Friday, July 22, 2011

Goshen Cub Scout Camp

This week I took off for Goshen Cub Scout Camp with Jared.  He's staying the whole week and stayed through Wednesday.  I wasn't sure what to expect from a camp in the middle of July.  We had 17 total kids go down and 5/6 parents for each half of the week.  Only 1 parent was crazy enough to stay the whole week.  Below is a view of Goshen Lake.  There are multiple scouting camps in the area.

It's a really rustic camp.  There are no frills about it.  Food is basic, but enough sustenance to keep you alive and functioning.  The only place where you find air conditioning is in the medical clinic, which Jared and I visited a few times.  One was for a boo-boo on the knee, but the other was a whittling accident.  We go over knife safety all the time, but he managed to put a longer shallow slice in his left thumb.  He's fine, just has to wear a bandage for a few days.  The cut might be worth it just to spend a few minutes in the a/c each day.

I will admit that the first day, Sunday, was a little rough on my pampered self.  First off, we had to carry all our stuff about 1/2 mile to the campsite.  The site is on the other side of a ravine, so you go all the way down, then all the way back up.  None of us ever stopped sweating the entire time.  Even the shower facilities which we managed to get the kids to a few times is on the wrong side of the ravine.  I took cold showers and felt great for a few minutes after.  But I was sweating again before getting back to the camp site.

The tents were no more than a piece of canvas.  Bugs flew and crawled through them at will.  We had to get several wolf spiders out of the kids tents.  Turns out those big spiders are your friends, as they eat other insects.  Let's talk about tents for a sec.  Has anyone ever seen what a tent looks like after a couple unsupervised 8 year old kids live in it for a day or two?  It's a complete mess.  Everything from their pack is all over the place.  Good luck finding clean clothes, or even getting some kids to change clothes.  I asked one kids why his shirt was inside-out and backwards.  He told me, "So when I wear it tomorrow it will be clean."

The campsite itself was pretty nice.  We had a lot of room for 17 kids to run around, plenty of tents, two fire pits, a couple benches with tarps for cover.  We only needed the tarp for one day where it rained significantly.  That rain was a welcome relief from the heat, until it stopped and the steam came.  The rain didn't damper anyone's spirits.  Our first activity in the rain was to build a fire which would have been easier if the camp counselor didn't leave the matches in the rain.

The mess hall was a big room with four fans blowing everywhere except where Jared and I sat.  There were about 275 people at camp this week.  Food was acceptable and everyone ate, no one complained.  We were all so hungry that it didn't matter what was on the table.  The best food was the Tuesday night meal we made on our own.  Precooked burger patties, with onions, potatoes that were grilled in aluminum foil over our campsite fires.  That was really good, and even Jared agreed.

We stayed at Camp Ross at Goshen.  There are other camps on the lake.  We visited a boy scout camp and the boys were very excited about the rifle range.  The boy scouts get to shoot 22 caliber rifles and 50 caliber muskets.  We got a demo from Braden that was cool.  From the smell of things, I'm not sure the boy scouts showered any more than the cub scouts.

Here's one additional link of a Pack 1864 camp song: Pack 1864 Song

I've never experienced this with Jared before, but when I left on Wednesday it was a real tearjerker.  Jared held it in pretty good, but we both had a few issues.  He's a strong kid, both physically and mentally.  He definitely made me proud this week.


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