I made my way to Seattle last Wednesday evening to attend the Chief Seattle luncheon the following day hosted by the Seattle Seahawks. For those of you who are not aware of these events, every year there are three breakfasts or luncheons that are put on mainly as fund raisers for the council. The downtown luncheon is usually the biggest of the three and has a fairly full and interesting program. I had planned to head into Seattle on Thursday, the day of the luncheon but the more I looked at my schedule and the weather the more I knew that I didn't want to rush things or I would have been just that more annoyed. So in the late hours of Wednesday evening I drove to Seattle in the pouring rain.....and I mean pouring. Talk about being distracted; between the radio, the windshield wipers going back and forth, and the spray from cars and trucks, it was hard to focus on anything. However as I neared Seattle there was a band of fading light on the horizon as the sun was setting and all of a sudden the rain stopped and sky was somewhat clear. In my rear view mirror I could see the maelstrom that I spent a fair amount of time in, fading off into the distance. It seems that Seattle has been spared most of the gloom that the rest of us have had to endure. Even better, the sun was out on Thursday morning.
The luncheon was enjoyable. I wasn't sure if I was going to go this year as work has been fairly demanding of my time, but when I heard they were going to honor former Governor Dan Evans as a scouting pillar of the community, I knew I had to go. As many of you know, Dan is a Seattle native growing up in the Laurelhurst area of Seattle. He is a civil engineer by training and served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He went on to be a State Representative, three time Washington State Governor and two term Senator (well, one and a half as he took Henry Jackson's seat when he passed thanks for the correction BOC). He was also the driving force behind the development of Evergreen State College and served as its president for some time. However, most important to me (and to the Governor) he was an Eagle Scout and a proud member of the Camp Parsons Staff. As this was a scouting event honoring him, the focus was on his experiences as a scout and how they helped shape the man he would become. It was briefly mentioned that he was on the staff at Camp Parsons but what was not told was that he served on the staff for two years, went into the service during the war and returned to serve another two years as he finished college. That is four summers out of his young life he spent on the Hood Canal. The Governor will readily admit there were many experiences in his life that helped shape who is today, but he has told me in the past that his time at camp were some of the most formative. His love for the environment came out of his many hikes into the Olympic Peninsula. The Governor has continued to be a huge supporter of the scouting program and a supporter of Camp Parsons. He has come by on several occasions and was very helpful on our 90th anniversary celebration. That is probably when I got to know him best as he had a tendency to call me when he was on the East Coast traveling.....usually around 0600 his time. I think you know what time that is on the Pacific coast. This was a well deserved honor for a man who has dedicated his life to public service and I am surprised he has not been awarded the Silver Buffalo from the National Council.....yet. Perhaps that is our next push.
As I watched him receive this honor and listened to his short speech afterwards, my mind wandered back to my previous post of what the future holds for our current and former staff members. How was Dan Evans when he applied to staff at age 16 and did the camp leadership see what the future might hold for him (or at least the potential) when they hired him? When I interview scouts today I often think, "is this the next corporate giant?" "is this a future Governor?" "is this person going to have any success as he does have the talent but does not have the desire to apply it?"
During the rest of the luncheon the council showed a video that was compiled and edited by Garrigan and Lyman Assoc. but was taken by scouts who were given small "flip phones" to take videos of things they did at camp. It was actually well done, but there was hardly anything of Camp Parsons in this video which was introduced as a "Look at our Summer Camps" piece. Not that it matters as the key thing was seeing scouts in the outdoors having fun, but it was interesting that the man being honored attributes his time at Camp Parsons which continues to operate as it did when the Governor was a child. There were more pictures/video of Camp Sheppard than there were of Camp Parsons. What they did show were two scenes; one where the scout try to get a tire over a large post and tug of war (hullabaloo), the other was a brief picture of two scouts in a canoe on a windy day. Oh yes, there were a few pics of the Scoutmaster belly flop but that was about it. When you think about scouts having fun at Camp Parsons what do you think about? Right....jumping off the pier, something that no other camp can do.........not even a picture of the pier, just the pier float. Regardless, it was well put together and enjoyable to watch and does show to a business audience what summer camp is about.
Word from camp is that the TP is pretty much all but done. The water has been turned on and the concrete pads for the front and back decks have been poured. What is left is the inside "dressing" and it will be good to go. Staff letters are going out and some may have arrived. Off we go.....