

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Eric Herman is Still a Party Animal

June 9, 2014

My kids love music, but their tastes have developed quite differently into their teen years. My 15-year-old son enjoys The Beatles, XTC, Crowded House, and a range of movie soundtrack composers, from Danny Elfman to Ennio Morricone. Meanwhile, my 12-year-old daughter likes just about every type of music, but is currently dredging up the 70s, [...]

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Mr. Blue, You Did It Right

May 23, 2014

The view from my chair at Scout Camp last weekend. We wait patiently through the long winter for scenes like this, then spend six months soaking it all up until the cold and gray return. It’s a good lesson for kids. Appreciate what you have while it’s there. Soon enough, it will be gone.

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Ten Years Later

May 22, 2014

I missed my anniversary! But I’m not in trouble with the wife, because I never forget THAT anniversary. No, this blog celebrated its 10-year anniversary two days ago, and I left the thing sitting alone in a restaurant with a red rose and an empty chair. Sorry about that, A Family Runs Through It. I’ve [...]

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