Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween With The Boy Scouts

This weekend was Family Camp for our Boy Scout pack. The Scout reservation is open every weekend in October for family camping and each weekend 10 different Scout packs come from all over the Northwest Florida/South Alabama area to camp.

This year the camp filled up faster than anticipated which left our pack camping over Halloween weekend.

I thought it would be fun but apparently I'm one of the few who felt that way because last year we had 112 people camp and this year there were only 22 of us.

And our pack weren't the only ones because 4 of the 10 campsites were completely empty and the other 6 only had a few people in each of them.

Last year there were 500 people there the weekend we went and this year there was only about 100 people total on the whole reservation.

Wonder if that was because it was Halloween or because the weather was horrible.

I don't have a lot of pictures from Saturday because it rained all day. Not a hard, stormy kind of rain but a steady, get EVERYTHING wet kind of rain. No thunder and lightning, no wind, just rain. It would rain for half an hour and then quit for half an hour and then start all over again.

Originally about 30 families from our pack signed up to come but only 6 families showed up.



Which I actually enjoyed more. Last year was interesting, seeing some of the mom's put on full makeup in the morning and watching 3 men hold lighters under a big oak log thinking that would start a fire, but those aren't the people you want to camp in the rain with.

One family had never been camping before and she was telling me how excited they were to be there. I felt bad for her because they weren't really prepared for the rain or the cold that followed and looked pretty miserable Sunday morning.

We had to set up our camp in the rain and yes I realize the rain fly is on backwards but when it's raining you learn to live with it.


Our pack owns tarps and tables for the group kitchen so that was set up and gave us a dry place to cook.


After we got everything set up we were off to carve pumpkins.




These weren't the intricate carvings of years past because there were friends to play with, woods to explore and BB guns to shoot. Rain doesn't stop Scouts.

Right before sunset the clouds moved on and we were treated to a beautiful sunset in the woods. The tops of the trees lit up a beautiful golden color and the sky was gorgeous.

Not long after, the oddest group of folks wandered into our camp.


This witch kept telling the boys that she wanted them to come to her house - for dinner. The Youngest Island Boy asked if she were going to eat him. She cackled and told him yes and he said "You can't eat me." In a very witchy voice she said "I can murder you if I want to."

It sounds bad now but it was said in a funny way and we thought she was great.


As it started to get dark our kids put their costumes on.


And the trick or treating began.



Each pack wandered from campsite to campsite trick or treating and in all the boys got about as much candy as they would have gotten here in our neighborhood.

One pack had this Mr. Potato Head pumpkin that I fell in love with.

I don't know why I liked him so much but I've got to have one for next year.

Once trick or treating was over everyone on the reservation came to the big bond fire. They held a costume contest, sang songs, and danced a little before sending us off to s'mores, warm fires and bed.


We'd all been glad to see the rain go but behind it was a cold front and by 9:00 it was 44 degrees. It had been 77 and muggy the night before and the change wasn't pleasant.

We were warm enough because I'm a comfort camper and have a tent heater. A small propane heater designed for tents. It's not something you keep on all night but we turn it on a few minutes before we're ready to go to sleep and it takes the chill and a lot of the dampness out of the tent. We usually turn it on again for 10 minutes or so in the mornings before we get out of our sleeping bags too.
It's still cold but it's not as bad as having no source of heat at all.

Not everyone was so lucky though. The family that had never been camping before didn't fare so well. The Island King couldn't sleep so he sat out by the fire for a while after everyone else went to sleep. About 2 hours later the never been camping man came out of his tent to stand by the fire.

The Island King said the man said "I guess this will be the night my entire family freezes to death."

Poor guy. I hate to be cold so I can really sympathize with him.

The Island King got our heater and gave it to him so he could warm his tent up some.

He returned it 30 minutes later and told the Island King that he'd saved his family from certain death LOL

We've never spent Halloween in the woods and even though it was different we all agree that we had fun. Despite the rain and the cold front.
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