This past Friday night I slept in a tent, outside, for the first time ever! Twice a year, our boys' cub scout pack has a camp out. And for the last several years, we have either been out of town or had something else going on that we could not stay. But, this time we had a tent and no excuses, so camping out was happening!
The pack event and Bridging started at 6:30 PM and our den was meeting for dinner at the park earlier, so I worked really hard to get to the park early enough to have everything set up before the festivities began. But this also meant that my hubby would not be there to help me set up the tent. I staked out our spot in the site, and started the set up. Before I knew it, I had about 6 scouts surrounding me, helping me! Now, this could have been trouble (think 7-11 year old boys), but luckily they took direction well and we had the tent up in no time.
|Flag retiring ceremony.|
|That is my son, on the middle right, looking like he is afraid he will get thrown in the fire. He and another wolf scout were getting ready to throw one of the stripes in the fire.|
We got K and A ready for bed, and my hubby tried to settle them down while I took the short hike to the bathrooms to get ready for bed. My oldest son was still running around with his buddies around the campsite. Before heading to the bathrooms, I started talking to one of the other families. I mentioned our air mattress issue, jokingly. And, they had a battery operated air pump that they let us borrow! I do not think I have been happier about something as silly as an air pump before!!!
So, I headed back to the tent with the air pump. And after the mattress was finally inflated, I headed in the direction of the bathrooms. On my way back, I noticed my oldest sitting by the campfire eating a hot dog, making himself at home with some of the men leaders and scouts. It was so cute to see him just "hanging out." I told him I would send my hubby out so he could stay up longer while I went to sleep with K and A.
|K, a new Wolf Scout!|
The sleeping arrangements did not go as planned. We had sleeping mats with sleeping bags for the boys and a nice, cushy air mattress for us. But, K and A would not sleep by themselves and ended up on the air mattress with me. I slept in the middle, with one boy one each side of me. And simple physics, or air mattress economics could explain what happens when you put a larger mass between two smaller masses on an air mattress. . . . yes, I was sandwiched between those two cuties all night.
I wish I could say I slept well, but I didn't. I think I was wake far more than asleep. It got cold and I had to walk over my hubby and J to rummage for the extra sleeping bag.
At 6:00 AM, one of the other camp sites blew a horn to wake up the campers. On a normally day, with a good night sleep 6 AM is a perfect time to wake up, but not so much that morning. K turned and looked at me and asked me what time it was, and when I told him 6 AM, he said, "It is way too early!" And covered his head with the blanket! We were all pretty tired that morning.
We had breakfast with the other campers from our den and broke camp so we could all be gone by 10AM.
Overall, it was a good experience. I would not go camping every weekend, or even every month, but I would do it again. Most importantly, The boys LOVED it! K told me that if he has kids, he is going to take them camping! I think it is a great family experience.
And I learned a few other things too . .
-We belong to a really great cub scout pack with some amazing people. I need to get to know more of them better.
- I am glad there were other campers there with us. Otherwise our tent would have not been up properly (I forgot the hammer) and we would have been sleeping on a very flat air mattress!
- Who knew you needed to RAKE the area before you pitch the tent???
- Coffee. Even if you must buy a special propane burner, just to make hot coffee while camping, do it. You will need it and you will be thankful for it!