Last year we launched The Strenuous Life: an online/offline platform that’s like a scouting program for grown men. Each month, members receive The Strenuous Life Bugle, a newsletter that highlights what’s been going on at TSL. We thought AoM readers might enjoy a peek at it every now and then. If you’re interested in becoming a member yourself, sign up for updates here; the next enrollment opens in June.
Geographic Group Meet-Ups
Here’s a look at some of the meet-ups that happened all over the world on April’s Strenuous Saturday (the third Saturday of every month):
The men of the Belgium/Netherlands area marked their inaugural meet-up with a 2-hour walk in a nature reserve on the Belgian/Dutch border called Kalmthoutse Heide. The guys got to know each other and planned for future strenuous endeavors.
April’s Iowa meet-up certainly wins the prize as the most epic yet. @pschmitt4 hosted members of the Iowa crew — @rbenner1123, @doug_samuelson, @dloftyhus, and Eric (a friend of Peter’s) on some acreage he owns to work on the requirements for a number of badges. Starting in the morning, trees were felled and bucked into logs for the Lumberjack Badge, then the men tried their hand at throwing knives, and then they practiced pistol shooting for the Sharpshooter Badge. As the light waned, they went out together to grab dinner. Afterwards, it was on to an evening of practicing knots, picking locks, and shooting the breeze.
As @dloftyhus notes, “We slept well.”
SW Florida Meet-Up
Fellow Floridians and members of Class 021, @davidtdiaz and @spjackson1, met up to complete the “Walk 30 miles in under 14 hours” requirement for the Scout Badge. They left at 8:45 pm, walked 15 miles overnight to Denny’s, ate, and then walked back. It took them 10 hours, 52 minutes (including eating at Denny’s). Way to earn your Moons Over My Hammy, guys.
@y2pascoe, @alexander, @dasboot29075, @roger, and @nateofthenorth met to ruck the Freedom Trail in Boston, MA. They convened in front of the State House at the Boston Commons and, whilst carrying the TSL flag, followed the trail to Bunker Hill, and then back again, visiting many historical landmarks such as the Old State House (site of the first reading of the Declaration of Independence), site of the Boston Massacre, the home of Paul Revere, the USS Constitution, and the Bunker Hill Monument, along the way. After the urban ruck, the men had lunch at the historic Green Dragon Tavern.
Stockton/Modesto, CA Meet-Up
@jhollinger and @kwhitehouse met up for a community service project and did yard work at a women’s shelter. They cut down a tree, trimmed hedges, cleared flower beds of old shrubs and roots, cleaned out some of the apartments in the shelter, and talked with some of the women who lived there as well.
Alberta, Canada Meet-Up
@calgarytrav, @andy, @kunzy134 hiked up a narrow canyon, encountering plenty of snow, ice, and in-between slush along the way. Afterwards the guys grabbed lunch together.
Lafayette, LA Meet-Up
@nolatech, @pdhawks1230, and @louisvigo met for a couple hours of rucking through the Acadiana Park Nature Station in Lafayette, LA. The guys climbed dead trees, slipped around in the mud, examined animal tracks, and had wide-ranging discussions. Afterwards, they adjourned to Breaux Bridge at Poches Market and Restaurant for a pretty good-sized Cajun plate lunch.
Sydney, Australia Meet-Up
The crew Down Under met up for several hours of rock climbing; afterwards, two of the men went out for lunch and a beer.
Here’s a look at some of the things TSL members have been working on to earn badges:
@y2pascoe got up at five in the morning to observe planets in the predawn sky for the Astronomer Badge, @packfan completed all the requirements for the Fighter Badge, @aesopian1 listened to a Great Courses course on the Illiad for the Gentleman Scholar Badge, and @wedge tracked a 16km walk using ranger beads for the Scout Badge.
@franz put on his summer tires, checked the brake pads and rotors, and sprayed some joints with lubricant (while wearing coveralls that belonged to his grandpa who worked as an electrician at Ford’s Sterling Axle Plant) for the Gearhead Badge, @robtovey went camping in the Brecon Beacons of Wales and @liam_p hiked in the Cairngorms of Scotland for the Outdoorsman Badge, and @justkevin did a mini-retreat with his family, in which his 4- and 8-year-old helped draft a family mission statement for the Paterfamilias Badge.
@zachattack started on the Community Service Badge by spending 8 hours on the river with the Missouri Department of Conservation pulling and setting trotlines for pallid sturgeon research, while @tommetge completed the badge by volunteering at both his church and a local youth wrestling club, @gledel made a leather notebook cover for the Craftsman Badge, and @gregoryg isn’t letting living in a condo stop him from tackling the Backyard Farmer Badge; he planted tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.
@jenksparker completed 9/10 requirements for the Frogman Badge while in the Cayman Islands (way to stay strenuous in paradise!), @mike picked a tumbler lock for the Lock Picker Badge, @ringo rucked the Lee Trail in Luxembourg for the Microadventure Badge, and @joshg138 made a salivation-inducing pasta dish for the Kiss the Chef Badge.
Class 021 finalized their Class logo (nicely done!):
Class 005 took their logo and made their own sweet Class TSL shirts with them (they have the same TSL logo on the back as the “uniform” shirt does), here rocked by @moadams2 and @loganchristiansen, accompanied by @tracebuilder.
“Nothing can make good citizenship in men who have not got in them courage, hardihood, decency, sanity, the spirit of truth-telling and truth-seeking, the spirit that dares and endures, the spirit that knows what it is to have a lofty ideal, and yet to endeavor to realize that ideal in practical fashion.” –Theodore Roosevelt