When I was growing up, my mom nearly divorced my dad when he told her we were going camping near the Oregon Coast one summer. That experience was my first and last as a child - unless you count horse camp with the Girl Scouts (we got to stay in cabins there). Packed into a small RV park with tens of other "campers," my sisters and I gathered up wood for a campfire, and we made some tasteless hamburger meal wrapped in tin foil. We complained the entire time and my mom sulked. I don't think our experience was what my dad envisioned when he planned our camping excursion.
It will be different for me and the other scouts. We're going to a designated camping area, and there will be plenty of other parents (hopefully more experienced with going camping than me) to help. My car is already loaded up with 4 sleeping bags (two with which to pad the ground), a tent that I am hardly capable of putting up, clothes for 3 days (just in case), flashlights, cocoa, marshmallows, and lots of other snacks. I have pulled out my favorite campfire songs for tonight's gathering too. And, as long as I remember to bring my camera, I am sure to get some lovely shots of the gorgeous Bend/Central Oregon area of the camp.
Despite my luke-warm attitude, my son is very excited to be going camping! The day will be filled with boys' favorite activities tomorrow - whittling wood, bird watching, hiking, and performing skits. The weather looks like it will cooperate, and if nothing else, we'll have some fun memories of going camping together. I would love to believe that this will be my last camping experience, since my son is will be a Boy Scout in the spring. But, I have two more sons that are waiting for their chance to go camping with me too.
For a taste of what our weekend will be like, check out this video of scouts going camping: