Back from the wild

Been dark for a few weeks again but hope to change that in coming weeks but most recently I had been preparing for and then gone for a week for camping.

Each summer for the past 8 years I have accompanied my son to 3 years of Cub Scout Akela camping weekends, then 2 years of Webelos camping trips and now my 3rd year of accompanying my son and his Scout Troop to weeklong Scout Camp.

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Not being a natural instinctive camper despite having been a Boy Scout myself, I always feel abit like the Chris McCandless character featured in the movie Into the Wild except that I cannot wait to get back to civilization.  (In my case, one day I had to make a quick trip to the nearest Walmart for some supplies and it took me less than 20 minutes to do so so I wasn’t exactly in the middle of nowhere 🙂  But if you have not ever seen this movie, it’s definitely a good one to check out, its hard to know what emotions to feel after watching it.

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We had a great camp, dodged a few thunderstorms, the boys handled a full week away from home (and electronics) in great fashion, and it’s fun to see the maturity and growth in them – some natural leaders in there, while others not afraid of taking on huge challenges like the nasty Ironman triathalon (1/2 mile swim up current in the Missouri, 1 mile run up a nasty gravel hill, followed by a 1 mile solo canoe trip against some energy-sapping waves and headwinds) – while others, the quiet ones just getting thru the week but learning what they are capable of and creating experiences that many other youth their age will never experience (whether its knife handling, rifle shooting, archery, black powder guns, or just knowing you can make it thru the night in thunderstorms in tents you have pitched, and just being immersed in nature, etc) – witnessing those boys that make great team members and will probably go on to successful careers in whatever they choose to do is always a treat.

Back at work, bet it took me a full day to get back into the flow – right now got a busy schedule of data translation and data mart work in front of me but as I expected – my team handled everything great in my absence which doesn’t really surprise me – many of them could replace me today and that’s a good thing – On a somewhat related note, one item of interesting discussion some of us adults at Scout Camp had in our various industries was the topic of how companies find people to put in charge of things and the danger of co-workers who actively seek being in charge – many of us agreed that those are the ones you sometimes need to worry about – in the software development field, I have had many discussions with others about how many of our team leaders are what I would call “reluctant leaders” – those who are hesitant and leery of being in charge and yet do their best once there for as long as they are asked to.  One of the adults who camped with us expressed his reluctance to get an adult scout leader uniform for the week for fear that people will think he is in charge – the rest of us laughed at that because that is how all of us got roped into the places we have within the Troop – at some point we had (some) experience and then we got put in charge of things, it’s nothing that any one of us actively “seeked”, it was just a matter of our interests (our sons) aligning with the troops needs – and honestly, that is what will make him a great leader for the boys on future campouts once many of us dads start retiring as our boys start to graduate from Scouting.  His uneasiness with being in charge will get outweighed by his interest in wanting the best support for his son and his Troop – and he’ll do the best he can which will probably be really good.

And that seems to correlate with actual work careers and experiences as well – those that have the best interests of their team at heart will do better than those whose primary goal is “being in charge”.  I argue that no real developer wants to be in charge of others – we want to be in a place where we can make things happen (and prevent other things from happening) but real developers want to develop and not boss others around, and real developers, I would argue, are skittish of anything that could take them away from developing (such as middle management) and render them obsolete – my thoughts anyway.

On the software development front, I have been doing alot of new data analysis reading lately and will probably be sharing that since interest in those posts seem to bring the most readers as well as it encourages myself to get going and get more accomplished in this area.

And congrats Mike Miller and the Miami Heat – once the Sixers are out of the playoffs each year (or in the case of this year – never in it), its fun to become a Heat fan and hope that hometown boy Mike Miller gets another ring

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Headlines like this never get old

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About bradosterloo

.NET Software Developer working for Innovative Systems, LLC in Mitchell, SD
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