Learning to Dive

Rockridge DiveThis picture captures so much of what is so great about summer camping with teenagers.  It is 9th-grade campers learning to dive at Rockridge Canyon in Canada.

At camp, these guys feel the freedom to be a kid, learn and explore without the pressures of back home.  They don’t have to fit into some role or be set in their ways.  These guys didn’t know how to dive, wanted to learn and they and their leader grabbed a college-aged lifeguard who taught them how to dive.

A key principle to effective summer camping with kids is, “Do new things, think new thoughts.”  This is why you see camping properties with ropes courses, horses, waterski boat and motorbikes.  These aren’t just actives to pass the time.  It is proven true that as kids experience new things in the physical world their minds (and hearts) and opened to things in the mental and spiritual worlds.

By the end of his private training session these guys were diving off the diving board…and so was I (I joined in the lesson…watching the 51-year old learning to dive was worth the price of camp).  Now we weren’t perfect and most of us were overrating on one foot, but we learned.  In the future we will all point back to the day that we learned to dive on a hot day in the Okanagan.

I don’t know these guys’ spiritual story, but I know that by learning to make that dive, they are more open to considering the big “dives” of life.


Life as a Subscriber

WebsiteWouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of catching blog entries by chance through the Facebook or twitter, you actually got an email in your in-box sharing the new post with you?  Wouldn’t that be the best?  Well, it is possible.

Join the tribe of 2,700+ that has already subscribed to “Life on the Rutledge.”  We are living life out on the edge.  This is a place where we talk about life, faith, family, community, philanthropy, work, exercise, food, travel and life on the Rutledge.

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Got to Catch Them All


For years you have seen people looking face down at their cell phone as they walk.  Well this last week you may have seen individuals, couples and groups with each person looking at their phone…laughing…smiling…and make claims about gyms, battles, eggs, lures and finds.

Next time you see someone acting like this while walking in your neighborhood, ask them, “Are you playing Pokémon Go?”  Their eyes will light up and they will exclaim, “Yes!”

This week Pokémon Go was uncovered and it’s lit.  In fact, I heard of twice this weekend where the entire app was shut down because of server overload and of a person who literally stopped on the freeway to catch a Pokémon.

Once you starting looking for the Pokémon Go players, you will see them all over the place.  The pictures above are just five of the eight groups in my neighborhood playing Pokémon Go during my 30-minute jog this afternoon.

“What’s amazing is the age group.” said one Pokémon Go player this afternoon.  “This game involves all ages.  It’s not just kids, but people in their 20s and 30s” (I was hoping he was sharing this with me because he was including me in that demographic).  I just watched a family – aged children, teenager and Mom – drive by slowly in a four-door with each member (minus Dad the Driver) on their phones.  They were playing Pokémon Go.

We see many players from our house, because across the street is a park where there are eight “Pokéstops” and a Gym.  That’s a lot.  We get a lot of Pokémon Go action on our street.  These geographically placed “Pokéstops,” found as park benches, signs, buildings or other landmarks, are the key to the app.  That is what all of these players are looking for in this GPS-enabled map search game.

The only issue, was that, as of last night, I didn’t know all of these details.  Up until about 1 a.m., I noticed an significant number of people walking into the dark park.  Groups of teenagers and young adults slowly moving, holding their brightly lit phones close.  I noticed cars driving slow and turning around to pass the park numerous times.  Something was up.  This isn’t 2007, this age group is no long geocaching. Concerned about the number of people in the park, I called the police to let them know.  I hadn’t put together and/or localized the Pokémon Go phenome.

Too many people in the park on a Saturday night is a small issue in today’s world.  Pokémon Go is helping to address a couple of today’s big issues.  First, most of us need more exercise.  This is an app and a game that gets you moving.  It’s not static, you must move and, at this point, the best way to play the game is on foot.  In fact, if you get an “egg” in the game you must go two kilometers to have it become a Pokémon.

Second, this is a game that creates community.  You can play it in a group and it’s even more fun to play with others.  It is not a completion.  Multiple people can catch the same Pokémon and that is why it can be played and enjoyed with friends.

Yes, this app, like many others, is going to be a time waster.  Our waitress today at brunch shared about how her life “has been consumed by two hours a day of Pokémon Go.”  It’s also going to have more people with faces down on their phone walking into poles, the street and/or each other.

I’ll take a little time wasting and wayward walking for people moving about in my neighborhood with a smile and a group of friends.

In this battle for fitness and community, I choose you, Pokémon Go!

Happy Fourth for US

As we head into the Independence Day weekend I’m mindful of the freedom we experience in our country…and for that matter, in the Western world.

It’s been a challenging week for two of the countries in which World Concern operates. This last weekend our staff in Wau, South Sudan had to be evacuated.  The town filled with government and rebel fighting.  Fortunately, all of the staff and assets were unharmed.

The same cannot be said for the 150 business owners who were in process to receive a matching gift from World Concern for future business development.  Our staff were in the consulting stages with these businesses, helping prepare them for the opportunity associated with an influx of capital.  After this weekend, most of these businesses, if not all of these businesses, have had their world overturned.  The market was bombed.  Untold, literally untallied, numbers of people are dead. These business owners who just a week ago were dreaming of expanding their business, providing more for their community and were working with our staff on how to do it, are now picking up the pieces and starting over.

TDhakahen this morning, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, gunman have taken hostages.  This happened in the most secure area of Dhaka, the Diplomatic Zone.  This is a developing situation, but all of our staff are safe.  While we have a couple hundred employees in Bangladesh, they are all natives to the country.

These are just two situations involving our agency.  In the world news cycle they aren’t that significant.  For example, when I heard about the bombing in Wau, I went on the BBC Africa website and there was nothing about unrest in South Sudan.  Do a Google search today for images from the bombing in Wau (you’ll have to add South Sudan).  Nothing from this weekend will pull up.  It was a non-story to the rest of the world, but for our staff and the people we serve their world was rocked…literally.

Of course, that won’t be our weekend.  This weekend we will enjoy the sun, barbecue, family, friends and then intentionally light some explosives for our own ooo-and-ah astonishment.  It’s a pretty sweet deal living here.

This Independence Day, take a second and remember the gift of our independence and remember those that don’t have that same freedom.  Take a second and have concern for the world.