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Monday, March 31, 2008

Camp out Luck out

Well we are back from Boy Scout camp ... it was only the weekend (2 nights, 2 days) and we carpooled with the other mom from son's cubpack that moved up with him...we took our van and she bumped in $20 for gas and supper! She didn't need to do that ... we only got gut-bombs (for those who don't know, that's a local term for White Castle burgers...other places call them 'sinkers'...but that has always been used for a term for dumplings around here), and well the camp was just over 1/2 hr away so it wasn't that much gas -- but it was nice of her. Okay it was incredibly nice of her - and way more than she should have considering she was doing all the driving. I will have to pay her back somehow with out her feeling I'm giving a 'refund' to her, don't want to embarrass her.

It was interesting to say the least -- it was a dangerous balancing act. The boys are boyscouts now and are supposed to do a lot of stuff on their own, yet they are still in that 'got to be told or it doesn't get done' stage of their developement --- you know the stage....when you send them in to wash up you have to specify step by step what to do or else they forget that yes they must use soap until there's bubbles, and yes the water does have to be on, and yes they must dry off their hands on a CLEAN TOWEL and not the one in the hamper or their shirt/pants which are also know that stage.

And then there are us parents...there were three mothers - me, the other cub mom, and a new mom who transferred in from another city and so her son is very new and doesn't know a soul - and the other parents (like 5 or 6) were guys who know each other thru the city youth sport system so they all hung out together and left us ladies alone ... it was pretty interesting to watch.

When we sat at a table, mother's would be at one table with the kids (usually ours would sit as close to us as they could) and the father's seemed to gather around one table with only a few scouts around them. Interesting. The fathers disappeared quite a bit and I recall hearing something being whispered amongst them about going into town for a couple of beers, although nothing was really mentioned to us. The new mom had mentioned going in for some wine, but neither the other cub-mom or I are drinkers so I have to admit we kind of laughed it off.

I really wished I had taken the regular digi cam though...we did take a disposable camera (which my son used to take photos of trees-he was trying for birds...he loves birds) and I also had hubby's digicam binocs (which never did get taken out) but the disp. cam had a flash ... and the binocs would have been too close and I can't figure out exactly how to use them because the directions weren't in the box. but now I will have to wait til I finish the disp cam to develope it to get the photos for posting...sorry.

I would love to have taken some stealth photos of the boys working on there achievements - even if they didn't do that many this weekend - I got the feeling that they would have done more but the boys were just too new to stick to it, yet.

We also learned that the troop leader wasn't feeling the best but he stuck it thru - I've got to give him credit...he looked like shit the one day...but he trucked on.

We ate the cooking of the boys - and actually they didn't do bad at all! It was very good...the sanitation of the whole thing needs to be worked on though. They were not getting the dishes very clean - but maybe that's just the mother in me talking. Things like washing with cold, or at least tepid, water; not washing hands very well if at all (cookers had to wash hands); cutting food directly on the counter; kids leaving the cooking area and then coming back -- that sort of thing (oh and the 5 second rule too ... sends a shiver when you know where their feet had been).

By the time we got up there Friday night it was twilight and getting dark fast so we didn't see that there were three latrines (I will use the proper term) fairly close together along the path - well okay, we didn't pay that close attention to it, we were busy trying to get everything to the proper 'cabin' (can you say one large room with a partitioned section for mom's?) we had one scout leader point out to us in the morning that we had been using the wrong one - and that the one marked women (about 15 steps farther on the path, if we had only bothered to look - oh my words not his, he was very polite about it) would more than likely be much cleaner by the end of the first day...but he was wrong, it was cleaner by the end of the first NIGHT--boys do not aim well in the dark and I swear they try to gross out the next kid who will use just sends shivers down my spine thinking about it and makes me want to stick my hands in bleach.

And the photos online of the cabins...lied. There were no bunks, but we thought ahead and brought a couple of airmats for the boy & I...which were the least comfy things I have ever slept on. I am a side sleeper (sorry if its TMI) and the air in the cushion kept going down to the feet instead of staying nicely distributed .... or at least somewhat distributed ... so my ilia (hip bone) was being ground into the wooden floor all night long. Needless to say - I did not sleep well, flip one side, flip to the other, flip to the back, repeat. I didn't think of it, I probably should have switched to my belly...I was a belly sleeper before I had babies and I could probably have done it and slept better although I think my back would have been hurting too.

I thought about taking the cots again like we did for Webelos Woods, but talked myself out of it -- never ever again!! Cots will be mandatory camping gear, now I just need to find a nice one that can support 300 lbs ( that should be enough for an adult plus camping gear), Cabelas had some nice ones with built-in mosquito netting which would be nice for the big Camporee & Tomahawk campouts - at least for the adults ... but I have to order them well before so we have time to test them out. And actually they would be really nice for using as a sick-cot around the house all year...we only have one hear now and if one gets sick usually another of the kids will get sick during the same time -- esp. during flu season. it will be a purchase.

I digress, not unusual, but bothersome.
So we had nice warm weather on Sat. not as warm as they thought ... the weather guys said ti was supposed to get into the 50's with rain changing to snow sat night/sun morning. That was pretty scary when we saw the hill we had to drive down to get to the campsite -- the thing had to be nearly a 75* grade and the side of the cliffs more so! And curvy -- holy cow -- anything over 2 mph and you could have lost control going down ... only thing would have been a single cable linked between some posts...that's it and in some places they didn't even have the cables ... very scary.

So the thought of the van having to drive up it when it was sloppy, wet, and muddy with a driver who didn't really know what it could do was pretty frickin' scary.

But we lucked out == in that it didn't get rainy or extremely cold ... in fact it got to about 46*F on Sat and got up to 50*F yesterday and no rain ... and since it didn't get below freezing Sat night the water on the road was able to drain well enough for the van not to have a problem -- otherwise the puddles on the walk paths were over the top of the foot .... so about 3-4 inches deep and that was with them draining well!

Well knew I shouldn't have counted my chickens before they were hatched. Its the Spring Opener in Baseball (which really means nothing to me other than the irony) and tomorrow is April Fool's Day -- and the blizzard is here TODAY (see what I meant about irony?)

We are supposed to get 3-5" of new snow by 3pm today and then get 4-6 more after that when it starts to fall 1" per hour!!! They say it should take just a couple of days to melt but still...we were getting green coming and everything and now we are a dirty white again. No biggie to me - I LOVE the snow...prefer it to humidity, heat, bugs, sunburn, sweat, etc .... its just the wind that gets me -- I have found that if its cold I'm okay but the wind just slices thru me!
SO we did pretty good for the camping -- the boys earn their 'scout' moniker tonight at the meeting and from here they can start working on their 'Tenderfoot" badge and then onto earning some of those cool achievement badges that they wear on the sash.

Hopefully it won't get cancelled due to snow -- although I can't see it ... after all they don't cancel camping trips for it!

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