Monday, November 12, 2012

Fort Worth Half Marathon

We always remember our highs and are lows.  The Fort Worth Half Marathon will always be remembered as a low.  I picked out this half because it fit right in my Houston Marathon training schedule for a pace run.   A fast and flat course which is an out and back on the Trinity Trails. 

The run started promising, I went out a little too fast, but backed it down and focused on my pace.   Apparently, I was so focused on my pace, that I ran past the turnaround point.  I think I was hoping on a volunteer to let me know or very obvious signage.    Thanks to two guys running back that I had chatted with at the start to yell at me to turn around, I would have ran a little longer in the wrong direction.   These guys had also missed the sign.

One I got back on the course, I had to shut down my pace in order to survive the run.  I mentally got frustrated and it was tough to continue to push myself.  At mile 13.2 my body quit on me and it was a brutal run to the finish.  My pace slowed to 11:30 miles.     I ended up finishing with 14.77 miles with a 9:05 pace.    Officially, I had a 10:16 pace for the Half Marathon.

I will need to regroup mentally in my training.   I will never forget this mistake.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Marathon Training

I am officially in training for the Houston Marathon this coming January.   My goal is to post a Boston Marathon qualifying time.  For my age group that time is 3:25 or a 7:49 mile.    I have set a goal of running a 7:40 pace to build in a cushion.

I have a base of over six hundred miles of running in this year and I have modified a Hal Higdon’s Advance 1 Plan to fit my schedule to be my training plan.   All my training in the past has never included speed work, it has been about base.  This plan includes speed work and race pace training.   I anticipate intervals to be a challenge for me.

This morning was the five mile at race pace.   Mentally I felt that it would be the reality check on my goal of qualifying for Boston.   I am very excited that I paced at 7:35 miles.  In no way could I have done that pace for 5.3 miles four more times, but I have hope. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Flying Solo

When it comes to the two grandchildren, I am at best the “B” parent when Carol and I look after them.  Due to a series of events, I was put in charge of Nolan for Saturday afternoon.  We can count on one hand the amount of times I was the sole responsible adult for a child under two years old. 

It is not as difficult as one might imagine it to be.  When Nolan awoke from his nap, he needed to do a complete inspection of the house to make sure I was the one in charge.  Once he accepted that it was just him and PapaG, he seemed good with it. 

We watched some football, read books, played cars, fed the neighbor’s horses carrots and played on the trampoline.

I have concluded that the little trampoline is really a fancy playpen.    Works for me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hotter N’ Hell.

I did not have the best Hotter N’ Hell this year. (August 25, 2012)   I did not break the magical 20mph average.   A wise fellow weekend warrior pointed out, if they were is magical, and then there would be no magic.   As always, I enjoyed the company of my HHH gang at the tailgate in Wichita Falls.     The company of my traveling crew of Jim Dwyer and Justin Schwane is always entertaining.

The Garmin told me I averaged 18.8MPH for a total of 5:12 minutes.  Strangely, the timing chip from the event reported 5:09.   Regardless, I was plus five hours.     The change in the course did not help, mainly because the last 20 miles or so where plowing into a 25 mile an hour head wind.  It was brutal.

The new course also brought riders from the other distances to finish together.   This limited Justin and I to find group to draft off of to avoid the wind.  We ended up trading pulls and pulling in tired 100k riders.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Broken Bow

The August Campout for the Troop is the Traditional “Mr. F” Canoe Trip at Beaver’s Bend State Park in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.    In 2000, Mr. Marc Funderburk help the boys plan this trip and it has been a Tradition ever sense.    It is on the edge of a weekend camping distance, but it is always worth the trip.
It has evolved into a Troop 5 family reunion of sorts because the four our float down the Mountain Fork River.   The boys have a wonderful time, create fond memories, and it makes the “college boys” come back every year.   At times, we will have a one to one adult to boy ratio on this trip.

Due to the excess of adult leadership, I often take my road bike up and get a 60 mile ride in why the troop is on the river.   Considering I have broken my hand on float, it is probably a better venture for me anyway.
We ended up with 30 campers this year.   You can tell by the pictures, the boys had a blast on the river.

The Troop went a little outside the box on this trip and finally awarded the rank of Eagle to two of our college boys.  Cameron Dwyer and Zack Wisch.  The neat thing about Troop 5 is that the rank of Eagle is never looked on as an ending for the boys, but part of the journey of Scouting.   Zack and Cameron never saw the need to have a special Court of Honor.   I just tired of holding onto to their Eagle Medals.  In addition, considering they are entering their fourth year of College, it was probably time to recognize their achievement. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blair Riddle's Wedding

Carol and I went to Blair Riddle’s wedding on Sunday.  Blair is one of my Eagle Scouts and his Best Man, Matt Coldwell is also one of my Eagle Scouts.   I took them both to their first summer camp in 1998.     It was really awesome to see these young men, their brides and their family.  They have been a part of our life for a long time.    It was nice to finally meet Blair’s bride Angel.  Most importantly, a good time was had by all.

The impact of Scouting on Matt and Blair’s life became evident during Matt’s toast.  I always try to explain to parents and scouts that Scouting is a lifetime mark on your soul and your heart.   Matt’s toast included these words to Blair.  “I remember sitting with you on top of mountain at Philmont with my best friend, I am so glad you have reached another peak in your life by marrying Angel”   I took Blair, Matt, and seven other scouts to Philmont in 2003.

It hit me like a ton of bricks on why I still do scouting. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Professional Success

I rarely post about my professional life. The nature of my employment makes it wise to steer away from that topic.  

Nonetheless,  this past Wednesday, I representatived my bosses quite well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Expert

Zack is The Expert.  To get a background on Zack, read this post.  Zack came to camp after working his second summer as Program Director at Worth Ranch.  He knows how a camp is supposed to be run and spent most of the week critiquing the operations.    I am sure that it is reflected in the evaluation.   He did provide me an excellent foil when I was concerned about issues at the camp.  He provided insight from the Program Director perspective.

What the ad vantages of having a 21 year old assistant Scoutmaster the boys think he is the smartest adult alive in scouting.   This is helpful when they boys start to drift from the true direction of scouting.   They tend to listen to the college boys.    Zack has no problem with this role, being the expert and all.   He price for this was being stuck with the messiest adult as a tent mate, the Scoutmaster.

The Salesman

Jeff is The Salesman.  He has never met a stranger and always interacts with all the “players” no matter where the troop ends up.   He is always selling the troop as he goes, some may say he covering up “my charm”  as we spend time in camp.   Because of this wonderful skill set he spends quite a bit of time explaining to other troop leader what is actually going on in Troop 5.    He also does a wonderful job of gathering ideas from other troops to bring back for Troop 5 to use.
If there is a deal to be swung, a secret code to gain access, or just let people know we are one of them, Jeff is on it.     He does get nervous when I let the boys push the limit between confidence and arrogance.   I am sure that has to do with the potential to lose a sale, but he always supports the boys and supports the Scoutmaster.

The Teacher

Gabby is The Teacher.   Her educational background causes her to look at every opportunity for the boys to have a learning experience.   She encourages and educates.    She continues to challenge the boys to be better.   She is also darn good with paperwork because of her educational background.    Scouting is a classroom in the outdoors, so I have no problem assigning (or dumping) all those responsibilities on her.  She will be my first Woodbadged trained adult since I became scoutmaster.

Thanks to her ten years of service in the Army, she does an excellent job of dealing with all the testosterone that Boy Scouting involves.  Nonetheless, she does scream like a girl with a field mouse scampers across her lap and down her leg.   

The Professor

Dave is The Professor.  His research science background forces him to want to know all they “whys” the Troop does what it does when it does it.     There is no question he gets frustrated by all the undocumented traditions, rules and procedures that is scouting.    That is one of the reasons I have volunteered him to start writing all these things downs.   They are not secrets, we just do not tell anyone about them.  I might add, he has no problem asking and I have no problem letting him know.

To be honest, the only time I saw him in his hammock at summer camp is when I took the picture.  He spent the rest of the time in training, competitive blogging (an Olympic Sport), taking fantastic pictures and being an advocate for the Senior Patrol Leader and pushing the patrol method.

The Backbone

Aric is The Backbone.  You can count on him to step up whenever needed, but stay out of the way when he is not.   He gives me his sage advice on the side.    As a fellow Eagle Scout, he has the advantage of having walked down the same path the boys of the troop are currently traveling.

He does reluctantly go to the Scoutmaster meetings when I ask him, but has no problem carrying the banner of the “Pride of Five” in a way the in commiserate of troop traditions.  Besides being our reluctant medical officer (he often points out he is on vacation), he firmly grasps the responsibility of being the camp guard.  

Adult Leaders

I really like this picture that Dave took.   It shows the boys headed to flag with the adults trailing behind.  Please also note I have a coffee cup in my hand.   It is a Scoutmaster staple.

The point is the boys lead but the adults in the troop make sure everyone gets to where they need to be in Scouting.   The adult leaders that make a commitment to take the Troop in summer camp have made a personal as well as a family sacrifice.     I am sure that at any given time, we drive each other a little crazy, but as a team, we do a good job.

None of us signed up to be adult leaders to make new friends.  We all do it because we believe that Scouting provides an opportunity to young men to grow into leaders.    Most of our discussions are about how to help the boys and make the troop better.     The boys of the Troop are blessed with this crew.

Now to follow is the posts about each one of them…

Monday, July 16, 2012


My Socratic method of being a scoutmaster drives Tim nuts.      This is mainly due to the fact that he knows what the right thing to do is and just want to cut to the chase.     He often ends everyone one of our discussions with “I know Mr. Shugart”.   On a plus side, as one of the older boys and the ASPL at camp, he led in translating Troop 5 culture to the rest of the boys.


I do not think it is possible for Max to embarrass himself at Scout Camp.   What I find interesting is that due to his younger siblings and my grandson Aedan, we both started singing “Afro Circus” in Amarillo.  From there it took a life of its own for the first part of camp.   Little did he know the whole purpose of me posting the video of the troop singing the song was so that Aedan could enjoy.  Plus it’s real cool.


I have told James he has no choice to stay in the Troop.  James has the skill set to embrace the quick-witted nature of what is Troop 5.   I am often amazed about how he can he can read a situation and come up with the perfect funny observation.    He keeps me on my toes.    He does seem to have a habit of having to chase his hat all over camp, but he did not lose it.


I am not sure if Jakob has actually ever had a bad time on a Scouting trip.  He always chipper and when I stop and ask him if he is having a good time, he always says yes.   I have seldom seen him without a smile.   He has yet to get over the fear in talking to me, but we are working on that.  He assumes that every time I call his name he has done something wrong.  


Jacob is the quartermaster extraordinaire.  I do not think it will every really matter who is the quartermaster, he views the trailer as his.   Jacob’s true gift is his ability to read the scoutmaster better than any boy in the troop.   I wager it has a lot to do with him learning to read body language much faster due to needing the assistance of hearing aids.  I will note that sometimes he hears you when he pretends not to.


Drew actually was involved in the only discipline issue we had a camp this summer.   This is shocking in contrast of his goal to be the model scout.  He was accused of engaging in table talk during dominoes and did not take it to kindly.  I had no idea I had to referee such high stake games when I became a scoutmaster.    At least he did not place aces and eights.   All was resolved amicably.


Cory pushes his limits at scout camp.  He always has a smile on his face and enjoys being part of the Troop.  On the theme of the last post, he is in dire need of some partners.   He is one of two boys that got up to do the 5k.   When I ran back to find him, he was walking with Alex and Zack.   When he saw me be began to run again.   We ran into the finish together, he out of breath and having to listen to his babbling Scoutmaster.   Probably more than he bargained for when he got to up to run.


Christian really appreciates how Troop 5 stands out in scouting.  In Christian’s quest to take over the world, we often have many discussions of classic political science readings.   Of course, Christian has not read Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, Machiavelli’s The Prince, or even Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein.  As Scouts in Troop 5 learn, this really does not stop me.


Brackton is his own man.   He always steps up when there is a need in the troop.    What I enjoy about him is that he always goes out of his way to greet me.   A loud “Hey, Mr. Shugart” with arms raised whenever he sees me. He is seldom boastfully of what he does, but when he is it usually is because he is proud and not bragging.   This past summer camp he was particularly excited about small boat sailing.    He made sure either Dave or I got pictures of him on the blog.   What is interesting in skimming the pictures one always finds Brackton reading.    He knows how to use his dead time.


Every Assistant scoutmaster in Troop 5 knows I have a soft spot in my heart for Austin.   It is important the second born males stick together.    Austin was the paramount of what I needed an older boy to do at camp this summer.   He backed the SPL and carried the banner of Texas with him to the gun range and the horsemanship merit badge.  (Two places you would never find me)


August personality is beginning to shine..    He also continues to observe his surroundings and speaks only when it is relevant, but with cutting cleverness.  Unlike his Scoutmaster who will speak on any topic at any time.   I enjoyed watching him be quizzed by Zack about how some of the classes are being taught.  It was clear he learned something when he was working at Worth this summer.


Alex did an excellent job as Senior Patrol Leader at camp.  The boy led model of Troop 5 puts quite a bit of pressure and stress on the SPL.  Alex responded with success.  My fondest moment with Alex at camp was when we were discussing the calls for the Flag Ceremony.   I informed him that it could be either really good or really bad, I would back him either way, but it was his decision.   Alex responded, “Let’s do it, we are never coming back to camp here.”  I believe it turned out really good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer Camp Success

I believe summer camp was a success.  The boys of Troop 5 came together and showed they are a scout troop.   I probably did not put enough action shots in of boys having fun, I seemed to focus on the boys operating as a troop.  Thank you Dave for providing the parents a perspective that the boys of the troop  also have fun at scout camp.

My true frustration of the trip was that we did not have any first year campers.  It is clear the boys understand the leadership portion of scouting and this needs to be handed down to the next generation. I encourage all the parents and readers of this blog to point to Troop 5 as a viable option for scouting.  We have a wonderful program, good boy leadership and dedicated adults who get it.

In the next week or so I will attempt to blog about everyone who went to camp.  It will take a while, but I will get it done.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Current update of the Trip

Keep following Dave's blog.   He is updating the trip as it goes.   Look to mine for some perspective about the trip and the troop.

Highest Point

The current incarnation of Troop 5 has now reached the highest point of any member of Troop 5. 
In 2006, the Troop climbed Wheeler Peak in New Mexico.  13,161 feet above sea level. 
Today, the troop held an SPL election at 14,110 feet above sea level. New heights for Troop 5! As Dave can attest, the Troop has lots of unwritten rules and unwritten traditions.   Today they wrote another chapter in Troop 5 history.  Dave is working on writing down the unwritten rules and unwritten traditions. I am going to start working on the history.


As the adults in the Troop will confirm, I am really never concerned about what other leaders from other troops think of Troop 5.  I am also never concerned what the adult staff at a camp think as well.   When we go to Worth Ranch, the troop has way to much history for the staff to give an objective opinion.  The boys are held to successes and mistakes of members of Troop 5 have had throughout the years

So when we go out of council, it is really where Troop 5 is measured by the youth staff of the camp.  They have never seen the boys or the Troop before.   It is here where they either shine or crash.

Holling informed Zack as the troop left camp today.  “Troop 5 is the epitome of scouting.”   I am sure the boys will have to look it up, but is a wonderful complement. 

Max in Yellow.

The SPL in Troop 5 wears a yellow neckerchief to signify his position.  Written inside it are the names of the boys that have held the position.

When we ordered neckerchiefs about nine years ago,  I ordered extra assuming the boys would lose them.   It is apparently important to them,  Max is wearing the original.


One of the coolest places to have the passing of the neckerchief.  Congratulations to Max as the new Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 5.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Camp Awards

One of Troop 5 traditions is to give the camp host or troop guide a Troop 5 a summer camp T -shirt.   I am very pleased to present a picture of the boys of Troop 5 presenting Holling her T-shirt.
The boys have in the past voted not to present the shirt due to a poor job.  Holling more than deserved hers.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have been Scoutmaster for Troop 5 for almost twelve years.  As I am skimming through Dave’s pictures to find things to blog about, I keep seeing this old guy.   Over the years, I have always been the young scoutmaster.  It appears not to be the case anymore, I am actually age appropriate for the job I have in Scouting.  I guess I am going to have to this a little bit longer. 

Med Shack

We pushed karma with the flag ceremony this morning, so with great trepidation I will post a picture of the medical shack that we have had not had to visit during our time at camp.  It is very rare that you can make it through summer camp without a visit.    I hope I have not caused Dave any grief.

Blog Wars

Dave is still at it with his blog.  In some ways I feel bad that I shot the picture of him in the hammock. I have decided to rectify the situation and leave him in charge of the troop as I head back to Texas.

I have plenty of pictures left to post, but Dave will keep you up to date on what is actually happen on the trip.  It is painful for a scoutmaster to leave his boys at summer camp.  I have a very good crew of adults and they are in good hands.

Worth Ranch Grace

Before every meal the camp says grace.  This morning Alex and August explained the history the of Worth Ranch Grace to the camp. 

Worth Ranch Grace
For food, for raiment,
For life, for opportunities
For friends and this fellowship,
We thank Thee, O Lord. Amen.

The Worth Ranch grace is heard all over the world because of its use at Philmont.  Worth Ranch’s Grace was been in use in since the 1930’s at Worth Ranch.  Its writing is usually attributed to Jerry Fulkerson a Worth Ranch Staffer during that time period.

The Worth Ranch Grace was brought to Philmont in the Summer of 1943 by Clarence E. Dunn, a Worth Ranch Scouter and a Scouter from Arlington Texas.. Dunn, a school teacher, became a member of the Philmont Staff in the summer of 1945 with the position of Personnel Director. Dunn developed the Ranger Program and held the position of Chief Ranger for 26 years until his retirement at the end of the 1970 season. If it were not for Clarence Dunn, The Worth Ranch Grace would have never been introduced to thousands of Philmont Scouts from every part of the world over the past decades. Dunn was later honored by having an elementary school in Arlington, Texas, named for him.  As an aside, both of my children went to Dunn Elementary

Flag Ceremony Video

The boys carry the banner of Troop 5 from Texas with great pride.  This is a must watch.  We pushed the flag Ceremony karma to the limit.

Flag Ceremony

The boys did a wonderful job as usual.  Alex made the calls and we even raised the Troop flag.  There was some technical difficulties with the American Flag that the program director helped the boys.  It is odd that in this camp you have to crouch behind a wall during the ceremony.  If I can successfully pull it off, I will post a must see video of one of this camp’s most memorable flag ceremonies.