This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED


Armando Aguirre and Ron Thomas Scouters tell you how to give your boys an overseas adventure.


FactSheet Armando Aguirre


CURRENT POSITION: Advisor, Crew 620


DAY JOB: Self-employed


FAVORITE CAMP: El Rancho Cima near Wimberley, Tex., has great summer programs


PROUDEST MOMENTS IN SCOUTING: Seeing my two sons earn their Eagle Scout rank


Ron Thomas


SCOUTER SINCE: 1975 CURRENT CITY: Houston CURRENT POSITION: Advisor, Crew 242


DAY JOB: Management and technology consultant


FAVORITE CAMP: Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland


PROUDEST MOMENT IN SCOUTING: Hiking up Philmont’s Mount Phillips with my twin brother, Donald


SCOUTER SINCE: 1986 CURRENT CITY: Sugar Land, Tex.


FEW MEN HAVE BEEN more active in the Sam Houston Area Council than Ron Thomas and Armando Aguirre. An Eagle Scout and a Scouter for 36 years, Thomas has taken many high- adventure trips with Troop 242, Crew 242, and council contingents. As a member (and past chairman) of the council’s High Adventure Committee, he leads seminars to help others prepare for high adventure. Aguirre, in addition


to spending 19 years as a unit leader, has led Wood Badge and National Youth Leadership Training courses, served on the faculty of several Philmont Training Center conferences, and staffed the Philmont Leadership Challenge. Until a few years ago,


though, neither man had taken Scouts overseas. That changed when they joined forces on a trip to Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland.


KANDERSTEG BILLS ITSELF AS A PLACE WHERE SCOUTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD CAN MEET. IS THAT TRUE? THOMAS: It is, as Baden- Powell said, a mini world jamboree. The kids had a chance to interact with


14 S COUTING ¿ JANUARY•FEBRUARY 2012


different cultures and differ- ent languages and experience Scouting the way Baden-Powell envisioned it. AGUIRRE: On international night, a lot of con- tingents share something from their country with everybody else. We took a lot of patches from our council and also created a CD of music by Texas musicians. It was nice to see our youth interacting with kids from, say, Norway.


DID YOU DEAL WITH A LANGUAGE BARRIER? AGUIRRE: No. Staff members are required to speak English, which is helpful for those from the U.S. who may not be multilingual.


Armando Aguirre (left) and Ron Thomas


ASIDE FROM THE SETTING AND THE INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR, HOW DID KANDERSTEG COMPARE WITH A U.S. CAMP? AGUIRRE: The schedule is more flexible. You can arrive any day of the week and leave any day of the week. You can pick and choose whichever activities you want to do. THOMAS: It has a European flair. We felt like we were on vacation and not at a Scout camp.


WHAT ACTIVITIES WERE AVAILABLE? AGUIRRE: Kandersteg does not offer many activities itself. What they do is help facilitate what you want to do. If you want to hike to a hut in the mountains, they’ll help facilitate that.


If you want to do some whitewater rafting, they’ll help make the arrange- ments. They can accommodate those who are looking for more physically challenging activities, more leisurely activities, and everything in between.


ARE THERE CAN’T-MISS ACTIVITIES? THOMAS: There are two activities that provide tremendous interaction with Scouts from across the world: the international evening on Monday and the closing campfire on Friday night.


SOME PEOPLE NEW TO VENTURING WORRY ABOUT DEALING WITH CO-ED CREWS. DID YOU HAVE ANY PROB- LEMS? AGUIRRE: None at all. When they go to school, it’s co-ed. When


DAVID NANCE


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56