Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Campers Camping

We did brave a return to the campground, and we did indeed survive. That would be thanks to the two eagle scouts who swooped in the moment we arrived to help us relocate and reinforce our tent. Eagle scouts with wings, halos, extra tent stakes, and rubber mallets. Thanks to the wind, our dome shaped tent was contorted into the shape of a right triangle.

This was bad news for the tent poles, which could not handle the weight of the wind and splintered into toothpicks. Pete and John, the trusty and resourceful eagles, wrapped the damaged poles with medical tape from their first aid kit, while Buzzard and I stood helplessly and gawked. In no time, they had patched and pitched our accommodations. Were it not for the mercy and generosity of those boys we certainly would never have stayed the night. I wasn't willing to sleep in a triangle.

The cross over ceremony went well, and it was rewarding to see my boy enter into a new phase of adventure and learning. Max, Daniel, and Kyle were the three Webelos who crossed into boy scouts this weekend.

I felt real proud of Max, and hopeful and encouraged about all the fun things in store for him. I want to always remember certain moments from his crossover night, like how he talked lightning fast while reciting the scout oath because he wanted to get it out before he forgot anything...
...how he rubbed his new scout handbook when it was presented to him...

...and how big his grin was when he shook hands with all the scouts as they welcomed him to the troop...
Cub scouts gather on one side of a wooden bridge and boy scouts gather on the other. There is a huge campfire, and families gather in campchairs. Each boy recites the oath and walks up onto the bridge, where he turns to salute farewell to his cub scout friends, then turns and salutes hello to his new scout brothers. It is quite a special thing to witness.

Every boy that has crossed over the bridge has signed the bottom of it. It is a special fixture in our troop's heritage! Here is Max adding his John Hancock...

Papa came to watch the ceremony, and even brought Max a cool compass. Max was really proud to show him his new arrow and to introduce him to his friends. Unfortunately, Papa arrived right in the middle of the tent fiasco, so my mood fell slightly short of a warm welcome wagon. Sorry Papa! We're so glad you were there!

Our friends Bill and Erin provided the music. What's a campfire without singing??

Our little group all gathered together under a gorgeous pink sky.

It was Buzzard's birthday, so we all sang to him.

The campfire cutie cheered on her brother.

My favorite part of camping is zipping into the tent at night and spending some family time. Emma, the tent toddler, did pretty well for her first wilderness experience. :)

Sunday afternoon there was a football game by the lake before we headed for home.

It was certainly a memorably weekend, and on more than one account, by the way. Hannah wasn't at the campout because she was on a road trip in Kansas with her Bible Bowl team. In the middle of the cross over ceremony we got a text message from her letting us know that they encountered a tornado and stopped at a McDonald's to take shelter in the restrooms. Thankfully, everyone was safe, and the storms passed without incident. There were apparently some rather tense moments in the restrooms, which were packed with weary travelers. The Bible Bowl team started to sing old hymns and praise songs, and several people joined in with them. What a precious testimony those kids must have been!

This weekend reminds me of a plaque my Dad gave me for Christmas that says, "Life isn't about weathering the storms, but about learning to dance in the rain."

We danced, through wind and rain and changes in plans, and a good time was had by all.


SmallWorld at Home said...

Congrats on your new Boy Scout!

Erin said...

Love the quote your dad gave you! And we're so glad you braved the elements. :>