Friday, March 07, 2008

The dawn of a new era

Young Logan Chicken takes a bold step tomorrow...he's off on his first Scout camp-out without Dad. Well, I'll be there for some of it...I'll drive him and whoever else up (to Deception Pass State Park), and I'll hang out through Lunch. But then, some time around 1 or so, I'll hop in the car and split, leaving him alone in the wilderness. Only not really, 'cause he'll be surrounded by other Boy Scouts. But kind of, since none of his buddies are going and so the only person he really knows is Nick, who is like a Freshman in High School.

So, why am I abandoning him like this? 'cause I've got tickets to Alanis Morisette, that's why. And really, isn't that more important than the boy's first camp-out?

Actually, while that sounds calous, and while I'd love to stay and spend the weekend up there, in a way it's good 'cause a large part of the Boy Scout thing is teaching independence and self reliance. And that's hard to do when Dad's there, and it's hard for Dad to let go. I still remember my first trip with the Boy Scouts - although it involved actual hiking, rather than just car camping...we left Bellevue on a damp Saturday morning (I think...might have been Friday afternoon) and drove out I-90 a ways, parked, and hiked the whopping 2 miles up to Talapus Lake.

My main memory of that trip were the tents - Troop 638 at the time had tents that were really more of a rain fly...two poles - a tall one in front and a short one in the back - with a couple ropes and a bunch of plastic pegs. If you set it up correctly the bottom of the "tent" ended about 3 inches off the ground. You slept on your ground cloth and hoped that none of it was sticking out under the edge of the tent. They worked fine if you did it right, but if you were on a hill, or it was windy, you were going to get damp. They also didn't keep the critters out, as the guy I was sharing a tent with found out when a chipmunk came in, ate through his pack, and ate a good chunk of his candy bar.

I also remember the poncho. That was the first time I'd worn a rain poncho, and since Dad liked to buy things I could grow into it was huge (well, to his credit it was supposed to be big enough to cover me AND the backpack). We looked like bats wandering around the camp site under the dripping trees.

And I remember that that was when I learned that if you're standing around a camp fire and the smoke is blowing in your face, if you say "I hate rabbits" it makes the smoke go away. Or it's supposed never really worked for me. Wonder if that tradition continues? I guess I'll find out on Sunday when I drive back up to pick the boy up!


bonnie said...

Tag, you're it!


bonnie said...

ps - Fun being reminded of the contrast between some of those older-school tents vs. the spiffy little sky-blue number with the bungee-loaded flexy-poles and the handy-dandy sandy-gear foyers I have now.