In several posts recently, I have lamented about how the Portland Public Schools are/were on the edge or brink of not providing “Outdoor School“. I grew up in Montana, Billings to be exact. I was in Scouts for a year, but I had a wonderful place called East Rosebud Lake that I went to each Summer. Yes, I went to Camp Lincoln for two one month sessions over two years. I learned how to sail, canoe down the Mississippi River for 4 nights, cook over a fire, play Ultimate, Pottery and shoot .22 and Archery. I got a lot or awards for them too. I also learned and sang a lot of Camp songs and did skits. My Dad took me up to Nanaimo, BC for a 7 day sailing course out in Desolation Sound in a 25ft Sailboat. From that I can sail anything up to 70ft. I took these skills along with all the camping, hiking, fishing and other stuff I learned in Montana and had a great upbringing and life outside.
Now, in Portland, it seems to be a tad different. Yes, a lot of families do get out and do the same things that I have. But, our Schools did not have an Outdoor School. Yes, there were field trips that we took to several places each year, but it was just DAY Trips. All this was funded by the School Districts, which from what I understand was supposed to be from one fund, but wasn’t because they moved $$ from one pot to the next. Now, the Portland Public Schools is in a bind. It’s $500k for Outdoor School, but PPS is faced with cutting 110 Teachers. However, our wonderful Portland Mayor Sam Adams, has apparently found $5 Million out of the City budget to help save PPS. But, did you realize that the City apparently has to cut $14 Million from its budget, but has $5 Million for PPS? How is that?
Complete disclosure here: I never voted for Sam Adams. Yes, he is Gay. That is not why I disagree with him. He lied about having sex with an underage boy before being elected to a second term. There are other reasons, but that he lied about this, makes me not trust him. Yes, I am glad term limits has ended his term.
So, why are people so up in arms about loosing Outdoor School? Yes, it’s a tradition and it is a good one. Should it continue? Sure, but it needs to be funded properly. There is a group that does help that, but maybe it’s time the those who actually go, pay for it. Now, I fully understand that Outdoor School is also there for the kids that cannot and do not make it out of the city. This most likely is the only time that they physically get out-of-town. That’s a great thing. That needs to continue. It also has wonderful affection like getting kids out of the classroom and excelling past their physical limitation.
So, what does this have to do with Scouting?
You will just have to wait until the next post!