Gary "POPS" JEans
Talk about “The Ride of a Lifetime!”
I turned 60 in November so I set some physical challenges. Run a 6 minute mile, do 60 pushups and ride my old man bike 60 miles in one day. My question is how did it go from 60 miles in one day to riding 1,800 miles? My wife Cindy, who was working with Troop 165 on getting their cycling jerseys and tech tees for this event said to me, “Why don’t you ride with ESCAA for a day?” The challenge commenced when Scoutmaster Bruce White suggested I ride the whole way with them. You know how he does that sort of smooth and easy sales pitch and then he slips it in and next thing you know I’m training like I was 20! So, I got a road bike for Christmas, it is a Soma Smoothie which I promptly named “Pop’s Smoothie” and in January I began diligently training for this exciting event. I have to say that of all the Team ESCAA riders’ bios, I am, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the only pre-apprentice, beginning novice cyclist of this group.
I was a scout for a short time as a youth, but was more into working on my sports resume. I ran track and cross country at Arizona State University. About 26 years ago, we wanted to start a scouting program in our church - and the rest is history. I don’t know what it is about Boy Scouting. There is something about when you say, “Yes” the first time, you just can’t say, “No” ever again.
I worked my way up through all the normal leadership roles in scouting: tiger cubs, cubs, webelos, and boy scouts as my son worked his way to becoming an Eagle Scout with 11 palms. I took Woodbadge Training, then served on the Woodbadge staff for 5 and became the course director in 2000.
I am currently serving on the San Francisco Bay Area Council’s International Scouting Committee and the Properties Committee. I have been privileged to serve as an Assistant Scoutmaster to 3 World Jamborees; Thailand in 2003, the UK in 2007, and Sweden in 2011. I have been selected to be a leader for my 4th World Jamboree - Japan in 2015. I was a Scoutmaster for the 100th Anniversary National Jamboree Troop in 2010 and Assistant Scoutmaster for the National Jamborees in 2001 and 2005.
I have received the following scouting awards: Cub Scouter Award, Scouter’s Key, Distinguished Commissioner’s Service Award, Den Leader Award, Cubmaster Award, Webelos Den Leader Award, Scouter’s Training Award, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver Award, Religious Service Award, and International Scouting Award.
I am an ordained minister at the Lighthouse Worship Center in San Lorenzo, California. We have traveled many times to the Philippines on mission trips, leadership trainings, and built several churches.
I feel blessed to be a part of such a fine group of young men. Your ambition, your motivation, your dogged determination and your service to others has deeply touched me. I look forward to getting to know each of you on a personal level. And I am eager to learn from you!
Go easy on me guys, I’m just a beginner! Thanks for allowing me to take on this personal challenge as a part of Team ESCAA-2014.