We ended our service project, piled into the trucks and headed back to camp. WC's group was responsible for helping put out lunch- a laughable endeavor with 6 & 7 year old boys. Luckily, lunch was sandwiches that people could construct themselves- we just had to organize the stuff on the table-while our teen aged Boy Scout helper circled like a vulture waiting on the animal to go on and die already. The boys had the afternoon free to play as they wish. We had a decision to make whether to sleep in the tent another night or pack it up and go home. WC & CJ both picked to camp out again. After CJ's over-tired meltdown of the night before I wasn't eager to repeat. But I did after all take a day off work and spent the entire day getting ready and the amount of time spent on set up...it didn't seem worth all the effort for one night. Jay was okay to stay another night. So, we were staying. I made plans to avoid the boys becoming overstimulated. Before we went to dinner I set out the boys sleeping bags and put the sheets back on the air bed. I'd put it away that morning in order to avoid it getting dirty. The floor of tent was dirty. I'm anal and wished I'd brought a broom. After a survey of the others, I discovered no one brought a broom and I'm the only one who cared about a dirt on the tent floor. Okay, so I pretend to not notice the dirt. I get the sleeping quarters arranged and off we go to assemble our hobo packs. I'd never heard of a hobo pack before but it was the best dinner. A couple of the older groups had spent the time chopping the veggies and the chicken. Basically you take a piece of aluminium foil and spread butter on foil and top with your chicken or beef and peppers, onions, mushrooms, potatoes etc. throw some seasoning in and wrap up and place on an open pit of ready charcoal (some of the seasoned scouts opted to put theirs on their own wood campfire) for a half an hour. Even my picky sons devoured theirs.
After dinner they played some more and CJ went toe to toe with a ten year old over a nerf football. CJ picked up a football from the ground and walked around with it. The older boy came over and traded CJ a smaller foam ball for the larger, blue nerf ball. It was a fair trade and I didn't say anything- the child wasn't attempting to take advantage of CJ. The green ball was more CJ's size. But CJ didn't realize that the boy wasn't just looking at the ball but taking it to play. He angrily protested the trade. I attempted to convince CJ that the green ball was perfectly fine for him to play with. He protested on the grounds that blue was his favorite color. He then proceeded to stalk the boy with the blue nerf football. I told a group of laughing parents that somehow, some way, CJ would end up with the ball. I don't think they believed me, at first.And sure enough not fifteen minutes later here come CJ down the path, blue nerf football tucked under his arm.
Saturday night they were supposed to hold a bonfire with marshmallows roasting. But once the boys arrived back at the tent and discovered their beds ready, they wanted to go in and sit on their sleeping bags. Jay went to shower and the boys and myself sat in the tent with our lights and they played around. Until the cub master arrived bearing glow sticks. They selected green (WC) & blue (CJ) and then we turned out the lanterns and sat in the complete darkness, except those glow sticks. They whirled them around creating patterns. Jay arrived back and we all sat around with a flashlight on and talked. Then the shadow puppet show on the tent wall began. The favorite characters for WC were all "old, old." A rabbit, dog and bear. What makes them all old, old? I asked. A beard. He stuck a finger poking out from his puppets chin to signify a beard...and a beard meant old. I'm not sure where that association came from. From shadow puppets began story telling. WC asked Jay to tell him a scary story. "It was a night much like this," he began. "And a family much like us were sleeping out in a tent that kinda looked like this when they heard..." He scratched the side of the tent. I glared at him with the If you scare these kids I'm going to beat you til you can't move anymore look. "Then they heard it again..." He scratched the side of the tent. Both boys leaned forward in anticipation. Then Jay belched. And they dissolved into laughter and story disintegrated into the story of the "gassy ghost" haunting a camp ground. In the end someone gave the gassy ghost an antacid and all was well. We ended up having to tell several more stories all off the top of our heads. Jay asked WC to come up with a title and he'd make up the story. WC's choice was Thomas the Train and the Big Smelly armpit (what else can one expect from a 6 yr old boy). And Jay delivered another story that left them in stitches. At some point during the stories that followed, CJ climbed into his sleeping bag, covered himself with his security blanket and dozed off.
We fell asleep Saturday night to a much cooler evening. I'd held off purchasing sleeping bags for us simply because if WC didn't like it then I didn't want to be out more money than I'd already dropped. I wish that I'd brought more blankets. I froze my butt off. I also overinflated the air mattress. In an attempt not to feel like I was about to be thrown overboard every time Jay moved, I added more air. Now I didn't feel him move but now there was no give in the mattress what so ever. Might as well have slept on the ground.
The sun rose to a beautiful crisp Sunday morning. I walked back to the tent from the restroom just after dawn; someone had a campfire roaring. The smell hit my nose and it smelled like comfort. I climbed back into the bed and snuggled close to Jay, cause he's warm. And WC sits up in his sleeping bag and throws up. And thus ends our camping experience. The boys wait in my car while Jay and I pack up camp. Both boys threw up in the backseat while waiting. Just great...