“How long till we get there?” Patch asked for the third time.
“I don’t know.” I sigh. Rush hour traffic made time estimation difficult, as did the unfamiliarity of the destination. I did not dare use the length of the hand drawn line on the map as an accurate measure of distance. I was sure the map would get us there, I did not know how long it would take us to arrive.
50 minutes. I’d estimated 30, so we arrived at the camp 20 minutes late. This was when I discovered that finding a campsite inside a Scout Camp was more complicated than I had anticipated. during 30 minutes of walking, in the heat, with no water, we circled the entire scout camp the long way to find where my son was staying. Good thing the woods were filled with scouts willing to share their water and give directions using their camp maps. I’ll admit to being grouchy and hungry. The scout motto is preparedness, and I had no one to blame but myself for the unpleasantness of the trip. I could have planned much better.
But there was Link. He was sunburned and grinning. He told me story after story about his experiences. He showed me the target paper where he had clustered seven rifle shots near the bulls eye. He displayed his purchase from the camp store. (A ball-shaped ice cream maker.) He announced that he’d earned 5 merit badges. He chased Gleek and Patch around, scolding them when they broke Scout Camp rules. (This did not endear him to Gleek.) He had so much to tell, and I listened.
Then we all trekked down to the Friday night presentation. I sat in the amphitheater, looking out over the lake. Wind rushed through the trees and sometimes ruffled the surface of the lake, making the boats shift against the dock. Camp songs were sung. Counselors jumped about for the amusement of scouts. Other counselors infiltrated the audience and helped flagging scouts regain enthusiasm. Gleek and Patch loved it all. They loved the snake and the deer we saw while trying to find the campsite. They loved the two story tall US flag. They stomped and sang and laughed. Gleek tried to take home pockets full of rocks, but settled for just one. Then they both saw deer cross right in front of our van on the ride home.
The visit was totally worth the minor frustrations it took to arrive. Link will be home tomorrow and I’ll get to hear the rest of the stories.