Repost: If You Ever Go To Boy Scout Camp …

Jun 25, 2011 by

It’s summer, meaning we – as in the Little Black Dress and I – are determined this break from school will involve more than thumb games for the Sons of Thunder.

To wit, summer means summer scout camp for The Sons. And with The Sons and gazillions of other boys heading off to be eaten alive by various insects, I thought it would be a good time to remind dads of what is important at camp. This especially holds true for those dumb brave fathers who will actually join their offspring for bonding time.

So, here’s a report from my report last year at Boy Scout summer camp:

I just returned from playing chaperone at the eldest Son of Thunder’s first Boy Scout summer camp.

Let me provide a little advice for those parental units heading off to help out at similar functions.

These lessons will help you survive and ensure you do not embarrass your son.  Some of these I followed, some I learned the hard way.

Take heed:

1. Anywhere you need to go will be uphill.  And not just uphill, but rope-climbing uphill.  Don’t complain too much, the kids will think you are a wuss and you will embarrass your son.

2. Your shins will hurt more than your calves because the downhill journey pretty much slams your shins into oblivion.

3. There is no such thing as too much ice.

4. Camp food at the mess hall is edible, but bring snacks.

5. There is no such thing as too much toilet paper.

6. There is no such thing as too much insect repellant.

7.  Chiggers are the spawn of Satan. They serve no purpose other than to make you go crazy itching yourself to death. You will end up bleeding from scratching so much. See No. 6 above.

8. If they set your tent up under a nice shaded tree, thank the scouts. If said tree also happens to house a bee hive, just don’t be around your tent between 2-4 p.m.

9.  Try to avoid the following phrases: “That’s the grossest thing I’ve ever seen;” “I’m not going to the bathroom in there;” “I’m not going to shower in there;” “What is this we’re eating?;” “Is it always this friggin hot?” “What do you mean you left your water bottle at the top of the (put in your expletive here) mountain and we have to go get it now?” “You actually drink that?” “No I do not want to touch whatever that is you just found in the woods.”

10. Bring flip-flops. Wear them. Wear them in the shower and in the bathroom. Trust me.

11. You can survive without Internet access. Barely, but you can.  Books do not need Internet access. You can’t have too many books.

12. Bring more underwear, socks and t-shirts than you think. You will be sweating through them by the hour.

13. Bring your favorite pillow. You can try to tough it out by going without or using one of those camping pillows. If so, you will not sleep. Period.

14. The nightly critters searching for food will always come to your tent. Be prepared.

15. Going to sleep on the ground with nothing but a little ground cover to show how tough you are and imitate those old cowboy westerns? Have fun. You will not sleep. Get a cot. If you can’t use those, get some serious cushion like those camping air mattresses.

16. That first cup of coffee made in the morning over the campfire or camp stove will beat the snot out of anything Starbucks will ever serve.

17. Speaking of campfires, that final campfire they always have with all the scouts on the last night? You will sit directly into the sun. They will start said bonfires around 5 p.m., when it is still over 100 degrees. You will roast.

18. You are not the jock, athlete, runner, biker, swimmer, fill in the blank, you used to be. Act accordingly.

19. Bring extra batteries.

20. Those silly little battery-operated fans with the foam blades can be your best friend; especially at night. You can’t have too many.

21. When talking with your significant other about how your precious snowflake is doing, try not to elaborate too much on the fact that yes, your son looks like he has small pox from all the chigger bites and he’s scratching so much he’ll probably have scars for life all over his beautiful face. Just tell her he’s doing fine.

22. Play camp elf every now and then. When the kids are off becoming men, put something small – gum, candy, fruit, those silly battery-operated foam fans, anything – on each of their cots.  You will have friends for life.

23. Kids love letters from home. Even if you are there.

24. Boys will be boys. Let them.

25. Your kids will have a blast and they will be learning some great life skills. Stay out of their way.




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