Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1st Cub Scouts campout with the kids, October 3, 2009

Set up tent in the back of the group, next to the woods. Nice spot for nature. Bad spot for sleep since kids playing in the woods and reinacting battle scenes ran by our tent yelling all day.

Naptime for Claire--after about 1/2 hour or more of her playing, she finally started twitching and shut her eyes. A moment later a group of kids ran by. Big brother Brandon spoke loudly to them--"my sister's sleeping in there, be quiet!" Next thing I know she's smiling at me. A precious smile, but I was zoned after dozing off myself and desperately wanted her to go back to sleep. No such luck. She had to go potty.

First excursion to the outhouse with Claire. Chose one without a daddy long leg in sight (on a subsequent visit we had to switch because there was a one resting on the extra roll of toilet paper sitting on the floor. That was unacceptable to the girl, even if there was another roll on the dispenser). I teach her the law of the outhouse: "Don't touch that urinal next to you--people pee in there, try not to touch the seat, sit still on there, you could fall in!" She tilts her head back and suddenly her Dora hat tumbles in slow motion down into the bowels of the outhouse. I was planning to leave it there, floating next to a pile of poo, ick, I get strange sensations in my throat just thinking about it--but she cried and cried, screamed actually, so I bravely stuck my hand in there and pulled it out. It was half covered in that blue disinfecting liquid they put in the toilets. I really do deserve Mother-of-the-Year for that feat. Several men were waiting near the door as we came out. "We were wondering what happened," they said in concerned voices. It's a preschooler and an outhouse. Do I need to explain more? Okay, just a Dora hat, folks, we're both alive and intact.

Walked about 1/2 mile up to the main nighttime bonfire. Nudged ourselves into a spot in the crowd to sit, and sure enough we couldn't see or hear much at all. I guess we weren't alone--the Cub Scout leaders on stage, all dressed in their regalia, kept asking if the crowd could hear. People repeatedly answered "no," but the sound never became any louder. Also, a couple of guys in front of us wouldn't sit down as if we were at some exciting concert. I wondered what this was all about. It seemed to be for awards, but nothing that pertained to us newbies. No scary indoctrination ceremony or anything like that.

Sat on the blanket that we had argued about back at the campsite. Husband didn't want to dig around in the van for it but I told him "I'd rather sit on a blanket than the bare ground." Good thing. He ended up sitting in a puddle of beer. After about 5 minutes we decided to trudge back to camp.

The den leader had a bonfire going and we got ourselves a spot far back from it, as sparks were flying in different directions from the wind. Claire and B were well-behaved and kept their distance. Roasted marshmallows, 2 for each of them, burnt to a delicious, cancer-causing crisp. Husband had a graham cracker and chocolate bar ready and grabbed my poker with it, pulled marshmallow off in a smooth stroke. Brandon had originally tried to roast his own, but they set on fire and he deduced that he should wave the flaming marshmallows my way. That was the end of that. Kids snuck a few more marshmallows off the food table and daddy gave them some Keebler cookies. Other campers in the group surrounded the fire in front of us, but I was okay with that. It's nice to be able to watch things from afar. Not only in camping, but in many other situations too. No campfire songs, to my surprise.

Didn't have a phone or watch to tell the time, but it was probably around 9 when we hit the sack. This is way early for me, but there was nothing else to do in a dark tent with two little kids. They fell asleep immediately on the air mattress across from us--no playing or goofing! They did better there than at home.

Most of the people were still up and about in our tent area. Kids were running by and kept mentioning/admiring/picking-up my walking stick that I bought for $15 at the main building--beautifully carved, and cheap--probably a boy scout project. Had to leave the bed to bring it into the tent. I wasn't going to let something that cost me so little get away!

Claire woke-up a couple hours later and asked "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?" This is the song that I sing her each night at bedtime. The night isn't complete without it. "It's the middle of the night honey, I'll sing it to you in the morning." Listened for B's snoring to make sure he was still alive after the little fall from the rock castle ladder where he cut the back of his head.

Dozed off for a couple of hours. The next time we woke up it was bright in the tent. I thought maybe daylight had come, was hoping for that actually, but it was only the full moon shining overhead. My head was elevated, but I could feel rocks under my butt. It was dead silent outside, but I woke Don up to reinflate our mattress anyways. I checked the time and it was 3 a.m. The motor of the air pump was loud and I was afraid that I would wake everyone around us up, but I wasn't going to lay on rocks to be popular.

I laid there for awhile listening to the snoring in nearby tents. After Don fell asleep he started to snore too. I could nudge him, but it didn't help cease the chorus of snores around me that echoed through the thin night air. I let out a loud fart, forgetting that we were in semi-public. Wondered if doing something like that was socially acceptable in that situation--at night in a zipped up tent, even if others could hear. Where do you draw the line with that? Snoring is okay but farts are not? We were at the "primitive" campsites. Maybe that allowed for all bodily functions.

Another small bonfire in the morning, scattered people gathered around, men at the grill station cooking breakfast. Nice to see lots of men cooking, although I see it in my own house on a daily basis. Lucky that I live with a man who likes to cook! Breakfast was pre-packaged danishes (B originally took a cheese one, the LAST one at that, and I nudgingly coveted it--"do you like cheese?" "Oh no," he remembered, and I swapped him out for a cinnamon one). Also scrambled eggs, chunks of ham, bacon, sausage links and pancakes. Milk, OJ, or yesterday's orange gatorade or lemonade to drink.

I helped my husband dismantle the tent (I wanted to learn the in's and out's of this simple nylon thing--in the military I was a lab tech and so we usually worked out of a metal pod, but when we weren't in there we had to assemble massive canvas tents). We had to brush a few more spiders off. He picked one up by its leg and threw it off. I felt glad that he was the one between the two of us who could put on a better brave show.

First thing I did when we arrived home was throw myself on the bed.


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