Saturday, July 16, 2011

Al Taub

Dalworthington Gardens celebrated its 75th Anniversary this past June.  I am very proud to be a resident and have the served the City as it City Administration from 1993-2002.  During that period I had the privilege an honor to work for the Honorable Mayor Albert Taub.  He served as Mayor of Dalworthington Gardens from 1986-2006.  I had a wonderful time at the celebration catching up with my former boss.

Although I was appointed by the whole City Council, I always say that Mayor Taub took a chance with a 26 year old kid.  I had work as a Budget Analyst for two and half years for the City of Dallas. (Please note I was promoted to a Senior Budget Analyst in that period)  I had my Masters Degree in Public Administration from Texas Tech, I thought I knew it all.  I was so wrong.

I was blessed with a caring, thoughtful, tough, difficult, frustrating, sometimes crazy, detailed, micro manager, but always understand Mayor and mentor.   Mayor Taub’s life experience as an engineer and builder, intertwined with all his years as an elected official gave me the perfect boss to learn how a city actually runs.

Small towns have all the same issues the big cities have, but no staff to handle them.  I was the City Administrator, City Secretary, Public Works Director, Water/Sewer Official, Planning and Zoning Official, Building Official, Parks Director, Finance Director, Budget Director, and Public Information Officer for the Fire and Police.  During my nine years, I made quite a few mistakes and even some huge blunders.  Mayor Taub always worked through them with me, upset at times, but always turned them into learning experiences.

Those experiences made me make fewer mistakes and open doors for my career down the road.  I am forever indebted to Mayor Taub and even today, I try to make him proud of me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bill Carlisle

Bill is one of my many lifestyle mentors. Bill has been my friend for over 14 years. He never meets a stranger, quick with an opinion, and always holds court wherever he goes. Our friendship grew because he joined my Kiwanis Club, which has really evolved into Bill’s club. Bill is an integral part of my Hotter N’ Hell gang and one of the main reasons I go every year.

On June 29, 2011 the Kiwanis Club of Arlington made Bill a Hixson Fellow by donating $1,000 in his name to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund in his name. This was for all his service to the club as treasure and one of the wittiest newsletter editor in the world. He has always championed Troop 5 to insure it continues to get sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Arlington. I was quite flattered when he recognized me as family and at his acceptance speech.

I make guest appearances to the club because of my job, but was glad I made it that day to Bill’s Kiwanis Club.

Catching up

I think I am going to start just catching up on the blog.  Some really cool things have happened since I dropped my 8 blogs a month dropped off in April.  So some of my items will be a few months late, but I am going to make every effort to include them in the blog.   I do appreciate the readership, but I really think I do this for my own mental health.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who I am.

I think this picture almost says it all.  It has me pushing my father’s day gift, in front of the troop bus and beside my little car.  I told Carol I just needed to put my bike on the bike rack and we would be done.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Survived

It was a great summer camp.  I think Scout Camp is one of the most wonderful places in the world.  I was blessed that a bunch of adult leaders thought that was the case when I was a boy.

Scouting was and is an integral part of my life.  I stay involved as an adult leader because I want boys to have the same opportunities that I had when I made my voyage through scouting.

Worth Ranch is a special place for boys Scouting journey.

Zack Wisch

Zack was our Program Director at Worth Ranch this past week.  In the immortal words of Evan Voorn as he introduced Zack for the Softball game, “The Pride of Five!!!”

I explained to the boys as we headed to camp that we would be known as “Wisch’s Troop” all week.  I was not wrong.

I met Zack when he was a Tiger Cub and tracked his progress in Cub Scouts through his father.  He joined Troop 5 in April 2002.   That summer I took Zack to his first summer camp at Worth Ranch.  He quickly bought into the Worth Ranch lore that was exposed by the Camp Staff.  He went back in 2005 as Camp Staff and he really has not left Worth Ranch since then.   Along the way he has been an integral part of Little Troop 5 and carried our banner proudly.

He has served the Troop, the OA lodge and the Council.   One of my proudest moments was hanging my Vigil Sash that was hung on me in 1984 on him.  I bestowed his Vigil name to be “Never Without an Opinion”

Scoutmasters take great pride in their scouts.  So I broke from my own traditions and gave an award at the campfire. 
Troop 5 uses the gold neckerchief to signify the Senior Patrol Leader, because it is the burden of leadership.  No adult has ever worn the neckerchief until now. 

Closing Campfire

Friday Night is the Closing Campfire.  Camp staff uses it as an opportunity to give out awards to scouts and scouters that have done an outstanding job during the week.   Some boys from Troop 5 were recognized for their hard work at Nature and Climbing.

It is also a Troop 5 tradition to give our summer camp shirt to our extended family and Troop 5 staffers at the camp fire.

The lighting of the Worth Ranch brand concludes a heck of a week.

Troop 5 Family

Troop 5 has a tight nit extended family.   I benefited from this greatly.    Scouts and friends over the years came out to Worth Ranch during past this week and I got a route 44 Diet Cherry Coke from Sonic daily.

Little Troop 5 parents need to know that these boys and men will always look after our little Troop.
me, Chris Houters, Zack Wisch
Evan Voorn

Hayden Pierce
Shawn Cox

Steven Storrie
Trey Sergeant

Zach Cloyd
Ian Voorn

Me, Luke Schubert

Me, Sean Schubert

Chris Houters

Chris is another adopted member of the Troop 5 Family.   I have known Chris since he was eleven. I have camped many years with him, his Dad and his Uncle.  For those parents really paying attention, he was the mystery member of the Troop helping with the Flag Ceremony.

This past week at Worth, Chris was the Assistant Health Officer.  The boys of Troop 5 seem to appreciate the air conditioning at the Health Lodge.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011


We are headed home, but I have about five or so more updates to do on the blog.   So stay tuned for the next few days.  Awesome week of camp!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Random Photos

There are so many things going on at scout camp, it is tough to blog it all, so here are some random pictures.


Program Director’s Office

The blog is blessed by the use of Zack’s Office during camp.  I have sat here so much that many of the other adult leaders assume I am on staff.  I have answered their questions.

Shawn Cox

Shawn is one of those scouts that I have always seemed to have known.  I am not even real sure when I first met him.  He staffed Worth Ranch for eight years.  All different generations of Troop 5 boys have worked with him at camp.

This year Shawn is the Shooting Sports Director and has been the Aquatics Director in the past.  Lately he has camped with the Troop once a year. The current crop of Troop 5 boys considers him one of theirs.

What is most important about Shawn is that he can talk Red Raider Football with me.

Friday Staff Shirt

Really like today’s shirt.  I could see some kind of shirt with a 5 on it for when we go out of state next year for summer camp.

Mile Swim

I must confess that I did not do the mile swim Friday Morning.  It was a goal, but I go lucky and got the Worth Ranch Grip on Thursday.  Worth has had a rash of the stomach bug this year.  I won.  (So did Mike)  I will spare you the details.

Drew McKee was one of 11 boys in camp to complete the mile this morning.  Congrat’s Drew!


It is not scout camp until someone bleeds.  Andrew stepped up and got to visit the Palo Pinto County Hospital with six stiches.  All is well, although Aric and Gabby a tad tired after returning to camp with a sleeping scout at 1:30 AM.

Thursday Night Campfire

Boy led skits are an important part of scouting.  To have to do some type of performance in front of a large crowd is an excellent life skill.  When you have been to summer camp as long as I have, you rarely see original skits.

To the credit of the boys of Troop 5, they strive to do something original every year.  Sometimes they are free form adlib skits that seem only to be funny to themselves.   Thursday night’s on the other hand,they hit a home run.   They did some kind of Jeopardy parody that made fun of members of the camp staff.   The perfectionist Zack Wisch felt they did an awesome job. 

Order of the Arrow Call Out

The Order of the Arrow is the national honor society of scouting.  It uses Native American traditions to establish a brotherhood of cheerful service.   Troop 5 called out all its boys this past spring.


On Thursday the camp staff puts up a garrison flag on the Jack Boyd Flag Pole. It is quite impressive sight.  The Staff do a wonderful job of bringing it down.  It impresses the heck out of the parents.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Motor Boating

Worth Ranch in the banks of the Brazos.   This is where Scouts do rowing, canoeing and motor boating.  This year our boys are spending more time in the pool than in boats, but we had one hearty soul do Motor Boating Merit Badge. 

Kyle Mountain

Guest Blogger:  Mike Riehle
Every year at summer camp, Worth Ranch sends the first year scouts from Hammer Patrol to spend the night on Kyle Mountain.  And every year it’s a Troop 5 tradition to send a first year adult leader with them.  This year I was awarded that honor.  Even though we only have one first year scout, I was very happy to see five of our second and third year scouts volunteer to go up Kyle with Cory.  I’m not sure, but a lot of the other troops must have had the same idea as there were over 130 scouts on the trail up the mountain.  Add to that the staff guides and adult leaders, and there’s almost a continuous line of people from the bottom to the top. 

The trek up Kyle is not a particularly strenuous one, but for some scouts it can be their first real “scout” type challenge.  All of the scouts with me had been on Kyle before, so the climb was almost second nature.  Of course, the intended challenge is spending the night in the open on top of the mountain.  This too went without a hitch, our Troop 5 reps got settled in pretty quickly and were soon asleep.  By the sounds coming from the campsites around me, I realized that I was not one of the fortunate scout leaders who had the traditional first-year-scout-sleeping-on-Kyle-Mountain experience.  I’m not complaining. 

Once all the flashlights were out and scouts were finally quieting down, I was able to lay back and enjoy my night under the stars.  And though I hadn’t chosen the most comfortable spot, I was soon asleep as well.  I woke to the first sounds of our scout guides waking everybody up before daybreak.  The ultimate purpose of the trip was coming soon; heading to the other side to watch the sunrise.  Although it was a little crowded on the ridge, it was worth the wait. 

As with most things in nature, the pictures do not do it justice.  Sleepy eyes soon forgot how sleepy they were and a lot of first year scouts will go home with something not everyone has.

…and we made it down in time for breakfast.

Thursday Staff Shirt

Staff went with the traditional Worth Ranch logo today.