My Weekend as a Boy Scout

A Boy Scout is prepared.

I will begin by telling you that I went on this adventure prepared- very prepared. I checked each and every item off of my list as I packed them. Towel….Check! Soap…Check! Shampoo and conditioner…check! Hairdryer and brush…Check! Two iPads, cell phone, Apple watch and laptop….Check, check, check!!

I learned that boy scouts are very prepared, but maybe not in the way that I was prepared.
My carefully packed soap did not see any action this weekend. I now know why my grandson laughed at me when I insisted he pack a towel! He told me, “I never take showers on a camp out.” Preposterous, I thought! Never take a shower…why? …I discovered why.

They did have shower stalls, but the stalls did not come equipped with all of the conveniences of home. No mirror, no private electricity, no sink, no nice little bench in which to lay my stuff. There was a sink; it was a communal sink. A multi-purpose communal sink! One could wash dishes (in cold water), or brush teeth with teenage boys hanging around (Never fear, that did not happen!) or maybe one could have used the electrical outlet above the communal sink to dry hair while said teenage. boys hung out charging cell phones! No thank you! On this trip I learned that I could brush my teeth in a coffee cup! Yeah, for bringing a coffee cup, even though there was no coffee this weekend!

A Boy Scout is prepared to walk. Not only true, but very true. We walked and we walked some more. I probably walked five hundred miles. I do know that I hit an all time exercise goal on my new Apple Watch, which was happily recording my every step, that is….until, the battery died.

Which leads to my next point. A Boy Scout is prepared to rough it. A Boy Scout does not camp with electricity. No coffee pot, no charging station (for my numerous electronic devices). I had gently teased my grandson about having withdrawal from the lack of video games. He did just fine; But I tell you, his grandmother was ready for gadget anonymous! I was ok until I watched my cellphone die a slow painful death. I lovingly whispered, “Please don’t die. Please don’t die….Please….”
A boyscout is prepared to sleep in a tent on the ground…

But, hey, I am not, nor was not, a Boy Scout! Our tent included a couple of memory foam toppers. For us they worked better than air mattresses. Whenever we have used air mattresses, we always have ended up losing air, and then we have ended up with a saggy, baggy, soft and did I mention, uncomfortable bed. Memory foam topper, great! Almost like a bed and very comfy, except if your bedmate sleeps in the middle. Hmmmmmm……. But no, really, I couldn’t complain too much about the tent, or the bed for that matter. Speaking of bed, it was interesting listening to the kids after we went to bed. Who would have thought pee is useful for extinguishing a campfire. A Boy Scout is always prepared! To set the record straight, my grandson, Joseph was not the guilty culprit! I will mention no names, because what happens at camp should stay at camp? But, teenage boys are interesting.

New subject: It was fun walking around to all of the the super events offered this weekend. My favorite was watching the boys, their dads and sometimes their moms participating in the various activities that test your courage, (activities such as rock wall climbing and rappelling). As I watched, I wondered, “Can I climb that wall without having a heart attack?” I decided that risking a heart attack was probably not a good idea, so I decided to not scale the thirty foot wall. Nor did I rappel down a thirty foot drop. Nor did I scale to the top of a telephone pole. I thought about doing the zip line. Until….just until…I saw that I would have to climb stairs to the top of the thirty foot tower, then stand on a skinny little ledge and connect my own life preserving hook onto a thin wire…before zooming toward the ground.

I did however participate in the range activities. At which time, I discovered that I probably have zero Native American blood in me, because had no luck throwing a tomahawk. Correction, I could throw the tomahawk; I just couldn’t make it stick in the wooden target.

I did a little better with a shotgun. Isn’t there some sort of song…..Grannie get your gun. I wonder if I looked like Grannie Clampet? I had visions of her in my head. I was so excited about getting to fire shotgun that I forgot to put on the earmuffs before my very first shot. The sound of the gun set off a ringing in my ears louder than the sound of the gun itself. I felt like one of those cartoon characters in looney tunes that gets clunked on the head. I shouted to the man helping with the gun, “May I have some earmuffs, please?” He laughed as he said, “Certainly.” I hit my first two marks, but then I got careless with my shot because a shotgun packs a powerful wallop. During the safety instruction for the shot gun, the instructor told us to be careful about the placement of our chin on the weapon or else…. After my first two shots, all I could think about was getting a nice pretty bruise on my cheek, or worse, my head rolling off and landing on the ground.

I then tried the bow. My first go-round with the bow, went pretty good. Not exactly the mocking jay, but ok. I hit the target every time. I liked the bow and arrow, and it was great for the first try. It required a lot of upper body strength, though. At the end of the afternoon, I tried again and weakly shot the arrows into the ground approximately five feet away. Each time, the bow went thunk and beat me in the arm. So, even though it was fun, perhaps the Mocking Jay I will never be.

The rifle was sweet, and super easy! I loved it. Eventually, however, I got tired of shooting, the center of my target; I starting aiming for the hanging targets instead. They were too big and too easy to hit. I needed a more complex target; So, I tried to hit the quarter inch head of the little paper dude printed on my target.

Thus our scouting adventure…
This morning I am ready for a hot shower with lots of soap. I’m not sure whether to launder or burn my clothes. Maybe I’ll flip a coin!



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