Wednesday night was the pilot episode of the newest season of Survivor that's taking place in the Philippines. This is the show's 25th season but what caught my attention this time wasn't Survivor itself really but rather a whole different reason altogether: an acquaintance of mine is actually competing in it... AGAIN!

You may remember the guy who fainted into a fire severely burning his hands in the show's second season, Survivor: The Australian Outback around eleven years ago. He had the 'wonderful' distinction of being the first contestant to be airlifted out for medical reasons and then subsequently had to forfeit the game. Well, he's BACK and with a vengeance this time!

What you may not know though is that Mike Skupin, or "Scoop" as his friends call him has actually visited this area more than once to do 'Survivor Challenges' with some of our area youth and share his stories about his short stint on the show and the life lessons he's learned along the way. I met him during his first visit here (back before Facebook was huge) and got to hang with him because he'd stay with my parents each time he'd come by as they are great friends.

Back in March he issued a cryptic FB post on his personal page that said he was off on an "international adventure" and further down the comment thread he said it was "business related"... Hmmmm, doesn't take a genius Scoop! Then six weeks later he asks, "Anything fun happen while I was gone?" Ha! I'll bet you had the most fun, buddy! Sure enough he's on this season as one of three invited back because their game was cut short due to medical reasons. The biggest joke two nights ago on Facebook was people chiding him to not hurt himself again and guess what he did? Yup, injuried himself four times in the first three days one of which was a gash on his foot but alas, not serious enough for that cozy helicopter ride. His tribe seems to view him as an asset so far and at the close of Episode 1 his torch was still lit so he's lookin safe!

I'll keep you posted each week on his progress and maybe even give you some insider peeks as well and if you'd like to ask Mike a question, just comment below and I'll pass it on to him or click on the button. If he's able to answer (contractually) given that the show is ongoing, I'd be happy to highlight his answers in future posts. Watch the video below to learn more about him and his strategy this season... Good luck Scoop!