Well, this past weekend was an adventurous one for our family! We went on our first-ever Cub Scout Adventure camping weekend! Now, camping is not new to our family. We try to go at least once a year, if not twice, and I have been camping with my family since I was pretty young. We have always had a great time doing this, and after the initial investment of your equipment (which can be as plain or fancy as you want), it's a pretty inexpensive way to get out with your family and have fun in God's Creation.
So, being fairly 'seasoned' campers, the boys were really looking forward to this weekend. We left Friday after lunch, and caravaned with our Scout leader and another family to get there. It was about 2 hours north of here, so the boys got a good nap on the way. Which was good because we were in for a late night!
After arrival and check-in, we got to our assigned campsite. The accommodations were either two-man canvas tents with wooden floors and bunks built in them, or four-man "Adirondacks" which were wooden sheds with four bunks built into them. We commandeered one of these, and unloaded our things. This was followed by supper (corn-dogs, which the boys were excited about), and then all the Scouts met together for "campfire time." This name was a little misleading, since they never actually lit a campfire, but it was entertaining, with songs and skits put on by older Scout troops.
By this time it was 9:30, and we were getting ready for bed. But then they announced that there would be a hike to "Moon Rock" which was about a mile there and a mile back. Our adventurous Scout decided he wanted to go on this hike, so off we headed into the dark woods. (There were so many people that I told hubby that we weren't on a hike, we were in a herd!) Upon our arrival at Moon Rock, everyone immediately turned around and headed back! We weren't having any of that, though, so we hung around a while and enjoyed the full moon, and I pointed out constellations to the boys, and our older Scout guide. (I found this kind of funny...you're a Scout and you don't know any constellations? Oh well, he does now!)
After crashing at around 11:30pm, we were awakened several times in the night for "potty-breaks". All the red Kool-Aid consumed at supper traveled pretty quickly through the campers! We awakened fairly early, and thus began the day of activities.
Starting right after breakfast, the campsite were on a rotating schedule of activities all day. Our campsite began with crafting, in which they colored a boomerang and strung a kangaroo necklace. (The weekend had an Australian theme.) After a scary few minutes in which we lost the cute-but-absent-minded Middle Biscuit (who only hears part of what is going on around him at any given time), we were off to fish, which we love to do! We had brought our own gear, so we had a little extra advantage for this activity. No fish were caught by us, but a few tiny ones were pulled up by a couple of our group. Then we headed to Cooking (this seemed a little gross to Mommy right after fishing, but I just hit everyone up with a baby-wipe and moved on! Scouts are tough, right?) The First-Born made 'Biscuit on a Stick' (not as good as it sounds! :), and then he headed to the firing range. As he has a BB gun at home, he was very excited about this! He did well, and got two shots into the center of the target! Then it was time for lunch.
Since the little brothers were doing all these activities too, they were getting pretty tired by now. So mommy made an executive decision that they would skip Archery (which really, can a 4 and 2 year old even DO that?), and lay down for naps. This was also an excuse for mommy to have a break! Then it was off for Canoe-ing, which the boys were a little apprehensive about, since none of them can really swim. But we were only in about waist deep water, so we reassured them that they were fine. We survived with only one instance of tears, which we count as a victory. We were then supposed to go for a hike, but since we had hiked the night before, and hiked from activity to activity all day, we decided to skip, and let the boys have a little down time. Our last activity was Bouldering, in which the Scouts had to climb along a rock wall from one end to another. (We thought this was a little ironic, since every spare moment at our campsite was spent in climbing all over the two giant rocks that were there!) This was First-Born's most challenging activity, and he wanted to quit several times, but Daddy encouraged him to keep going, and he finally made it to the end.
It was supper time now, and we had to pack up our stuff since we were leaving that night after supper. The camp went until Sunday, but we were leaving early so we wouldn't miss church. We ate, and then hopped in the van for the ride home. Everyone was tired, and fell asleep shortly into the trip.
Upon our arrival at a very late hour at home, we dumped the kids into bed and crashed as soon as we could! Baths could wait until Sunday morning for once! Sunday was spent at church, and un-packing, which was a big job!
This was a great time for our family to spend time together and learn new things. The boys all did really well and we learned more about each other as a family. These are the things that they will remember, because they are the things I remember from when I was a kid. It doesn't have to cost much, or be fancy...kids just want to have fun, and they enjoy spending time with you. This is a lot of the reason we chose to participate in Scouting...time as a family. I have a feeling that we will have many more adventures, since we have two more prospective Scouts coming along!
Even though this was a long post, I hope you enjoyed reading about our Scouting Adventure! Remember to take time to have an enjoy the every-day adventures of your own family! :)
*Oh, and if you're my Facebook friend, look for the picture album soon! :)