12 years a blue man & links

I spent this past weekend in West Virginia, visiting The Summit Bechtel Reserve. The Summit is a facility to which the Boy Scouts have staked their future: it’s where they’ll be holding jamborees, offering high adventure opportunities, and modeling new programs for decades to come. My visit was for two reasons: to participate in a meeting planning the national jamboree, and the dedication of a ceremonial ground at the Summit for the Order of the Arrow.

The Summit and the jamborees coming in 2017 and 2019 are exciting. Scouting must find a way to retain its appeal for older boys, and to create experiences that engender the word of mouth and evangelism needed to grow. 35,000 kids at a place like the Summit can do that. I remain more conflicted about the OA experience. The ceremonial ground project has felt very inward-focused, as did the dedication. I appreciate the passion felt by the 200 or so people present, but think we ought to be considering how to instill even a piece of that passion in the 100,000 kids who are Arrowmen that weren’t at the Summit this weekend.

12 years a Blue Man
Speaking of instilling passion in people: I loved reading this exit interview from an actor who was in Blue Man Group for 12 years. I’ve seen Blue Man many times, and always wondered what was going on in the mind of the voiceless, curious blue men. The role is much more challenging and complex that I ever would have thought.

Resistance to change in the Catholic Church
Many non-Catholics seems stunned at the resistance Pope Francis faces as he eliminates barriers for gay, divorced or otherwise strayed Catholics. As someone who grew up being told that the Church is right, and always has been, I can understand exactly why the concept of any change seems heretical. If these rules came to us from Peter’s successors, they’re a direct line to Jesus. Catholic convert Damon Linker has a nuanced view that appreciates this perspective, but also recognizes the inherent weakness of the church as a human organization that ought to embrace change.

Are the Panama Papers journalism’s future?
The Panama Papers story was not broken by the Washington Post, New York Times, or any other major paper — it came from a decentralized consortium of journalists working collaboratively. The New Yorker wonders whether this more democratized approach to journalism represents in the future. Given that the barriers to information will continue to lower in the coming years, and reporting staffs are likely to continue their decline, I think there’s a safe bet that this is how big stories will break going forward.