This is a non-scouting post, but it talks about being a part of something and doing something you believe in and surrounding yourself with good friends and people. People who can count on.
I joined Xerox in Wilsonville Oregon in the Spring of 2000. By the fall of that year, I coordinated an outing of 20 guys. These guys were from my work and personal life. My main goal was to have them meet each other and get a long.
It turns out that a lot of them did. Most of us did not have kids and some not even married. As our circle grew so did our families and our corporate/non-corporate lives. My one guiding rule is: “No Jerks!” Which, I have found and they have not been invited back. I have had between 20 to 55 people at these weekends. The latter was during the Family Compadres in 2009.
The basis of Guy Weekend, which turned into Compadres is to go out into the woods, pitch tents, eat wonderfully incredible exotic food, drink a lot of beer and tell really BAD jokes and fart. These actions are not considered Scout-worthy let alone ok by our Wives. However, be it known, that all men are fine upstanding gentlemen within their otherwise public/private/family/corporate lives. Yes, there are a few Eagle Scouts and other ranks. Including Navy, Air Force, Army & Marines. Even a Pack Committee Member…..;) I digress……
It was the food that brought us together. In my former life I went to Culinary School , open a resort on the Columbia River, worked in Yellowstone & Teton National Parks and the Four Season Olympic Hotel for about nine to ten years. I love cooking. (Yes, I will be doing the Cooking Merit Badge.) Within this group of men, it was the focal point of finding different food and presenting it to them. We have had Boar, Quail, Salmon, Rattlesnake, Rocky Mtn Oysters, Oysters, Aligator, Lousiana Shrimp, incredible bacon (not store bought) Ribs, Brisket, Pork Butt, Flambe’d fruit, lamb, beef, pork for just the meat. We even did a whole hawg…yes, we named it Wilber…
We also have wonderful side dishes of Roasted Corn, Potatoes, Corn Bread, Ratatouille and so many others.
The one food constant was always a Ceasar Salad. It was a fixture from my paternal Grandfather. He always made sure that one was available to everyone. I made mine from scratch in a blender onsite. I did mix it up with chiplotle tabasco and Roasted or Smoked Garlic…
Put this all together, and we were fed. The wives apparently were not happy that we were eating this good and they were stuck at home, with now…KIDS.
Ten years is a long run. It’s now on it’s Eleventh year. It is also the final year. All good things do not need to come to an end, but I need a break. Apparently I have been feeling it for awhile and now after I announced the end, people have seen it coming.
This year I wanted to switch it up and have an Iron Chef style Cook-off. No one really bit. So, I took it down to below basics. No one really voiced concern except the CORE GROUP. Hence, I went to free. Mind you I have charged between $20 to $40 over the 10 years. This included all food and the site. I have operated in the RED several times.
Not any more. Time for a break. Do I feel releaved? Yes. I do. I also feel very sad that I am taking a break. However, everyone needs one.
So, why am I posting this in a Scouting based blog? The Adult Scouters have become my new Compadres. Cubscouts is for my son. It allows me to connect with him and help him understand “The Golden Rule.” My Compadres will always be my dearest friends. I will re-start this weekend in a few years. Scouting has allowed me to find new friends with a common cause. I have no reservations in introducing the Compadres to my Scouting friends. I highly suspect that everyone will have something in common.
Does this all seem remotely similar to something????? If you look at the World Membership Badge it is a badge that binds us together as a brotherhood. I remember hearing that Baden-Powell started Boyscouts and the World Jamboree with an idea of bringing boys together so they can create Peace.
While, my endevour of Compadres was not on that grand of scale, it was meant to bring my male friends together to be friends. These friends would actually meet/see eachother during the rest of the year and have a common place of reference. These men would become friends and even sometimes help each other getting jobs and other events.
So, while it was the food, beer and bad fart jokes that kept us around, it was friendship that started it all. I have just joined another bunch of friends……