When Parker said he wanted to join Scouts, I thought my involvement would be learning how to sew the badges on. Tony, on the other hand, signed up as assistant, went to leader, assistant cub master, and now cub master, I've still managed to stay in the background and leave the boys to it. Macy, on the other hand, thinks she is a scout too. Thankfully, everyone, the boys included, have played along and not told her the truth. So when there's an activity that Macy can do, we tag along with the boys.
Last year, I celebrated the fact that Parker was too young to camp! Memories of centipede filled bathrooms, the scar on my elbow, and losing my very first contact in the concession stand's grass are strong enough to make camping a bad word in my vocabulary. I had missed the Fall Camp-Out due to a girls shopping weekend that had been on the calendar for months. Tony took the kids and all three had a blast and talked about it for weeks. I'm not sure the exact moment when I took the bait to participate, but I think it was when my loving husband said "This has all been Parker's idea. Since I love my son, I am going to support him in his Scouting efforts." Tony doesn't remember saying that weeks ago, but it was the gauntlet that I couldn't walk away from.
I begrudgingly said I would go. I put it out of mind until the end of Spring Break when I had to face reality. I was c*mp*ing!
For the first time all school year, I did not celebrate the 4 o'clock bell. I told anyone who would listen that I was going camping without running water, flushing toilets, and in a tent. Did I mention that we don't own a lick of camping equipment? Despite my resolve to be a good sport, I was filled with fury on the drive to the campsite. Tony immediately picked up on my mood, and we had a soul cleansing conversation while the kids happily snoozed on the way to Illinois. Once I got it all aired about how much I despised roughing it and Tony's promise that I would never ever have to do it again, I felt lots better. Despite freezing temperatures and our tent taking on water, I learned a few things about camping and for those of you who think camping is a nasty seven letter word this might encourage you...
The company you keep makes all the difference! Thank you to the Breezes, Jakles, Chiles, and Wagner families! Your expertise and camping equipment were awesome! Thank you for including us in your plans. I would have been lost without you.
Your equipment matters. Watching the experts has given me tons of birthday, anniversary, and Father's Day gift ideas. I would have never have guessed you can eat so well so far away from civilization. Thanks to the LeCaves for the camping equipment loans and the Jakles for the tent!
A shower is nice. I managed to live without a shower, but I was also paralyzed by it to some extent. I didn't want to do a lot since getting dirty would mean staying dirty...Showers should be taken into consideration for those of us who have camping impairments.
Take the pictures while you can. I kept thinking I needed to leave the fire to take pictures so you could experience this adventure with me. The fire was too cozy and keeping it going was the only job I had been given, so I thought I would take them on Sunday. Despite Mr. Jakle having a weather radio and some folks getting phone service, we had no idea the rain was coming. Where were you KSDK when we needed you?
Just because you hate something, doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. When we loaded up wet and cold, Parker proclaimed "Didn't we have a great time? Except for the rain? Oh yeah, you hate camping Mom, but you love being with me." Your purpose can change something you hate into something fun.