I camped a lot growing up – and in spite of that I always told myself that when my boys did the boy scout thing that I’d go on their campouts with them. This was mostly so I could see stuff happen first-hand that they would be teased about or possibly arrested for later. But there was at least a tinge (measured precisely) of wanting to hang out with my aging offspring. This weekend I went with three 11-year-old scouts and their 2 fearless (and I mean that term in the most literal sense – because I know the 3 boys personally) adult leaders.
Here are a few things I learned/experienced:
- Food and/or hot dogs tastes significantly better when eaten on a campout. I suspect this is often due to the fact that you eat it roughly 4 hours after you expected to due to camp-setup. Also, there’s often no microwave nearby, so that slows things down a bit too.
- Despite their best efforts, the scouts proved that you can’t really take a single match, light it, and drop it on a huge log to start a fire. They learned this a lot of times because, well, they had a lot of matches and once you start lighting those things – pretty hard to stop.
- Sometimes, with roughly 50 bazillion spots in the woods to choose from, a boy scout will choose to relieve himself next to the picnic table that has your food on it.
- There’s a direct relationship between the lateness of the night and the crudeness/weirdness of the stories told around a campfire.
- Coming up with a skit spontaneously is way harder than it looks. The boys performed a 3 second skit where they all walked up, shot and/or machetee-d each other and then fell to the ground laughing. You’d think competing with that wouldn’t be so tough… Luckily, we had a seasoned scout leader with us who directed a skit where I would put a bag over my head and then people would faint if they lifted the bag.
- Watching three 11-year-olds put up a tent without help is way more entertaining than it should be.
- Flaming marshmallow sticks are way better than regular old flaming sticks. Also, sitting directly on bags of marshmallows is apparently a fair and acceptable way of protecting them from other scouts.
- Dumping bacon grease on the fire is even better than eating the actual bacon.
So as you can see, I learned a lot and had a great time. Looking forward to the next adventure…