Saturday, October 26, 2013
The BS on Camping
By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for camp repellant
I am determined that my eight-year-old will miss as little as possible because he was blessed with senior parents and that included the Boy Scout Mommy and Me campout.
I think I have always viewed the Boy Scouts like one of those Norman Rockwell paintings of Americana. In my mind I could see Norman painting my little Cub Scout in our backyard, pitching his tent, cooking on an open fire, and proudly saluting the flag with me watching from my porch wearing a 1940’s type hairstyle and house dress. I’m not sure Norman ever went camping with his mother much less his grandmother and more than hairstyles and fashion have changed since the Boy Scouts of the l940’s.
First there was the paper work that had to be filled out before we could attend this 24 hour Mommy and Me campout. That equates to about one page for every hour spent camping. Files had to be downloaded. Ok, there are some definite disadvantages to having parents born in the 40’s but once I figured out which button to click, we were fine; well except I had to phone my 93 year old mother to ask if she remembered when I had gotten my last tetanus shot. I whipped out the old credit card, paid our fees, and printed three sets of documents to take with us to the camp.
Next, it was off to Wal-Mart for a two person tent light enough for me to carry, simple enough to erect, and cheap enough to afford. We found…..one. I grabbed it just before the mommy stampede started. “Remember the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared! You should have come earlier” and I raced for the closest check-out stand.
Then there was the all-important list of other suggested “necessities” for this camping trip: flashlight, change of clothes, extra shoes, sleeping bags, rain gear, ground cover, first-aid kit, snacks, water, Boy Scout uniform, jackets, lawn chairs, insect repellent, and a means to haul all of this to the campsite which could be as much as a mile away from the parking lot on a gravel trail. “Be Prepared!” kept racing through my brain so I added Advil, Icy Hot, Thermal Wrap, aspirin and doubled my hormone replacement meds. To get all of this gear to camp, which now filled the back of my suburban, it was suggested that we also pack a little red wagon, luggage carrier, or a rolling garbage can. I noticed U-Haul was not listed.
The day of the camp out we arrived early, or what I thought was early. The parking lot was already filled with what looked like 400 refugees fleeing an impending hurricane and with all their worldly goods that they could carry. A mad house of shopping carts, grocery carts, rolling garbage cans, rolling suitcases, garden wagons, little red wagons, all rolling, bumping, and tipping over were swirling around me. Women and children were running all over the place while dark thundering clouds gathered on the horizon. “Be Prepared”. I parked next to the road facing the exit and unloaded. As we headed to registration I saw a small flash of lightning. I clutched my child, cell phone, and garbage can handle as we rolled, bumped, and tipped over our overloaded trash can. Echoing with the distant thunder was “Be Prepared. Be Prepared. Be Prepared”. But I wasn’t at all prepared for what was to come.
(Continued in next week’s blog)