Friday, April 21, 2017

My Scouting Resume'

I think more than any other event or occurrence, my Boy Scout experiences had the greatest influence upon me. Therefore, I see it important to include what significance it had upon my life.

Now at age 54, as I begin to enter into this program again, I wish to share my history in the Boy Scouts of America program. I'll try to include as much detail as possible.

Please bear with me as I write and update this journal entry, as it may take a while...

The Sub-Cub Era

Cub Scouting


My Eagle Scout Project
I refurbished and repainted the house which held our local Scout Round Table meetings with the help of a dozen volunteers. I couldn't have done this without the support of my parents.

David, Chuck and I
David Sturdivant and Chuck Jaecks were in my Troop 326 and were my best friends.  David passed away about 2015.

My Philmont Experiences
As a Cub Scout
Trek 1
Trek 2
My Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Experience

My Trip to the Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base

My World Jamboree Experience in Oslo, Norway
Primary Source: Wikipedia

After being selected for the World Jamboree, I became a member of Troop 32, representing Texas. I was one of about 30 scouts.

The 14th World Scout Jamboree was held July 29 to August 7, 1975, and was hosted by Norway at Lillehammer, on the shore of Lake Mjøsa.

King Olav V and Harald V of Norway, who then was crown prince, opened "Nordjamb '75", as it became popularly known, in the presence of 17,259 Scouts from 94 countries. The slogan was Five Fingers, One Hand, an example of international cooperation on the part of the five Nordic countries responsible for its organization.

This slogan stood symbolically for:

Five fingers separately are small and weak, but together form an efficient and strong unit
  • Scouts from all five continents meet at the World Jamboree
  • The five Nordic countries jointly host a world event
  • The slogan for the Jamboree was represented in a number of ways, including one event that brought all of the Jamboree participants together into the central arena, where they formed a giant hand that was photographed from aircraft flying overhead.
The British contingent, led by Robert Baden-Powell, 3rd Baron Baden-Powell, included Scouts from Branches in Bermuda, Hong Kong and Rhodesia.

The program of this Jamboree included excursions in the mountains by international patrols, activity areas, Nordic trail, choir, visit to Maihaugen cultural museum, and the Jamboree Country Fair. The relationships that developed were in large measure due to the warm hospitality given to almost every visiting Scout in the homes of the hosts. This Jamboree included in the program several activities involving modern technology, as well as traditional pursuits such as hiking, orienteering and camping.

The Jamboree was also visited by Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and Crown Prince Mohammed VI of Morocco.

My Tapout

My Ordeal - I remember this event well, but the only parts I can recall is being very sleep deprived and sleeping on the ground under my pancho in the rain.  I highly recall the feeling of brotherhood and belonging I felt. After my Ordeal was complete, I was a member of the lodge Nishkin Halupa A Pe Lachi, Lodge # 489.  The lodge was since reorganized, and is now Netopalis Sipo Schipinachk, Lodge # 209, Warriors of the Rivers with Outstretched Arm.

I later became a Brotherhood Member. This was about 1973.

My Parent's Service
My Mom and Dad, Karl L. and Irene J. Koerner were long time leaders in the Scouting program. My Dad receive his Silver Beaver and my Mom her Silver Fawn.

Experiences With Different Troop Sponsors

Friday, April 7, 2017

Remembering Mom On April 7

This is a loving memorial to our family Mom, Irene Lillian Johnson Koerner who passed away in 2001. This story contains no special messages, just thoughts and memories...


To my kinfolk, :)

Today is Mom's birthday.  Do you have any special thoughts, memories or photos you'd like to share with the group?

Earlier today I recalled to a friend that Mom received her Silver Fawn from Scouts.  Although a precious memory, more so are the memories of how she helped me and my other fellow scouts progress and stay active in Scouts and there was never a critter, cool rock or beautiful stick I couldn't bring in the house and receive the same admiration from her as I had for that "slice" of nature myself. Remember my cactus garden?

I also remember her sitting on my bed in the rain listening to my then favorite song by Willie Nelson, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.  She seemed to love it as much as I, and I appreciated that.

Follows are some notes from my brothers and sisters...

​Your brother. - gus
Thanks for being the first to share your thoughts with everyone.
I always know that around Easter time (next week) and General Conference it will also be Mom’s birthday.
Without her love, warmth, and caring I would be a different person - and not for the better.
I remember in Dayton going on a hike and bringing back a cocoon on a stick early in the spring.  A few weeks later, it hatched to release about 2-300 baby praying mantis babies in my bedroom.  Thank goodness for the Electrolux vacuum.  I was about 11.

Mom's Obituary

Irene J. Koerner
Sep 2, 2001

INKOM, Idaho Irene J. Koerner, 80, died Aug. 31, 2001, in her home of Inkom, Idaho where she resided with her daughter, Julia Cushman and family.

Funeral services will be held at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2001, at Cranney Mortuary and Funeral Home in Logan, Utah. A viewing will be held before the funeral at 11 a.m.

Irene was born on April 7, 1921, in Logan, Utah, and lived in Preston, Idaho, until young adulthood. She is preceded in death by her grandson, Mathew Lee Koerner, and devoted husband of 52 years, Karl L. Koerner.

Irene and Karl resided in Ft. Worth, Texas, for 35 years and were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ft. Worth 3rd Ward.

Sister Koerner held callings in various church auxiliary programs throughout her life. They included: Relief Society, Young Womens, genealogy extraction, Primary and Boy Scouts of America. Her diligent efforts as den leader and den leader coach for BSA earned her the prestigious Silver Fawn award.

Survivors are: her children, Karl R. Koerner, Kristi L. Bennett, Julia L. Cushman, John A. Koerner, Irene M. Koerner, Gus A. Koerner; 33 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Carl Johnson and Darold Johnson.

She will always be endeared to her family for her gentle manner, love for God and family and exemplary spirit of good will.

Source: The Herald Journal.

Monday, April 3, 2017

My Soul Is Well

As the reader, I hope you remember I write this blog as my journal; not for you per se, but for me and my family and I give you a glimpse of what is important to me through my stories. This song is one of the most important pieces of poetry (hymns) in my life, not just because of the words, but the story behind it all.  What do we have to fear that someone else has not experienced? Mr. Spafford is one of the top 5 people I want to meet if I go to heaven because of this faith building song.

Here is the story behind this song...

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family — a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.

On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.

Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”

Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.

According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.

Anna gave birth to three more children, one of which died at age four with dreaded pneumonia. In August 1881, the Spaffords moved to Jerusalem. Mr. Spafford died and is buried in that city.

Here are the words written by Mr. Spafford on his journey to meet his grieving wife.

It Is Well With My Soul
by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


The Saint Augustine Record
UMC History of Hymns

Monday, March 13, 2017

Getting The Most Out of Your GPS Receiver – Consider Geotagging

We are fortunate to have tools such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) to help us navigate anywhere in the world. Initially for military use, and then expanded to commercial shipping, the technology has evolved to the point where every person on the planet either owns a GPS “device” or is directly affected by one. A feature on today’s cameras and smart phones often overlooked and underappreciated, is attaching GPS location data to ordinary images which is called geotagging.

At the bottom of this story is a challenge with a prize.  I encourage you to read on and go for it!

The ubiquitous influence of this technology can be seen in a car, on the news and even in social media. Who could have ever realized that the Russian flight of Sputnik, the first man-made satellite launched in 1957, could lead to a geotagged selfie of a person on Facebook®? Consider what technologies are utilized in this example. Being used to send this image is a marvel of hardware and software including a mobile telephone, a GPS receiver, the internet and complex programming for the sender and the receiver of this information. But besides entertainment, are there other ways we can use these tools for self and public benefit, and how did GPS get to be so accurate? Of course!

Timeline of GPS Accuracy

Between 1978 and 1985, ten NavStar satellites were launched as the first GPS system for military use. In the 1990s the first consumer GPS units became available and were accurate to about 100 yards. The inaccuracy was due to Selective Availability (SA) which is programming of the GPS signal to make them less accurate for nonmilitary use. During the 1990–91 Gulf War, the shortage of military GPS units caused many troops and their families to buy readily available civilian units. Selective Availability significantly impeded the U.S. military's own battlefield use of these GPS, so the military made the decision to turn it off for the duration of the war. On May 1, 2000 President Clinton turned off SA completely. Since that time, because of more sophisticated satellites, systems such as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to augment GPS, and land based beacons accuracy has increased to less than 1 inch!


The word Geotag is derived from geo, referring to earth and tag which means to mark. Closely related to geotag is the term waypoint. Waypoints are sets of coordinates (north or south and east or west) that identify a point in physical space referred to as longitude and latitude. If a person leaves the Earth they could also measure altitude. A geotag is that waypoint that has been attached to that application, photo or message. Depending on the technology and software, the geotag information may be more or less accurate. Accuracy however is relative to the needs of the user, in that a person looking for a restaurant, or car in a parking lot needs less accuracy than someone searching for something very small such as a property line or utility cover under snow. These two examples although practical, do not enrich our lives per se, so why should we know more?

It is helpful to know and to refer back to where location information was collected years later, and we can if we attach compass coordinates to our data (text, image, video). Examples include coordinated attached to:
  • A beautiful plant or historical marker you want to show to someone else.
  • A grave stone or historical landmark for genealogical purposes.
  • A pothole in the road to notify public road or utility companies.
  • The perfect fishing spot you found on your last outing.
  • A quick reference to your location in an emergency situation.
To enable Geotagging on your electronic device go to the Setup menu and look for an option to adjust your location parameters to enable or disable it. Once it is enabled, proceed to take a picture and then review the picture in your image gallery. In the image gallery open the picture and look for the option to show picture details. You should see a screen similar to the one left. Notice in the picture details is the filename, date, time, etc., but most importantly, the information we need in under location where it shows exactly where the picture was taken. This number can then be recorded and then back referenced in Google Earth or other mapping software to find its exact location. Easy! Right? It does take some practice, but the information you can get from this simple feature may be very useful in the future.

Tip! To enable "geotag" on your phone camera, open up your camera app and check the Settings there if it is not in your general Settings.

Here is a challenge with a prize!  In the photo left are the coordinates North 28.359655°, West -80.780788.  The first person who emails me with the nearest city and cross streets to this location I will personally send a prize and highlight them (if they wish) on all my social media streams. My email address is (I know I'm a nerd.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lay Servant Training - Let the Whole Church Say Amen!

In our Lay Servant class this past weekend we studied the book

Let the Whole Church Say Amen!: A Guide for Those Who Pray in Public,
by Laurence Hull Stookey, Published by Abingdon Press, ISBN-10: 0687090776, 2001.

March 17, 2017 Follow-up, this Tweet Wonderful story! Thanks @rachelnpr 'Out Of Wonder' Aims To Inspire A New Generation Of Poets  #IWantThisBook

Follows are some of the prayers I wrote from assignments. It was a very meaningful and (enjoyably) academic class. - spiritual, yet with meat and potatoes.

Adoration prayer
Oh gracious Father,
Whose love and grace is abounding,
Hear the prayers of hearts resounding.
To seek you purposely,
And serve each other selflessly.
In Christ's name, our Blessed Savior.

Collect Prayer
Oh Gracious God and knower of our hearts,
Who’s provided for us in time of need.
Bless us with purity of service,
When to others impart.
In Christ Jesus holy name.

Communal Prayer
Almighty God,
Who calls us to serve and blesses us with His presence,
In this small group in the world.
Thank you for your guidance, and
Thank you for confidence building to pray publicly,
As Jesus taught us to pray saying…
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Praise Prayer
Praise to you O Father above,
Who looks upon us with boundless love.
From the heavens to the Earth, on the land and across the sea,
We sing you praises ever to Thee.
In Christ’s holy name.

Benediction (group written)
Almighty God who lives and reigns forever.
Guide us as we depart.
Keep us safe so that we can perform your will
In the lives of others.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Today I Failed As A Minister

Today I feel like I failed as a minister of the Lord. I had the opportunity to share my testimony and strength to a person in need but instead I got pulled down into their sorrow. I related my own story of grief to them, in all my humanness, but feel I failed the offer them strength and hope in their moment of need. Where do I go from here?

I suppose that is why God meant for us to have enduring, long lasting relationships with our neighbors so that we can perhaps make a difference over time.

We all at some point go through periods of grief, anger and frustration but it is how we respond to those feelings after we realize our humanness and once again seek a more divine path. May we all be blessed on that journey.