As the sun set, the warmth of the night blew in on sounds of insects dashing in and out of the lingering rays of light, and the low hum of the river. The walk down the river was slow, and intentional. In the distance, the sound of the Pileated woodpecker, the largest woodpecker, was heard. This was a rare sound. A new sound. The Vigil had started.

It was a time to look back on life, and look to the future. To consider purpose and Service. The location of this Vigil was not the initial choice. Indeed, the first choice was selected for reasons of ease and time. However, the name of the second campground fit so perfectly. It was meant to be the one.

A vigil is a time for the Rover Squire to reflect in the solitude of nature. The Vigil is part of the Squire’s progression to that of Rover Knight.


Eventually the radio turned to static, leaving Interstate 5, heading east. It was a welcome silence and timed perfectly for the appearance of tractors and trucks. The scenery changed. The sky was blue — The crops were yellow — The ground was a deep brown. Oregon truly is a rural state outside the city. And one does not have to go far “outside” to find this. Along highway 20, the speed limits varied depending on the town–some 40 miles per hour and some 25; this is timber and farm country. Getting outside the convenience and routine of a city, and going beyond the tall buildings and wide roads, was a great way to end the week.

The campground was only a few miles away as the sun started its decline in the sky. Eventually, the wooden camp sign came into view, Cascadia State Park.


The scout motto is “Be Prepared” which makes most people think of having whatever is needed for that needed moment. “Be Prepared” has another meaning. That meaning is to Be Prepared for the opportunities that life gives you to broaden your world. These opportunities may appear to take more work, or more time, or in the case of the campground, more driving, but in the end, it is worth it. Allowing yourself to be captured by something unexpected provides opportunities for growth.

PNW Brownsea Training Camp

The 55th Cascadia’s Rover Knights (in green/blue neckers, L-R) Sue Peszenecker, Travis Wittwer, Ethan Jewett

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