Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Camping with Cub Scouts

So, this last weekend I went camping with 10 screaming little monsters adorable young Cub Scouts and 3 louder bigger monsters helpful Boy Scouts.  I've already recapped shopping for the trip and how my weekend started.  Read on for the rest of the comedy adventures!

So, Friday night started out with everyone (both the kids and the adults) cooking hot-dogs over the open fire on skewers.  A handful of boys ate the aforementioned cups of noodles, as they did not want hot dogs (why they couldn't have mentioned this at the meetings where we planned the meals, or while shopping, is beyond me, but they'll learn!).  They then took about 45 minutes to set up their gear in the open 3rd floor of the lodge (Cub Scouts don't do tents in cold weather).  While they did that, I fractured a few speeding laws driving home as I had forgotten the fixings for s'mores in the van during the opening fiasco.  Got home, grabbed the graham crackers and chocolate, drove back.  Filled their bellies with sugar and ... well ... sugar, and then sent them off to bed.

Then came the issues surrounding sleeping arrangements.  Over Protective Parent complained that there was no adult sleeping up on the 3rd floor with the boys, and pointed out that the rules stated there could be since it was "dorm room style" sleeping.  She was worried that "something could happen".  Laid Back Grandfather volunteered to sleep on the second floor at the foot of the stairs, and that mollified OPP.  In the meantime we only had 1 female parent who had not made her own sleeping arrangement, so she got a trailer all to herself.  That left Me, Ethan, and Topher sleeping in my truck (no biggie ... done it before ... will do it again) with the other men in the other trailer (provided by LBG, who was sleeping upstairs on the floor).

Evening Came, and Morning Followed.  The First Day.

We got up in the morning and watched as the boys made a mess of cooked their breakfast.  They had very few issues all told, with the biggest being the lack of experience necessary to have bacon and eggs finish at the same time so you can serve them together rather than eat on the run as things get ready.  Pretty much the normal fare for Scouts of all ages.  Hunting Dad cooked for the adults, and all was good.  OPP had to run into town, and left her boys (one Cub, and one Boy Scout) at camp while she was gone.

After breakfast was cleaned up, we let the boys head off on a hike into the netherlands.  We made sure we had reception, made sure the Boy Scouts had their cells in case something happened, and sent them off.  This gave the adults a chance to kick back, have come coffee, and relax.  They got back, and I pulled the Boy Scouts aside to get ready for the afternoon's activities.  We were working on our Scientist badge, it being more fun, not to mention safer, to do such activities on an outing rather than in the Church where we meet.

After lunch, where most of the Cubs complained because the adults still had hot-dogs left over as well as cold cuts for sandwiches while they merely had sandwiches (and cups of noodles), we did our Scientist badge.  The Boy Scouts ran some experiments with the Cubs about inertia.  They played with spinning a pail of water, yanking a paper out from under a cup full of water, dropping coins into cups, and more.  I'd love to say that no water was spilled by these antics, but I'd be lying.  Fortunately, it was only the Boy Scouts that got wet.  Welcome to being a leader.

In the meantime I ran experiments with fire.  We lit matches, held them up to cards, and blew to prove airplanes can fly.  We sucked water up into a cup by lighting a match and inverting the cup over it.  Nobody got burned, and very little water was spilled.  Pictures of this exist, but I have to get them from Hunting Dad, because I was a little busy making sure they didn't burn the place down!

Then came dinner.  The boys had hobo stew.  They followed their own recipe, but it came out fine.  The adults had Elk Steaks provided by Hunting Dad.  Then came "campfire time" ... The boys did a skit or two:

And the Boy Scouts amazed us with their skit prowess:

Then came sleeping hassles redux.  The good news is that the lone female parent decided to go home rather than sleep in the trailer, so me and my boys got the trailer (with the heater) ... YAY!  The bad news is that the boys on the third floor decided to discuss inappropriate topics (penis size, among others) which just reinforced OPP's opinion of "there needs to be an adult up there".  Oh, well.

Evening Came and Morning Followed, the Second Day

So ... Sunday we got up, cooked breakfast (which was a redux of Saturday's breakfast), packed our gear, cleaned the place, and headed home.

On the way out, I told the boys that I figured my job was to make sure they had a rotten time so they'd never want to go camping with me again ... thus saving me the trouble of having to do this again any time soon.

They all said I failed.

They all said we did more than survive ... we had a BLAST!

        aka: goofdad


terry said...

I love this post. I lived every moment with you. Although I tend to be OPP, I would have let them sleep upstairs my themselves.

What a great experience for all of you.

I sent my son to Death Valley last year. I was a mess thinking about rattle snakes and scorpians, but he had one of the best times of his life.

Now he wants to do Vision Quest.

goofdad said...

Thanks for that! It definately was fun.

I confess that I used to be OPP at times ... but this is my 5th son through the WEBELOS program, so I tend to be a little more laid back now.

WOW ... Death Valley ... He must have had a blast. Did he actually see rattlesnakes and scorpions?