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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Camping with Dad

One of the two activities my older son enjoys the most is the Boy Scouts. (The other is baseball.) Scout meetings are fun. He likes being with other kids, but what he really enjoys is camping. When he shifted from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts earlier this year, we discovered that his new troop has at least one weekend activity per month. However, as he had baseball games every weekend, he often couldn’t join them. Finally, the spring baseball season ended and Andrew went away on his first trip. He had a blast.

And then the summer came.

With trips to the beach and to visit to California to visit my wife’s parents, Andrew missed many activities including Scout Camp (to which he’s determined to go next year). When my family returned in August, I knew the same conflict between baseball and camping would arise again. So, I tried to ensure he could make the camping excursion in August. Because it was a family outing, I wanted to go with him. (OK. I asked to make sure I wouldn’t cramp his style, but he was happy to have his dad along.) I considered taking my younger son, but figured he might make the weekend difficult. I could make it difficult without his help, given that I hadn’t been camping since my own Boy Scout days.

We hit Lake Lanier on a Friday night and got our tent set up. My older son was excited and lachrymal at the same time. The baseball coach had called on Thursday. The first two practices were Friday and Saturday, both quicker than anyone had expected. However, Andrew quickly lost himself in the activities, spending most of Saturday earning a canoeing merit badge with a couple of boat trips thrown in for good measure. By afternoon, I was in the water helping him and the other kids who would also earn their canoeing badge that day.

We returned home late Sunday morning. My wife refused to kiss me until I’d had a good hot shower. My son said he was glad he had gone because he’d had fun and really liked earning the badge. I’d enjoyed spending a weekend out with my older son, though my younger son was jealous. However, I’m left with two questions from the weekend.

1) When I was young, what did the adults do since they didn’t have Twitter?

2) What was I thinking when I forgot to bring soap?

How about for you? For those who went camping when they were younger and have since taken their kids, how have camping trips changed over the years?

2 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

I use to camp all of the time with my family when I was a kid. We lived in Colorado and Utah and had lots of opportunities. BUT now that I'm an adult, I realize how oblivious I was to dirt, bugs, smelly toilets, the hard ground, and burned food. So, this summer my husband took our sons on a father-son camping trip and I was incredibly happy to stay home with my daughters and have a girls weekend in the clean, air conditioned house!

Walt M said...

Jody, thanks for dropping by. My wife would be envious. She loves our two sons, but would also love to have a girl. However, she kept our younger son happily entertained while my older son and I were gone.

As for the bugs, we weren't oblivious. We were thankfully warned.