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Spring Family Camping 2008

posted Aug 25, 2008, 4:53 PM by cub leader
Pack 565 Families,
 
Well, for those of you who went camping this weekend, you know how wonderful it turned out to be.  For those of you who weren't able to make it, I'll do a little recap.
 
First of all, the threatening weather (threatening in the forecast all week, anyway) turned out to be a bust.  We got about 18 drips of rain all weekend.  The rain patterns just seemed to avoid Bert Adams for some reason.  We had several Blackberries keeping track of the storms, but they all split apart over Covington (the storms -- not the Blackberries).  It must be the doing of The Scout Executive (TSE, as some of us refer to him).  By the way, Jonathan Coles scored an exclusive interview with TSE.  I'm really proud of our families that signed up for the weekend.  Not one family chickened out; they all showed up.
 
They were justly rewarded with a jam-packed weekend.  It started off with an ice cream social Friday evening with hundreds of 2-liter bottles of soda that needed to be consumed for an activity the next day (all sleeping bags were dry, as far as I know).  The next morning, our scouts did their roll-call chant with spirit:
 
WE'RE PACK 565!
WE'RE GLAD TO BE ALIVE!
IT'S A GREAT DAY FOR SCOUTING!
NOW WATCH US DO OUR JIVE!
Boom-shocka-locka-locka, boom-shocka-locka-locka...
 
Our scouts do a very mean jive.  Then it was on to the activities.  We made water bombs and shields for a water war.  There were many creative shields on display.  We did a balloon stomp game.  Jeter and Marcos Padmanabhan were the last ones left in the game, which Marcos managed to win with his deft footwork.  Then Pack 565 creamed Pack 277 in a Cub Scout trivia game, thus winning the privilege of defending the fort in the water war.  Another bonus was having all the water soakers (I'm sure they corrected that mistake on the second rotation).  Jeter, who were our wettest and driest participants?  I forget.
 
We did some leather crafts.  Erik and Caleb Woodman lingered a little longer at this one.  They both enjoy creating things.  One of the most popular rotations was Bottle Rockets, in which teams of scouts constructed and decorated rockets out of 2-liter bottles, cardboard fins, duct tape, and pebbles for ballast.  Then they fired these off using some water and a compressed air contraption.  Some of the rockets went more than a 100 feet in the air.  It was very impressive and there was much shouting.  Who am I kidding?  There was much shouting all weekend.  Right up to lights out.  There were some other rocket demonstrations, as well.  Soorian, where did you learn that vinegar and baking soda create a chemical reaction because they are an acid and a base?  You really are the "science guy" (as one of the Kmetz twins says).  Way cool!
 
Several of the boys skipped rotations and spent some free time fishing in the beautiful setting down at the lake.  Pro fisherman, Nicholas Aluisy, caught the biggest fish of the weekend this morning.  One of the Grimsleys caught the biggest turtle.  Thank you, Valerie and Hulya, for organizing the fishing expeditions.
 
Andy has really gotten this camp cooking thing down pat now.  He has all the right equipment.  Sue and I are both excited about the new camp coffee maker.  We had Starbucks drip coffee both mornings.  Yea!  The menu was simple yet tasty, and the scouts got all they wanted to eat.  Andy had plenty of volunteers to help him with preparation and cleanup.  This was very good for two reasons: a) Andy got to watch Adam in the activity rotations and b) Andy will probably cook again because of this.  Thanks EVERYONE for helping out.  In fact, let me take this opportunity to thank all the leaders for great suggestions and keeping the families and boys on track and having fun.  Connie, you're a peach!  Thank you Daniel White, our new Den Chief, for being our traveling companion Friday night while William White starred in the Eastvalley school musical.
 
For the campfire Saturday night, Pack 565 performed the germophobic flight attendant skit again.  Sean Appel reprised his role as the flight attendant and had them rolling in the aisles (and out the emergency exits).  Soorian Padmanabhan pitched in as his evil flight attendant henchman.  Adam's sneezes were at top form.  This time the plane nearly went down in flames as the bonfire was enormous (the biggest I've seen outside of Texas A&M).  The plane had to be evacuated at one point because of raining embers.  Our skit got the biggest laughs of the night (and not just because of the burn injuries).  Some of the other skits and songs were worthy, too.  We listened to several verses of "The Most Annoying Song" in the car on the way home.  I bet others did, too.  Please let me know how to get that tune out of my head.
 
Thanks to Jordan Grimsley for leading us back to camp with the giant lantern.  Thanks to Nadim Mamoun and Vic Philpotts for staying back and watching our little Pack campfire during the big District campfire.  It was ready for Shmores when we returned.  The parents sat around in our camp chairs and talked while the boys got sticky.  Contact Ken Kmetz if you want to find out how nuclear power will save the environment (Ken and I agree on this; of course, we both derive our salaries from nuclear).  Despite the sugar rush, the boys conked out quickly Saturday night.  We also had good sleeping temperatures both nights.  Some wondered if it were truly May at Bert Adams.
 
We lucked out on our campsite, too.  We were next to a new bathroom facility with showers.  Plus there were plenty of jungle gyms for our aspiring female gymnast siblings.  Thank you again, Lauren Woodman, Adelaide White, and Natalie Aluisy for entertaining Rachel.
 
I know that for many of us parents, the best personal activity of a camping weekend is the Sunday afternoon shower after you get home.  But the most rewarding activity is being able to watch your son enjoy himself so immensely.  I asked Erik what his favorite activity was this weekend.  He said, "Playing in camp."  I knew that would be it.  You'd think a boy had never seen a stick before.  Sticks must be carried everywhere.  And you don't want to lose "your" stick.  You may never find another one exactly like it.
 
One of the saddest things about camping is that we have so many spills and falls with the boys running around in the woods.  The spills and falls themselves usually aren't all that sad.  The boys are typically up and running around again after about 60 seconds or less (and we bring Band-Aids).  The sad thing is that these 7, 8, and 9-year-old boys don't know how to run around in a natural setting.  Everywhere they run these days is in a "controlled" environment where every surface is flat and level with no rocks, roots, stumps, or logs to trip them up.  That's just not right.
 
I know that many of you missed our camping weekend because of First Communion.  We lose many of our Wolf second-graders to this obvious priority.  We also lose families because of siblings and First Communion.  I just heard -- and I want you to know -- that the District is very close to changing the Spring Family Camping weekend for 2009 to be the last weekend in April so that this conflict can be avoided.  Actually, the principal reason to change the weekend is so that our Wedding Anniversary isn't spent camping, as has been the case the last two years.  As much as Sue relishes camping at Bert Adams, it's not quite at the top of her list for a romantic get-away.
 
One final thank you.  Alex Coughlan was our champion "Leave No Trace" litter picker-upper.  He went around and picked up several huge bags of trash even before our main competition started.  Thanks, Alex.  You exemplify one of the words in the Scout Law.  A scout is "Helpful".  You are to be admired.
 
I hope to see all of you next Fall for Fall Family Camping!
Carl
 
p.s.  Right after we got home, Erik erected his little play tent in the back yard.






 
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