As usual we rallied at the Eagles parking lot before we left for the campout. There were the normal restlessness of the kids before we left. Milling around, laughing and telling stories. Once all our adults and kids arrived we had everything already loaded and we were ready to hit the road. 19 of us headed out on the road with one more set to meet us when we got there.
We were on the road at 6:30 and it was pitch dark outside. This is one of the wintery things that I do not like. Come back sun, we love you. My car had an extra adult in it this time, and on the car ride down the whole car was discussing music and movies and super heroes. If you are going to study to go on a campout, in addition to first aid and orienteering – I recommend these subjects.
Our troop has camped a few times before at Camp Crooked Lane, so we knew the drill when we got here. There was a bucket brigade formed to get all the gear from the trailer to the cabin. Once everything was inside, the boys went to claim their cots.
It wasn’t long before there were more laughing and talking and playing. There were many games played – Coup, Forbidden Island, Seven Dragons, Chrononauts, Are You the Traitor, ERS, and maybe others that I didn’t see. Most of these games are 10-30 minutes and length and I would see one group of boys finish a game, break up, and go play with another group of boys, I know that some of these guys have closer friendships than others, and it is great to see them all interacting together instead of breaking up into cliques. You are raising good men.
After all the games were over and snacks were gone, we headed off to bed. The cabin quieted down quickly and the soft rumble of snores were audible for the next several hours.
Our cooks were up bright and early… Well, they got up anyway. Very few were up bright and early. When the sun was up, we could see the blanket of snow covering the hills and pond behind the cabin. If Norman Rockwell wanted a majestic midwest winter landscape, this place would have been in his top ten.
After a great breakfast, and proper cleanup we were off to the slopes. Most of the troop went tubing, and a few went snowboarding and skiing. The weather was phenomenal. With only a light jacket and a hat (along with a bit of vigorous movement from skiing or running up to the tubing escalator) you could stay plenty warm. I had a slight detour from around 2PM to 8pm. My son took a leap on one of the biggest ski jumps there. Shortly afterward, I met him in the snow patrol lodge and we found out he had a broken fibula. I also learned that fibula is not a made up word.
In the meantime, the rest of the troop headed back and had another great meal at the cabin – salsa chicken and rice with broccoli. Near the end of the night, the gaming was going strong, along with stories from the mountain. Once again, these youth astound me with their stamina to stay up late and laugh and joke and have fun. It wasn’t long before I just wanted to curl up into a ball and drift into sleep.
During my usual quiz about “what was the best part of this campout”, I heard a little bit of what I expected and a little bit out of the ordinary. Of course there were folks who said tubing, snowboarding, playing coup, and a few folks said playing hide and seek in the dark. The imagination of boys is sometimes a scary thing. I was particularly happy that I got to play Forbidden Island. It is a cooperative board game played with up to 6 players. It is a game that I had been wanting to play with the scouts, but I had not purchased it. It turns out that one of the scouts got it over the holidays and I was one of the first folks to get to play it with him.
Thanks to Justin and the PLC for planning this campout. I did the best job skiing that I think I ever have. Although my youngest son was in a bit of pain on the slopes, I think this is one of the best stories he has to tell 🙂