Our church sponsors a boy scout troop and I have heard since before we moved here that it was an extraordinary troop. But I, being a cynic, usually said to myself, "It's BOY SCOUTS, for goodness sake. Just how great can a boy scout troop be?" This weekend I got my answer. I am utterly amazed.
The theme of the week was "Oscar Night" and the idea behind Mom's Camp is that the Mom's don't have to do anything. The scout leaders, Dads, and scouts take care of everything.
We began our night by watching our boys set up our tents and carry our gear. Needless to say this doesn't happen at home with Tony, so it was fun to see him being so helpful and chipping in. We visited and started getting to know people and I discovered a great bunch of folks...
We then headed up to the lodge where we each introduced ourselves and then played movie charades while munching on popcorn and drinking from a keg of rootbeer. I am annoyingly competitive and got way more than my share of answers. It was a lot of fun. A bonfire concluded the evening.
At this point began the part I had been dreading and it was as bad as I had planned. I hadn't slept in a tent for more than 20 years and it was not fun. The ground was hard, I had to pee constantly, and I couldn't sleep.
I did head to the bathroom at 3:00 a.m. and was blown over by the incredible beauty of the stars. It was almost a holy moment for me as I could see layers of stars from ones that were close to ones that were far away ... and it was as if God had painted me a picture, reminding me of His presence.
I had to get up another time before morning came... and I was not rested. But the day was great. Breakfast, pancakes creatively prepared to look like a film reel with film coming out, were preceeded by delicious fresh fruit in a wonderful cream sauce (I'm suddengly feeling like Rachel Ray -- gag).
Following breakfast we had a worship service in the beautiful new chapel area at the camp that our troop had redone. We then worked our way through a movie "getting to know you" worksheet where all the moms cheated. And then it was time for fried chicken and mashed potatoes for lunch.
In the afternoon we spent 3 hours doing six stations. I couldn't believe I made it standing/walking the whole time, but we had a lot of fun and got great exercise. Tony is so competitive he could be my birth child -- and he and I together wanted to win everything. If there was a competition, it was our plan to win it. And we did fairly well. Came in second by one second in one event and I beleive tied another, and won the catapulting event. However, Tony's biggest accomplishment was being able to pull his huge mother in a chariot....even though we certainly did not win by any stretch of the imagination. He was just proud he could do it.
The best part of the whole weekend was the "Oscars". The boys came down to meet us in t-shirt tuxes with corsages. We took pictures and then got golf-rides up to the lodge which had a red carpet. Along the sides were stars painted gold with our names on them. We posed for pictures in front of the cardboard limosine. Afterwards we were fed a delicious meal by candlelight with sparkling grape juice served to start the meal and a peach dessert that literally was delivered flaming to our tables.
I left after the ceremony to come home and do church related tasks, but was sad to leave (although I confess to being grateful I was heading home to a bed and a shower). Tony was even sad to see me go as he was staying for the night.
I left grateful for the time I got to spend with Tony, the people I met, and the great Scout Leaders who put forth so much effort to honor us as mothers of scouts. I am so proud of our Troop and now understand why everyone talks about it so much.
If you would like to see all the pictures I took (or at least most of them) head to My Web Gallery and check them out.