One of the things I do as a stake Primary president is "look after" the 11-year-old scouts. They are old enough to go on exactly 3 campouts between their eleventh and twelfth birthdays. Recently, at the monthly Roundtable meeting, I sat in on a meeting for 11-year-old scout leaders and the topic was those particular campouts. I heard how it should be done, could be done, and would be done. The handbook was quoted! Many shared personal experiences. One elderly and sage scouter solemnly declared, "I would never deny a boy the opportunity to camp." And just this week I received an email about the particulars of taking 11-year-old scouts camping. I promptly forwarded it to the three men who serve as scout leaders in my area.
This morning, I was correcting the journals of my fifth graders and wouldn't you know? One boy wrote all about his campout this past weekend. Really, you should read the entire thing!
"This weekend was crazy. I did a lot of things but I will start with Friday. The first thing I THOUGHT I was going to do was play games and sleep, but I was wrong. On the bus ride home I had actually solved the Rubik's Cube for my very first time. I was so, so happy! I went home and told everybody. Then my sister had to bring up something that I had totally forgotten about. It was the scout campout. Or more specifically, my very first campout. I only had a couple of minutes to pack and my mom and dad were gone. I didn't know what to do. So I had to call someone to get a ride. Then I had to pack. A couple of minutes later my ride came. When I got to camp it was really cold. Then I realized that I forgot my jacket. I also didn't have a tent or my dad. That's what everybody else had. But luckily someone else had a tent for me. Then I had to find a buddy because I couldn't sleep alone but I found one. We played all sorts of night games then we had to eat. We had burritos and tacos. I threw mine in the river because I had gotten full. Then we roasted marshmallows and we made smores. Then finally we had to go to bed. But we just stayed up all night talking. When we woke up, we made breakfast. I was in charge of bacon! When everybody tried my bacon they said I was the boss of bacon. When I got home on Saturday I got home at about 8:00 a.m. and as soon as I got home I went straight to bed. I slept until 5:47 p.m."
In addition to laughing heartily, I'd like to make a few comments here. First of all, this boy is going to get along just fine in life. He is going to famously figure things out all along the way, help or no help. Just so you know, he has very loving parents (I taught his older brother). It just sounds like he was enamored with the CUBE and everything else was bad timing. I love how his older sister wasn't about to keep care of him on a Friday night. "Out the door with you, Buddy. YOU have a campout!"
I love that he called for a ride FIRST...and then packed. Brilliant. I love the way he noticed everything in his surroundings..."I didn't have a jacket, a tent, or my dad."
"But chin up! Lucky me, someone brought a tent FOR ME!" Count those blessings! "I can find a buddy, no problem. I'm full now, so I'm going to throw my food in the river!" Yeah, the park ranger in me winced over that. Must teach the boys to avoid inviting critters into camp.
I love that he was given a responsibility and that he EXCELLED. Bacon Boss is such a great title! "I am eleven and I am capable of feeding my people."
My favorite? The fact that the scout leaders didn't want the boys any longer than the sister. "Let's break camp and get them home as soon as we possibly can. Afterall, I have a tee time! We camped. We're done." I asked my students to use a lot of description and detail. And now we know. He woke up at 5:47 p.m.
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