This weekend was Fam Camp for all of the boy scout packs in our area. Fam Camp is when the entire family (moms, sisters and all) spend Saturday, Saturday night and half of Sunday camping and doing boy scout stuff. Our area Scouting Council owns the Spanish Trail Scout Reservation and this place is SO cool. It's over 1400 acres with a 40 acre lake, lots of camping areas, a dining hall and more trails than you can count.
Packs from all over our area were there for the weekend and according to the camp staff there were over 900 people there this weekend. Our pack alone had 100 people. The interesting thing is that this reservation is so big and wooded that you'd never know there were that many people there. Each pack gets their own area to camp in and even with 100 people in our area there was still plenty of room to spread out.
I have SO many pictures and so much to blog about that I'm going to spread this out over a couple of posts so I don't overload Blogger (and you)
We got there early Saturday morning and got our tent set up.
We have a big tent and as much as he hates to admit it the Island King has to read the directions every time he sets it up LOL
It took a little while but finally we were all set up
As soon as we had our camp set up we were off to the BB Gun range.
The boys had to sit through a safety course before they could go out onto the firing range.
Once they got out onto the range there was another safety lesson
And then they were able to shoot the BB guns.
The Oldest Island Boy offered to let his brother go onto the range first and he hung back and then shot with the second group of boys. I think he just wanted some one on one time with the instructor. He asked a million questions and the instructor was so nice. They chatted the whole time and I could tell the Oldest felt special because he got that alone time with the man.
Each boy will earn a BB gun belt loop. Cub Scouts earn belt loops which are metal disks with a picture of whatever the loop is for on it that clips onto their scouting belt. Once they've gotten their belt loop they can then start earning a patch for that skill. The patches require more intense training and take longer to earn. The belt loops show that the scout has mastered the most basic skills for that patch and are on the road to getting the patch so the boys are always excited about getting those loops.
After shooting the BB guns we were off to the lake.
It was a little chilly out but the boys were determined to swim. Several of the boys in our pack only had their moms with them and they latched onto the Island King immediately. He doesn't mind a bit and our boys love having their buddies with them so it works out well for everyone. Two boys went with us to the lake and once they got out onto the dock they paused for a while, debating whether they really wanted to get in that cold water.
Needless to say they couldn't stand it and in they went.
After they swam awhile the lure of paddling around in a row boat took over.
Each boat only held 3 people and one of those people had to be an adult so the Island King agreed to take 2 boys and I took 2. He pipes up and says he'll take the youngest 2 and he swears it was because he thought the 2 older boys would be able to paddle and I could just ride in the boat.
After what happened next I'm not sure I believe him.
We got into the boat and while everyone else was paddling around with light, aluminum paddles we got stuck with these two really long, solid wood, very heavy oars. The boys manning the boats pushed us off and out onto the lake we went. The wind was blowing pretty good and we got carried out without much paddling at all. The Oldest Island Boy and his friend were sort of paddling but really it was the wind pushing us around. We pass the Island King (with his lightweight paddles) and he yells over that we shouldn't go much farther out because it'll be too hard to get back and then off he paddles towards the shore. We've been out there a while so I tell the boys that it's time to head back to the shore and that's when the trouble started. The boys seem to get a little confused and before I knew it we were going around and around in circles. I start giving specific directions and I don't know what was up with those boys but they just seemed to get more and more confused and they were really having trouble with the heavy oars and we just kept going around and around. As soon as we'd get turned towards shore one of them would just start paddling weird and we'd be spinning around again. They were getting frustrated and by now we've spun around towards the people who are fishing off the far bank and are running all over their fishing lines.
Now before I go any farther I have to tell you that there are a LOT of people around. All along the bank, out in other boats and over in the swimming area and I'm starting to get a little embarrassed by all of the spinning around and around. Besides, there are lots of other moms out in boats and they seem to be doing fine.
So, after a couple of minutes I tell the Oldest Island Boy to give me his paddle and let me paddle with the other boy for a minute. The Oldest hands me his paddle and then says "I can still help" and he reaches over, sticks both of his hands in the water and then pulls them through the water - sending a wave of ice cold water ALL OVER ME. We're still going in circles, are still running over people's fishing lines, are nowhere close to the bank and now I'm soaking wet.
This is not going well at all.
As soon as we would get going straight the other boy would lose his mind and dig his paddle in the water, stopping our forward momentum. I was cold and really starting to wonder if we were ever going to make it back to the shore so I told the other kid to give me his paddle too and I tried rowing with both paddles. But they were heavy and maybe I'm inept too because I couldn't row against the wind any better than they could. We weren't going in circles anymore but we weren't moving forward either.
By now I'm thinking about how embarassing it will be if one of the boys manning the boats has to swim out and pull us in. And part of me just wanted to get off that damn lake and wanted them to hurry up and come save us LOL
I give the oars back to the boys and try giving paddling directions again. Immediately we're going in circles again. But by now the wind has blown us closer to the far bank and I'm thinking that maybe I'll just get out and walk us back over to where the boats are beached. I've given up being embarassed because really at that point I was pretty sure we weren't going to make it back under paddle power.
This went on for a LONG time and finally I see one of the boat boys wading along the edge of the bank towards us. Thank God - help is finally on the way!
He made it over to us and bless his heart he was trying really hard not to laugh. Very politely he asks "Mam, would you like some help?" "PLEASE!!!" I tell him.
He gets hold of the front of the boat and walks us along the bank over to where the boats were beached. And of course as he's pulling us I look up and the Island King is taking our picture LOL
As we get to the shore I hear people clapping and aparently we've attracted quite a bit of attention. There was nothing else we could do so the boys and I got out of the boat and took a bow. That brought waves of laughter from all over and a new round of applause. I asked the boy who'd towed us in if he had to do that often and he said "No Mam, you're the first"
Of course I was LOL