Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thoughts from a Conference

The 52nd Annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators wrapped up earlier this week.  This was the 13th conference for me and I always enjoy the networking that occurs.

In fact this time I was able to meet in person folks from my Twitter PLN.  I know most of the superintendents and business officials, but that leaves a big gap.  Many of them I learn from on Twitter, but had not met them until the conference.

Materials from the conference can be found on the DESE website.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July Paddle

For the second month in a row I've been able to paddle out of state.  Mr. Shaw and I went to visit the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia and took a rafting trip before heading home.

While there we camped and paddled with West Virginia Adventures.  Rob and his son RAD took us on a nice trip down the New River Gorge.

RAD led us through swim rapid and made sure that we took a leap from jump rock.  We threaded the needle near our takeout and then made the long drive home.

We're ready to go back with more folks.

A Day at the Jamboree

Every 4 years the Boy Scouts of America holds a National Jamboree, although it has gone off schedule to celebrate anniversaries.

As a family we visited the 2010 Jamboree at Fort AP Hill in Virginia.  It was the 100th anniversary of Scouting in the US and was the last Jamboree to be held at the Hill.  As a youth I had attended the first Jamboree held there.

2013 marked the first time for the Jamboree to be held at its new permanent home, Summit Bechtel Reserve.  As a visitor I was impressed.  The leaders and scouts we spoke with were also impressed, even though all the finishing touches weren't ready.  Although weary from the heat, humidity, and occasional rains, everyone we spoke with was in high spirits and having a blast.  Staying hydrated is key and the water intake guide served as a good benchmark for drinking water.

We visited on perhaps one of the busier days for visitors...the day of the big show.  Weather forecasts changed the schedule for the day, but we got in just about everything we hoped.  Rather than starting in the early evening, the pre-show started at 3pm.

Scouts went wild for the King of Sweden when he led a cheer for the 40,000+ in attendance.  Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs delivered a superb message to those in attendance, as well as those watching it stream live.

During out visit we made some new friends from Utah, Massachusetts, and West Virginia.  We talked to one Scout from Malaysia and saw others from Canada, Mexico, Sweden, and Ethiopia.

The Summit will take week-long campers in 2014 and improvements will continue for the next National Jamboree in 2017.  The world will get to see it in 2019 for the World Jamboree.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Is it unreasonable to ask for sound public policy not guilded by ideology?

What is it that we heard from DC during debt talks?  Never let a crisis go to waste. 

I think that is about to happen to us.  The reform/privatization/for-profit agenda will be pushed hard in the upcoming legislative session.  Schools in Missouri may be different, but will they be better?  The Interim Committee on Education will hear a lot about the transfer situation in St. Louis.
Opinion polls and sound bites will be plentiful in the coming months.  In the end I fear ideology will get in the way of sound public policy like it has time and time again.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reverent Walk

Each time I visit our nation's capital I try to find some time to walk on the National Mall.  The Smithsonian Museums are undeniably a treasure, but the history of our founding and the memorials to those who have sacrificed are what I enjoy.

Walking the Mall one can't help being mesmerized by the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Memorials.  This trip I took some time to find the name of one of my dad's friends on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.  I took a photo and sent it to him.  Dad later called to tell me he used to pick up Donnie Cunningham on his way to work each day.

I read something the other day to the effect that the founders of our country were geniuses, but those who are funning it now are idiots.  I won't speak to the latter, but remain in awe of the vision our founding fathers had.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires

A friend posted this to Facebook. 

The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to -
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation minded.

The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to -
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation minded.