We are almost to the end of February and awaiting word if March will come in like a lion! The sunshine and warm temperatures of last Sunday were a wonderful precursor of spring. We can’t wait! The trees are budding, the daffodils are blooming and we see so many birds picking over the sunflower seeds at our feeders.
Today Around Davidson focuses on youth of Davidson. We hear about a new baby for Aleyna Edmunds and Kevin Brady, a television interview with Ulysses Jackson and a trip report from Scouts in Venture Crew 58.
CRADLE ROLL – RONAN CLYDE BRADY
How delightful to hear of a new grandbaby for Julia and Paul Edmunds of Virginia Avenue. Ronan Clyde Brady was born on May 1, 2012, to proud parents, Aleyna Edmunds and Kevin Brady. Around Davidson was glad to catch up with baby Ronan, who weighed seven pounds at birth and already was a wonderful, happy baby when this shot was taken this past Thanksgiving. Ronan has now stopped his “army crawl” according to Mom Aleyna and is up on his knees – making much better time! Bet he will be on his feet and running from place to place very soon!
Aleyna and Kevin both work in the Heinz Innovation Center in Warrendale, PA, and live close by in Wexford, PA. The couple met when they both started work with Heinz seven years ago. Congratulations to all the family.
MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF IN PAINT – ULYSSES JACKSON
Ulysses Jackson has “hit his stride” doing what he loves the best: putting paint on canvas! Just like his artist mom and dad, Laura Grosch and Herb Jackson of South Main Street, Ulysses has come into his own as a successful artist. And lucky for Ulysses, he just happens to work for a paint company called Golden Artists Colors where he is the Junior Color Formulator Research and Development Specialist – a perfect match since he uses these same colors for his paintings. Ulysses listens to artists’ requests for new or innovative colors and/or gels and tries to satisfy their requirements. For the past eight years, Ulysses has been with Golden Artists Colors in New Berlin, NY, a company with worldwide sales which was founded in 1980.
Thanks to Ulysses for sharing a recent FOX 40 (WICZ) news clip and video about Golden Artists Paints in which he is featured talking about the business. Ulysses and his wife, artist Cristina Toro, live in New Berlin with their dog, Moksha, a long haired Chihuahua. Although both are active painters, neither is exhibiting in our area at the moment. Ulysses tells Around Davidson that the closest gallery displaying his work is Emerge Fine Art in Cary, NC. We are always glad to catch up with young people who were born and raised in Davidson. (Be sure to check out the attached news link: http://www.wicz.com/news2005/viewarticle.asp?a=26828)
A VENTURE INTO SNOW AND ICE – FOR VENTURE CREW 58
How nice to sit down and talk to Eagle Scout Andrew Nielsen this past weekend – after he returned from the Klondike Derby at Camp Grimes in Western North Carolina. There he was one of the senior leaders who helped the younger scouts (middle schoolers) stay on the course with their sleds in the competition among 35 scout patrols from our area. The fastest sled ranked 10th out of the group. If you recall, last Saturday was a cold, dreary, rainy day which made slogging through the Camp Grimes mud quite an adventure.
But the real reason to visit with Andrew Nielsen was to hear about his Venture Scout trip (Winter Expedition 2013) to New York State over the President’s Day weekend. As the designated “fearless trek leader,” Andrew and six other venture scouts (Frank Bragg, Ben McGonnell, Zach Marti, Spencer Bumann, Josh Huson, and Rob Lewis) from Davidson’s Troop 58 drove with leaders, John Bragg, Chris Willingham and Alex Wyse (Davidson College student) 900 miles to Keene Valley for two days of outdoor winter activities. (You might remember that the Saturday of President’s Day weekend, we had the mini-blizzard and cold winds here…just imagine the snow, ice and freezing temperatures the scouts encountered.)
Boy Scout information will tell you that “Venturing is the newest youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women ages 14 through 20. Venturing’s purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.” The focus of Crew 58 is outdoor high adventure activities, leadership development, and supporting the programs of Boy Scout Troop 58.
To this reporter it appears that “venturing” in the dead of winter to snowbound NY State is “ad” venturing at its best. The group left Davidson at 2pm on Friday, February 15, stayed the first night in Ocknikon Scout Camp in Pennsylvania, and arrived in Keene Valley (to their first really significant snow!) on Saturday about 1:30pm. Their base camp was the Guide House at Rock and River Outfitters who equipped them with snowshoes (be sure to check them out in the attached photos) for their afternoon hike to the top of Hurricane Mountain, 5.2 miles and 2,000 ft. of elevation. They reached the pinnacle at sunset and hiked back to base camp in the dark using their headlamps as guides. Sunday morning was a lesson in ice climbing followed by evening ice skating around the Lake Placid Olympic oval from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games.
Wake-up call Monday morning, President’s Day holiday, came at 3:45am with this hardy group of scouts and leaders heading for the sunny skies of North Carolina at 4:21am (according to Andrew’s watch). Back in Davidson about suppertime, a tired group tumbled out of their van, dubbed “Big Red,” to head home for a good night’s sleep in their own warm beds! Hats off to Chris Willingham who apparently “dreamed up this adventure,” and to Andrew Nielson, a 10th grader at Cannon School and the son of Cambria and Jeff Nielson, who agreed to be the Venture leader. What a wonderful weekend trip but we are glad you are all safely home!
Addressing the boys, Assistant Scoutmaster Chris Willingham writes: You faced a nearly 100′ ice face, 2000′ of elevation on snowshoes with a moonlight decent, temperatures that dropped to –20 degrees with wind chill, 30-hours of drive time and limited sleep with remarkable composure and an overwhelmingly joyful spirit. You faced significant adversity and overcame every obstacle with courage, composure and a level of dignity that would make your parents beam with pride. As for Chris’s take on the trip, he remarked: It was one of the most amazing experiences in my 30-year scouting career.”
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