Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sactity of Human Life

My adopted son, Darrell, was shaken as an infant leaving him profoundly retarded and blind. He is totally dependant on loving and caring persons. Inspite of his difficulties, Darrell has had a profoundly positive impact on our family.
Why, I prayed, did a loving God allow child abuse to devistate the life of a normal baby? What value does his life have?
I feel that God's purpose for Darrell's life is that his story be told for the education of others. A recent study has shown that more than 1,300 infants are brain injured each year by being shaken. Shaking is most often the results of a parent's frustration over excessive crying. By teaching parents skills to deal with the crying, shaking may be prevented.
I recently learned of the term PURPLE crying. Unpredictable crying used to be called COLIC but that term indicated illness. PURPLE crying is a stage of infant development.
P peak of crying begins at two months and continue to three-four months
U unexpected crying for no explainable reason
R infant resists soothing
P pain shows in the face even if there is no pain
L long lasting, crying may continue for several hours
E evening crying, late afternoon
I wrote Darrell's story from medical and children's protective service records. He was shaken as the result of his incessant crying.
I am making a copy of Adopting Darrell free of charge to any one or organization who will use it to educate. Send an email or reply as a comment.
For additonal information see
National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
Purple Program

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Senior Scouters show support

One cold rainy afternoon at Camp Urland, I led the Scouts in a scavenger hunt. My job was to pass out the list of things to find and to check the "finds" off as they brought them in to me.
I didn't make up the list, so imagine my apprehension when one of the items said to name the oldest staff member.
One of the boys came up to me very cautiously and asked,"Ma'am, I don't mean to be rude, but are you the oldest person on staff?"
Not admitting anything, I told him my birthday and sent him on his way.

Walter is a Scouter, (an adult leader) with many years of experience teaching rifle and shot gun shooting, and wood carving. He admitted to being "about 65" and had been Scouting since he was in Cub Scouts. He dropped out before making "Eagle" but has since given many years to Scouting.

Marvin was our oldest Scouter on Staff. Marvin is 82 years young and has worked in camp kitchens for more than 40 years. The cold and rain sent Marvin home early, so he was not in the "Ol' Geezer" competition.

Darlene was proud of her premature gray hair. She camped with her son and their troop on the hill, in the rain and cold. She was not in the Oldest staff competition although she's used to being so classified.
This is Susan, only 47, she didn't gualify eiether, but she is to be commended for assisting her son's troop and camping. These two ladies highly recommended Scouting for adults as a way to learn new skills and to be active in lives of their boys.

So who was the oldest Scouter on Staff?
You guessed. ME!
I am proud to be able to (try to) keep up with these youngsters. I continued to learn and enjoy the challenges.
Scouting celebrates 100 years of tradition and adventure this year. More than ever our boys need an awarness of the outdoors, opportunities to learn new skills, and the values of the Scout Promise and Scout Oath.
Let's get out children away from TV and the computer and into Nature.
Pray for me as we plan and prepare for rock climbing at Enchanted Rock.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

BSA Winter Camp

Winter Camp at Boy Scout Camp Urland, near Woodville, TX., is where fun was happening. Ryan and Kyle, my grandsons, represented their troop and joined others to pitch tents at Armadillo Run. I was on staff as the art and basketry teacher. I opted to sleep in a bunk house with three other women and let the boys have the tents.

Our first night was beautiful, clear and very cold. The perfect weather for an all-camp campfire. Approximately 130 boys and 50 adult staff participated in the 6 day camp.

Each morning we started the day with a flag raising ceremony before breakfast. Then the boys hiked to their respective merit badge activities.

My first period art class suffered with frozen fingers as they tried new art materials: carpenter's pencils, burned wood (charcoal) and drawing with twigs and tempra paint ink. Later they painted with water colors.

The basketry class sounded easy, but the boys soon found out that reed soaked in freezing water was difficult to work with. Later we had to move indoors with warm water.

Sunday, chapel services were held in this open air chapel beside the lake. Many boys arrived late due to the high winds and low temperature. Early mornings the temp was in the upper twenties.

The dining hall was a favorite place, three times a day. Boys set and bussed the tables. Our cooks were from a Venturing troop from Dayton, TX and included Dawn, and her two daughters, Sarah and Rachel, who have been giving up their vacation for four years. Head cook Tony May and his son Anthony were assisted by Scout volunteers.

Scouts emphasize safty first. One of the classes was First Aid and CPR.A popular activity was shot gun shooting.

Riflery is another activity enjoyed by the boys.
To liven things up, someone thought up a frozen t-shirt contest. Yes the t-shirts had been soaked and were frozen solid in the kitchen freezer.

Archery is another fun activity. Many other merit badge classes were offered but since I was teaching i couldn't take pics of them all.

In spite of the cold mist, fog and rain we ended each day with flag lowereing and taps.

Following tradition, the last day of camp troops presented a duct tape sculpture for competition. This group duct taped a scout to a back board and carried him into the dinning hall. Their entry didn't win.
The winning entry was this duct tape Christmas tree with presents beneath and tiny stockings on the tree. It even had a string of tiny blinking light. It was made by the troops in Armadillo Run.

Congratulations Ryan and Kyle and all the others. Everyone had fun and learned many new skills. Trying to keep up with the boys was a challenge but the participation was worth giving up a warm bed.