“Staffers” aka Crazy People

This summer I once again have the privilege of serving at a Boy Scout Camp here in the midwest. Of course, as the staff gathers we only have a vague idea of what the summer holds for us. And yet we cast ourselves headlong knowing that in less than two weeks our camp will be fully alive with activity.

We’re staff. We’ve given up our summers, time with our friends, and good paying jobs. We’ll push ourselves to the breaking point and then carry each other over the edge. We do it all for the camp we love. And facilitating a great program is never easy; we’ll be working in less than ideal conditions, and by the end the stress will break each of us in some way. But when we fall we always catch each other. Because as staffers, we’re so much more than coworkers, we’re family. And that’s why I know it’s going to be a great summer.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…





free writing for better writing pt2

author’s note: this continues the series where I take a free writing prompt and present it to you in it’s rough form. this is all in the effort to create characters for my fiction work.

A Perfect Day

deep breath. Smell that? it’s a warm spring morning and there was a thunderstorm last nite. I see the leaves dripping, the winding dirt path is slightly muddy, all around there is a surreal glow as the may sun hits the foliage, and crashing though my thoughts is the sound of countless song birds beckoning to each other. As I shoulder my pack I smile at my friend. Let’s do this.

we begin down the trail turning the bend and losing sight of the car. Our goal today is to reach the overlook, to see for miles. But that doesn’t really matter, does it? What I’m doing, where I’m at, and the time of the year are all second rate to who I’m with. What makes it a perfect day is spending time with a friend. It’s about catching up, laughter, discussing life, and meaningless shit. That’s what brings me to life more than anything else.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…


Backpacking Equipment

enjoying the view of the St Francois mountains

Enjoying the view of the St Francois mountains.

As promised, I will also be including bits of my outdoor adventures here. This is my current summer backpacking gear list. Very similar to what I packed earlier this summer when I went hiking on the Ozark Trail in southern Missouri (I’ll tell that story at some point).

3-Day Summer Backpacking List

  • Shelter and sleeping          =4lbs2.15oz
  • +Hammock                             =13.5oz
    +Rain fly                                 =13.75oz
    +4 Stakes                               =2.9oz
    +30*F Sleeping bag               =2lb 4oz
  • Water and food gear           =1lb 6.65oz
    +20oz Water bottle (empty)    =.85oz
    +2L Water bladder (empty)    =6.7oz
    +Cook kit (3cup pot, bandana, stove, lighter, stuff sack) =10.65oz
    +16oz Fuel bottle (empty)      =.35oz
    +Sawyer squeeze water filter =3.15oz
    +Medium dry-sack                  =.95oz
  • Clothing (packed)           =1lb 14.05oz
    +T-shirt                              =8oz
    +2pair Poly ankle socks    =2.7oz
    +Bandana                          =.95oz
    +Gym shorts                      =8.45oz
    +2pairs Compression shorts =8oz
    +Knee Brace                      =.85oz
    +Large dry-sack                 =1.1oz
  • Other gear                        =3lbs 10.25oz
    +Penlight                            =2.1oz
    +Map                                  =.75oz
    +Notepad & Pencil              =2.55oz
    +Compass                          =1.65oz
    +Carabiner                         =1.6oz
    +First aid/repair kit              =3.8oz
    +Rain jacket w/stuff sack    =6.6oz
    +20ft Paracord                    =1.3oz
    +REI Flash 45 Backpack     =2lbs 4oz
    +Sunglasses                       =.75oz
    +Penknife                            =1.15oz

Total base weight =11lbs 1.1oz

  • Clothing (worn) =4lbs 1.2oz
    +Zip-off Hiking Pants =14.15oz
    +T-shirt =8oz
    +Compression shorts =4oz
    +Poly Ankle socks =1.35oz
    +Adidas Trail Runners =2lbs 5.7oz
  • Consumables
    +2.5L Water (on average) =5lbs 8oz
    +Food (1lb/day) =3lbs
    +Fuel (usually) =1lb

Base weight =11lbs 1.1oz
Consumables =9lbs 8oz
Pack weight =20lbs 9.1oz
Clothing worn =4lbs 1.2oz

So yeah, very happy with what my kit has evolved into; with a base weight under 12 pounds it is unarguably a lightweight load out. This allows for the potential of me cranking out major miles (though not necessarily). As in all things, there are many equally important factors to backpacking, the gear is just one small part. Nothing can replace being adequately prepared.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…