The summer of 2021 was very exciting! In June I drove my son to northern New Mexico to take him to Philmont Scout Ranch where he was going on a two week trek. We first stopped in Colorado Springs where we took the Cog Train to the top of Pikes Peak (over 14,000 ft high!). Next we went to Great Sand Dunes National Park where we tried sandboarding. That is exahusting! The next day I dropped him off at Philmont and I headed up to northern Colorado to volunteer at Ben Delatour Scout Reservation, a Boy Scout summer camp, for two weeks. I instructed Nature/Ecology, First Aid, and Archery programs. During the Saturday between camps (June 19) I went to Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked the Emerald Lake trail in the morning and drove the Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitors Center in the afternoon. At the Alpine Visitors Center, I hiked up to the nearby peak to an elevation of 12,000 ft. The temperature at the Alpine Visitors Center was 39 degrees F that day in the mid afternoon. The next day (June 20) I went to State Forest State Park near Gould, CO where I finally saw a moose. (Camp staff says there is some moose in the camp but I never saw them. I saw lots of moose poop, but no live moose.) At the end of the two weeks, I picked up my son at Philmont then drove back to St Louis stopping at Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeast New Mexico.
In July, my family vacationed in Ocean City, NJ for a week. I spent my time relaxing on the beach and enjoying local cuisine. I also drove my son down to Myrtle Beach, SC for a national dance competiton on Monday and Tuesday. I ended up driving 5 days during a 9 day vacation.
I also have been enjoying my vegetable garden this year and I am expanding my iris garden by planting some new varieties.
I was born in Key West, Florida but my parents moved back to Iowa when I was 2 years old. I have never been back to Key West so i can't answer any questions about it. I lived in Ankeny, Iowa all through school. I played trombone in the concert band, marching band, jazz band, brass choir until my senior year. I attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and earned two B.S. degrees. I went to the University of Missouri-Columbia for graduate school. I met my wife while I was there and we moved to St Louis. I have been teaching in the SLPS system since 2005/2006 school year in secondary science. I have taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade sciences before moving to the high school level. I have taught Biology, Honors Biology, Zoology, Earth Science, Physical Science, Freshman Physics, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and ACT Science Prep while at McKinley HS.
I was very active in scouting. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout with 6 palms. I earned the William T. Hornaday Bronze medal and was the first scout to earn this award in the Mid-Iowa Council. This is a very rare award to earn. Only about 1400 scouts have ever earned a William T. Hornaday medal. I was active in the Order of the Arrow eventually serving as chapter officer for 2 years and a lodge officer for 1 year and received Vigil Honor before I turned 21. I have been on many BSA summer camp staffs serving as the Ecology/Conservation Director from Iowa, Arizona, Florida, and Tennessee. I am currently an Assistant Scoutmaster with my son's troop and a merit badge counselor and a William T. Hornaday Advisor for the St. Louis area.
I currently work on many weekends for the Girl Scouts at the camps instructing and supervising canoeing, archery, geocaching, nature programs, and the climbing wall/zip line.
I live in south St Louis county. I have three children in high school during the 2021-2022 school year. My oldest graduates HS in the spring of 2022, my twins will graduate in the spring of 2024. I also have 3 cats, a dog, fish, and a guinea pig. In November of 2021, my wife and I will have our 20th wedding anniversary.