Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hello Mother Hello Father Here I am at Camp ....

Yes the annual Boy Scouts camp out and spring snow storm have arrived again. This past Saturday morning we woke up to 35 degree weather along with 3 inches of fresh new fallen snow! Perfect timing as Jimmy and I were packing for the Boy Scout overnight, YIPPEE!!!

Seriously this is the second year of two years that the overnight has been plagued by snow, wind, ice and freezing temps, I mean this is the boy Scouts not Seal training. We loaded as many blankets, sleeping bags and long underwear we could carry and it was off to Baker Park, a mere 20 minutes from the house.

The group arrived at high noon, we all set up our tents, arranged them and got the beds set up and then headed off for survival training, well in a sense we went to meet the Docent whom was scheduled to spend the afternoon with us in the woods. The fella we met was one of the smarter of the group when he explained because of the weather and the impending high winds, we would have a shortened afternoon. He taught the boys how to respect the woods, leave no trace and perhaps, at least for this day, how to build a fire. Because of the high winds and potential sleet, we were allowed to use matches instead of the o' tried and true method of rubbing sticks together. I questioned this as the energy produced from rubbing the sticks together would help the numbness in my hands but I was overruled.

The session ended, no one was injured and best off all the woods remained without a trace of our presence, well done boy's!. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to stay warm as the boy's play football. It is amazing to me as all of us were standing around watching the kids wearing all the clothes we brought, complaining about this and that and in the midst of all this there stands Jimmy in a t-shirt and a pair of jeans sweating and complaining that he is hot.

That evening for dinner each of us brought a "component" of the main meal. the goal was to get the scouts to make their own foil pack dinner and then make one for their parent. I was surprised how well this turned out and jimmy did a great job. I said to him "Hey Jim. Nice job with my foil pack", to which he replied " Come on Dad I know what you like" Wow, never knew he was paying attention. There was a program after dinner called the Arrow of Light, which is a ceremony honoring the Webelo's as they transition to Boy Scouts, due to the highly secretive aspect of the scouts no further information regarding the ceremony can be revealed.

It was lights out and heavy wind on, as we settled into our tents to brace the long night of cold temps and shivering kids. I noticed in the middle of the night (as I headed off to the bathroom), the clouds had cleared making the sky full of beautiful stars and a full moon, which here in Minnesota means only one thing, low 20's. I mentioned earlier that we were only 20 minutes from home, what was keeping us here? I think that fact that Jimmy weighs about 110 lbs and I could not carry him the 100 or so yards to the car.We lasted until about 6:45 am at which time it was up and at 'em. I noticed when we climbed out of the tent that several of the campers had left during the night. The strong winds must have hidden the sound of the cars starting or much more likely the Fellas pushed their cars down the hill jumped in and made a quiet get away so as not to have to endure the ridicule that would be forth coming.
The event for the most part was a success, Jimmy enjoyed himself, received a couple of new badges and we drew a line through another item on the road to becoming a full fledged Boy Scout. They say three is a trend so we will have to wait until next year!

Boy Scout Motto used for this event PMA, Positive Mental Attitude.