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Dear Reader

by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three
Some of the most interesting epiphanies I have with my children happen while driving in my car to and from their activities. Recently, my nine-year-old, decked out in his dark blue Cub Scout shirt and light blue neckerchief, was sitting in the back seat as I drove him to his weekly scout activity when he simply asked me why he goes to scouts. I didn’t even hesitate. I said, “Because we are a scouting family. Your dad was an Eagle Scout and your grandpa was an Eagle Scout. We love scouts.” That seemed to suffice his curiosity, and he was excited to carry on in their footsteps. It’s true - so many of our passions stem from tradition.

Even though I grew up with five sisters and no brothers, scouts were always a big part of our lives. My father, now 85 years old, led scouts in some form or another. In fact, today he still works with his local troop in Idaho. And, when he was recently visiting me, our troop’s cub master, who knew my dad retired from the Air Force, had him come in as a guest instructor to help with the boys’ aviation requirement. He taught them about airplanes and helped them build models of their own.

Scouts have taught my son a lot. He’s learned about knots, skateboarding, woodworking, cooking, and much more. His favorite part of scouts has to be competing in the annual Pinewood Derby. This summer, he gets to pass on his love of scouting to his little brother when he takes him with him to scout day camp at St. John’s Lutheran Church for the first time. Neither of them can wait!

My dad taught me a lot, and I love watching my husband teach my boys new things. Father’s Day is a fantastic day for us to appreciate the hard-working men in our lives that make our lives easier. One activity you could do this year with the special man in your life is to spend the day exploring nature in Bakersfield’s own backyard. The article, “Panorama Vista Preserve: A Hidden Treasure,” on page 14 showcases an almost 1,000-acre nature preserve located at the base of the bluffs in Bakersfield. Thanks to Carolyn Belli, President of the Panorama Vista Preserve, for her help with this article and her passion for protecting Kern County’s natural land.

Another big thank you to Lonnie and Keona Borntreger for sharing their inspiring story with KCFM in the article, “Keona Borntreger Shoots for the Moon,” on page 10. It features the determination of Keona to win the Distinguished Young Women of Bakersfield scholarship program only 12 days after she lost her mother to cancer.

This month’s issue also gives us a chance to chuckle and commiserate when we read Tracie Grimes’s Humor at Home article, “The Worrier,” on page 12. She writes about the crazy and inexplicable things we, as mothers, worry about incessantly. See if some of your worries make her list.

Tracie also gives us her monthly book review in her article, “Cool Summer Reads,” on page 19. She says encouraging summer reading helps your children keep the learning lights on when they’re not in school. Some of the titles she recommends include “Nurse Clementine” by Simon James, “Bye-Bye Baby Brother” by Sheena Dempsey, and “The Deer Watch” by Pat Lowery Collins.

No matter what activities make up your days now that summer is officially here and your tightly scheduled routine gets a little slack, remember to appreciate the traditions in our lives. Enjoy your carefree summer days. Read with your kids, explore nature, teach them something you love; and most importantly, thank your dad or your husband for passing down his passions and interests to you or your offspring. Happy Father’s Day!!!

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