Monday, March 3, 2008

Campout Numero Uno

Last weekend D and I went camping with our new Boy Scout troop. [What's that? Did he say "our" troop? Yes, you are looking the blog of the newest Assistant Scoutmaster, teacher of the Engineering merit badge, etc. etc.] D had loads of fun exploring, sleeping in tents, tying knots, throwing eggs, and learning how to be a boy scout. We even roasted a pig that one of the leaders shot the day before. To cook the pig, we built a tomb-like oven out of cinder blocks and filled it with lots of charcoal. We put an apple in it's mouth and danced around it naked with spears and facial paint. (Sorry, strike that last sentence.) I acted like I was having fun but I was secretly bemoaning the symbolic moving on of my eldest child.

I was not used to seeing him around the older boys - high school boys with muscles and facial hair and motor vehicles of their own; boys that had acne and spat and used sarcasm effectively. It was a bit of a shock to my paternal systems to see how big and how grown up he might be in just a handful of years.

So I started giving him cigarettes to stunt his growth. It's not much of a plan, but it was born out of desperation.

OK, not really. In truth, most of me is quite delighted with his growing up. He is turning out to be a fine young man. I see his character growing commensurate with his size 11 feet.

Responsibility is one virtue that scouting really seems to encourage. I won't bemoan any forward progress in that area! The boys are responsible for the camp, often for cooking and cleaning, and the adults are encouraged to sit back and let them learn leadership and responsibility. I am going to have to learn how to sit on my hands and let them do it "wrong" a few times until they learn.

There's more to share, and I'll post pictures as they become available, but for now I've got to get back to smoking cigarettes, dancing naked, and reading Lord of the Flies.

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