Table of Contents
James D. Corder
When Boy Scouts of America removed God from the Exploring program and then tossed Exploring to their wholly owned subsidiary "Learning for Life", it was time to move 369 from Exploring and into Venturing. Therefore, Explorer Post 369 has rechartered itself as a Venturer Crew. Hence The ExpNews has been renamed "The Adventure!"
Other than the name, nothing much will change in this monthly magazine!
The Post, for the most part, will stay the same. Membership is still coeducational and open you those 14 and in high school and has not yet reached the age of 21.
We will continue to teach UNIX System Administration. However, this year there will be a stronger emphasis the Entrepreneurial spirit, being self employed, a greater Christian foundation, and the great outdoors. Hay, I like camping:-)
Our new training facilities will still be built:-)
The world will still turn!
The Adventure -$1,908.00
Floor Fund Need $2,500.00
Floor Fund On-Hand $2,588.76
Room Fund Needed $3,800.00
Room Fund On-Hand $0.00
12/01/98 Crew Charter $30.00
12/01/98 Crew Insurance $85.00
Monthly The Adventure $75.00
UNIX Book $66.00
Registration 11/01/98 $25.00
Philip M. Cring Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
I was first introduced into Exploring at the age of 15. At that time my entire life revolved around work and high school, and while I had varied interests, I did lack a social and educational environment where my progress would only be diminished by my limitations. My old unit was Post 891 at AT&T/Bell Labs, and it was here I was introduced to new levels of computer technology, creative and dedicated teachers/mentors, and a peerage without equal. Among this group, my strong moral foundation was enhanced; I was among people of religious conviction and extraordinary capability who talked to the youth as adults and friends. I saw dreams enhanced, technical proficiency encouraged, and effort rewarded. These are precious gifts for anyone.....gifts that I carried with me throughout my Naval career. The teachings of doing for others, sharing your proficiency and equality of stature aided me immeasurably in my development of leadership skills, earning me many awards and commendations over the years.
While I pursued a career independent of computer engineering, the lessons of interaction and development with my peers was never lost on me; now that I return to a career of computer engineering, the basic knowledge I gained while with the Explores is still valuable and applicable. I would recommend this program to any and all who seek excellence and are willing to learn, not to mention having fun at the same time!
Tom Juncewicz email@example.com
Exploring had brought me into contact with UNIX during my high school years, when most of my fellow computer enthusiasts were busy tinkering with home computers like Apples, Ataris, and PCs. This exposure made it easy for me when I entered college at the Ohio State University, where I found that most computing courses were taught on UNIX-based Sun workstations! We also participated in group projects, which helped me when I started working in the "real world" and had to collaborate with other programmers
Besides the technical aspects, I also had the pleasure of meeting a variety of unique people, all with different backgrounds, interests, and personalities. People you would normally consider introverted in the "social" context found it easy to participate and develop their untapped technical talents. Overall, Exploring has proven to be a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone.
Exploring has been an excellent program for me. After earning my Eagle, I needed something more, something that continued to prepare me for the future. Career oriented Scouting was exactly what I needed. Exploring has provided me with an opportunity to keep learning, and expanding my skills in both computing and in the old Scouting skills such as leadership. Exploring followed all the Scout Laws that Scouting had been teaching for generations and had offered a chance to make friends in a career while providing both interesting and challenging work to the youth. It also offered an opportunity to let new people who had not been in other scouting programs experience what scouting could teach. In addition, Exploring and 369's career oriented program provided an excellent extension of computing on a level that high schools just cannot offer. Exploring provided me service and learning opportunities in the way that Scouting is so good at doing.
My sophomore year in high school in my computer science class, my teacher, Mr. Edwards, handed out a flyer describing what Post 369 is. It said that Post 369 was a Boy Scout run organization with a strong focus on the UNIX operating system, and they were looking for some new members. At the time I was aware of the existence of UNIX but never knew much about it.
Several weeks went by and Mr. Edwards told us that the first night was next week and we need to R.S.V.P. "So what could I lose", I thought. That next Tuesday Mr. Edwards took us to the meeting, and it shattered my expectations.
Crew 369 not just something to go to on a Tuesday night because there is nothing else to do. The program requires that you put some effort into it; however what you put into the program is paid back ten fold in return. This is something that I am proud to be a part of!
John Paine Chicago, IL
Although at first glance Exploring may not seem to have had a profound impact on my life and myself, as is often the case with first glances, this is misleading.
I began Career Exploring in the early eighties at Bell Labs in Columbus. I spent a great deal of time goofing off with computers, more time goofing off with other Explorers, and accidentally picking up a good bit of knowledge about the functions of computers and people. The last item is that which has had the greatest influence in my life.
Speaking from personal experience, the military is an effective tool for instilling discipline in a life, but only to a point. You have to see where the discipline can take you before you can get there on your own. I learned the effectiveness of cooperation among team members, the importance of friendship in human affairs, and need to finish what you have started - all from "goofing around". Perhaps goofing around is a misnomer, but I had fun while I was doing all of that.
I should point out that an important element of Exploring is the mentor. Role models (yeah, yeah, it sounds like psycho-babble, but you try to come up with a better term) are the key to an effective Exploring Crew. This goes back to being able to see where you can go, and how others have gotten there to be able to reach your own goals. Choose a good mentor, you won't be sorry.
Upper Arlington, Ohio
I had not heard about Exploring, much less UNIX Explorer Post 369 until the middle of my senior high school year. When I joined, I had expected classes about UNIX, teaching the technical skills to navigate the operating system. This would be just like the UNIX class I took a few years earlier. Or so I thought. I wasn't thinking big enough.
Sure, we were taught how to use the UNIX shell, shell scripting for automation, as well as networking concepts such as routing and IP telephony. Yes, technical skills are essential to UNIX System Administrators. So are leaders. Leaders work through a group to complete a task, whether that task keeps large data-centers in big multi-billion dollar corporations running all the time, or completing a high ropes course at camp.
A leader, we explorers learned, communicates well both through speech and writing. I have to talk with my peers to gain feedback, my teammates to complete a project, my boss or client to report how well (and sometimes, how not so well) I've done, and my friends so I can relax -- so I'd need finely-developed speech communication. Just as importantly, leaders require refined writing skills. Writing out lasts speeches. I'd need to write well on paper, through letters, with email, in web pages too. People I otherwise would never have met and talked to would read what I have to say (as you are right now). Again, I wasn't thinking big enough. A leader, we explorers learned, have visions and dream. Over the course of the past half-year, I've seen my fellow youth explorers and friends open their eyes. I'm continually surprised at how much more is possible. It isn't just that we had opportunities raining down like rain. It was great meeting guest speakers offering internships, a trip to Washington D.C. for the National Explorers Leadership Conference, writing for an internationally-distributed publication -- these pieces of paper you are holding right now -- and building team projects. "Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
To what end though? Would I like to be a millionaire? A billionaire? Own a mansion? Build a floating oceanic colony? Fly to and colonize the moon? Found a web design guild that lasts for generations? Become famous in the pages of history? Like I said, I wasn't thinking big enough. I do now. To see the opportunities dropping all around me, I first had to see my dreams and know where I'm going. Do you know where you're going? I know where, and I'll see you there.
Daniel J. Gregor Jr. 18
It's odd when I look back at how much I have changed since I joined Exploring six years ago. Back then, I was decent at hacking C code in KA9Q NOS (a TCP/IP implementation that ran on DOS), but I knew nothing about UNIX, systems administration, or how to look for a job in this profession. Exploring gave me the tools that I needed to hone my UNIX and system administration skills--once I had learned the basics of the Bourne shell, "grep", "vi", and the most under utilized UNIX command, "man", I could learn to do just about anything. At that point, I installed Linux on my PC at home, connected to the Internet, and from there on I could experiment with E-mail, web servers, security, or whatever. Exploring not only gave me technical skills, but it gave me the business skills that I need to survive and succeed in a corporate environment. It also got me started into what I consider to be the most important part of any long-term career--meeting and networking with other people.
Now, I have just passed my 20th birthday, and I have been doing UNIX system administration consulting for more than two years. My business skills that I learned in Exploring have helped me to successfully consult with a handful of Fortune 500 and other multi-billion dollar companies. The technical start that I also received in Exploring has helped me to take on some high-profile and difficult, "bleeding-edge" projects. At most of my clients, I have helped them to design and implement their Internet firewall architecture and portions of their enterprise mail systems. I have even implemented features on top of firewall and VPN products to provide configuration synchronization, which is needed for highly available operation, before vendors even started supporting it (all of the vendors that I consider to be of "enterprise quality" still don't support this, but most are working on it). When I told the vendors what I had implemented, their response was "Wow, that's a good idea--we should look into doing that."
It's both fun and scary to be on the bleeding-edge of technology. I get to work on the latest and greatest, fast-paced projects, but I often have to deal with immature products--ones that lack stability or important functionality required by large corporations. Overall, however, the entire experience has been, and continues to be very rewarding, and I would never have had the chance, at least at my young age, without being in Exploring.
You must reach a point where you believe that others can achieve what ever they put their mind to!
As a Venturer, I promise to help strengthen America, to be faithful in my religious duties, to help others,
Citizenship, Leadership, Fitness, Social, Outdoor, Service.
C Matthew Curtin 25
Abstract: The exploring program--and Post 891 at Lucent Technologies specifically--has had a profound impact on my professional career and personal growth. This article discusses some ways how this has been accomplished, with an eye to helping potential explorers understand what they have to gain.
Before becoming an Explorer
My first experiences with general-purpose computers date back to around 1983 when my elementary school got some shiny new Apple IIe computers. I quickly learned the basics of operating the computer, but always wanted to know how it really worked. It wasn't long before I ran out of people to ask. So I started reading books and writing programs myself, first in BASIC, an then in assembler, both of which I taught myself.
Some of my friends had computers of various types. I spent time on the Atari machines (and eventually got an 800 XL myself), Commodores of various models, and of course, the venerable Apple II series.
By the time I was 15, I had access to numerous computer labs, written programs of every sort for almost every kind of "personal computer" available. I didn't know what a hacker (1) was. In those days, I might have even described a hacker as someone who breaks into computers (2). I was just becoming aware of the world of computer networks and bulletin board systems, and used these to communicate and share ideas and programs with kindred spirits from elsewhere in the Apple II community.
Joining the Post
At 16, in 1990, I was invited to Explorer Post 891, sponsored by AT&T's Network Systems and Bell Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio.
On my first night there, despite the fact that I knew at least five programming languages, and had people around the world using software that I had written, I knew that my education was just about to begin. The post was discussing how to write a bulletin board system of its own design, where people would be able to use their modem to call the system, send and receive email to other people around the globe, participate in netnews discussions, and more.
We were going to do it all in a programming language called Bourne shell script, to run under an operating system called UNIX. I didn't know the first thing about Bourne shell or Unix. I was hooked.
As an Explorer
The first thing to do in order to accomplish the project was to learn Unix. I'd used Unix a little, while exploring systems on the Internet (3). But if I would be successful in contributing to the development of the bulletin-board system, I'd need to know more than a few commands; I'd need to know how it really works.
My first UNIX course was taught by James D. Corder , an associate advisor at Post 891. In his class, I was taught the fundamentals of the UNIX operating system, and Bourne shell programming.
We created a plan for creation of the bulletin board system, and won an award from the local Exploring council for our presentation. One year later, we returned with a functional bulletin board system which functioned as promised, and won another.
During my time as an explorer, we accomplished a number of other projects, some big, some small, but all extremely valuable. As I went further along in the program, I had the privilege of spending time with some brilliant people who volunteered their time to provide insight to different groups within the Post. Each new project, each new advisor, and each new project consultant provided additional perspective. This isn't the sort of thing that you can learn from school. It's experience and wisdom that comes from doing and having the right people there to point you in the right direction when you get stuck.
As a consultant
After turning 21 and no longer being eligible to be an explorer, I was given the opportunity to stay on as a consultant to the post. I was very happy to do so, and have been serving in this capacity for about four years.
It's impossible for me to repay the advisors that I've had at the Post. The best I can hope to do is impart the same gift I've been given to those that are in the program now: time and expertise.
Where I am now
Currently, I am with The Ohio State University's Computer and Information Science department, where I'm a senior systems engineer. I have contributed to several books, written numerous articles, and am currently working with the Internet Engineering Task Force to define the next generation of NNTP, the protocol used to distribute USENET news around the world. In 1997, I helped coordinate the DESCHALL project, which broke a message encrypted with the US Government standard encryption system, DES, for the first time in open research. My involvement in the computer science research and development community goes well beyond this, and if you need to see more, see my home page.
Retrospect: what the program did for me
It was through the discussions and experiences that I had with real hackers--those whose brilliance and passion are a source of wonder to their peers--that I learned to continually challenge myself, and to think like a
Exploring is more than a way to kill a few hours every week. Exploring is an investment that will allow a young person to have knowledge and sagacity well beyond his years.
James D. Corder
KJ Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
NIV Mark 10:45 Jesus said, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and, to give his life as a ransom for many".
As I stood outside the great hall before my Eagle Court-of-Honor I asked my Scoutmaster how I can ever repay him for all he has done for me. He replied: "You can't. You can never pay me back. Therefore, pay forward to those that follow you!"
My UNIX career foundation was built while I was a young lad in Exploring(4). I can state that I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for Scouting and Exploring.
I had no idea when I joined Exploring, that my life was going to change so drastically for the better. I had no idea that working on computers that had doors in them so you could walk through them for maintenance was anything out of the ordinary. However, I now know how much fun it is!
As I progressed, VMS, TSO and finally UNIX, I could see that my small Apple][ and eventually PC's were a total waste of my time.
The scope of the OS is huge; UNIX runs everything from cash registers to the InterNet and even missile bases. It, in my opinion, is the only computer operating system that counts. All others are merely there as back-up singers in the choir!
I can recall the interview for my first "real" J.O.B. Every question that I was asked I had learned the answer in the Exploring Program. My first gig was at 21 years of age teaching UNIX at the Defense Logistics Association [DOD]. Little did I know that I would be traveling around the country due to my UNIX skills.
Over the next few years I became the M.I.S. Supervisor [UNIX] for Symix Computer Systems, Moderator of the Self Managed Team of UNIX Systems Administrators for Bell Laboratories, UNIX Administrator for the NEMOS project at AT&T, Senior UNIX System Administrator for Nationwide Insurance Enterprise, and more...
During this time I found that NO college or University teaches UNIX System Administration. Sure, many teach one to become a programmer within the UNIX Environment. True, some Admins do learn System Administration while in college. However, I couldn't find any school that taught it!
Therefore, I set out to create my own youth mentor program for UNIX System Administration.
I firmly believe that God put us here to serve others. This is one way that I can.
So, in 1994 Venturing Crew 369 was formed as a UNIX System Administration Youth Mentor Program. It is coeducational and open to all between the ages of 14 and 21 no mater of race, gender, religion, etc.
Graduates of our program have been placed as interns, contractors, and employees with Nationwide Insurance Enterprises the phone company of Russia, Sun, AT&T, Chemical Abstracts, Banc One,... The list goes on.
It is clear our program is a success.We have youth with incomes between $12.50 and $80.00 an hour. And Adults with incomes between $20.00 and $180.00 an hour.
We can not guarantee that all the youth that come into our program will graduate from it. Less than 10% do. But for those few that stick it out, it is truly a life changing experience!
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