Sunday, July 13, 2008
Ryan's Week at Scout Camp - Posted by Ryan
I arrived at Camp Geronimo halfway through the week. We were in Camp Site #4, which is about 400 miles from the parking lot. Because of that, and thanks to my new 'hiking shoes,' I immediately had a blister the size of a grapefruit on my left heel. I learned that when you let a 12 year old do first aid on such a wound, you end up with so much gauze around your akle that you could be mistaken for an Iraq War amputee.
After dinner, we did something called the "Honor Walk." A kid with bleach blonde hair decked out in full indian clothing met us. He was even wearing the authentic black faux leather velcro skater shoes that the Apaches once wore. He claimed his name was 'Moonbeam' and that his twin brother was named 'Star Shine' but I don't believe them. I thought those were the names of Care Bears, but what do I know? Moonbeam was explaining the benefits of something called the "Order of the Arrow." I'm not sure what that is, but I think it's a shopping club that lets you buy your arrows at a discount through mail order. Apparently it works like Costco, except the membership fee is much higher. There wasn't much honor in the 'Honor Walk' after a couple of our boys tried to pick a fight with Moonbeam.
The Honor Walk led back to our camp where it was time for skits. Every scout skit ever made involves a bunch of 12 year olds running around waving their arms above their heads screaming AAAAGGHHH, then mumbling something incomprehensible, and then rolling around in the dirt. After watching skits like "Banana Phone" and "Men in Scout Shirts" all night long, I now know the meaning of endure to the end.
Good news though. We seem to have solved the Global Energy Crisis. Apparently when you feed 300 scouts a steady diet of boiled veggies and baked beans, it generates enough methane gas to power South America.
We slept in something that looks like my childhood neighbor Randy's shed, except that Randy's shed had 4 walls and this only had 3. I slept on the top shelf where the pesticide and pruning shears used to be kept. I think they are called 'adirondacks', which apparently means 3-sided shed in Navajo. It was fine until I dropped my pillow off the top shelf into the dirt 12 feet below. That wouldn't have happened if the darn lodge had been built with 4 walls like it was supposed to be.
The service project was interesting. It consisted of lashing fallen down trees to still standing trees all around the 80 mile perimeter of our camp site. I'm not sure what the point was, except that it apparently keeps indians out of your camp site.
During the day there's not much for leaders to do since we turn our scouts over to the camp staff to deal with for a while. So, I climbed back up on the top shelf to take a nap. I know I slept deeply because I dreamed of hot showers and lodging made up of 4 walls.
One part of the Scout Law says that a scout is brave. That is generally true unless a) it is dark outside and b) there are beetles around. When those two things happen, brave 12 year old boys turn into screaming, crying little 4 year old girls. They look like cartoon characters spinning around in circles, hopping up and down, and swatting bugs off of them. The Scout Law also says a scout is reverent. I wonder when that starts.
It rained all night Thursday and we're not even going to talk about the latrines, but I made it home alive, for which I am grateful.