It's scout camp season around here. David went on his first overnighter last week, and had a great time. He took a day and a half to pack, came home smelling like a campfire, then took another day to catch up on his sleep. It was a success. One camp down, and seven(!) to go.
Ben and Chris will be leaving this week to go mountain biking and river running. It's a great adventure for them, and I'm especially glad that they can go together. Then Alec has a short campout/team building session. A few weeks after that, Chris will be going to a scout leadership training camp, where Alec is one of the head youth leaders. Then Alec and Ben will head out for a backpacking and mountain climbing trip. I guess we really only have four campouts, but three of them have two boys going.
It's a great opportunity for the boys to go out and have a rip-snorting good time with other boys. I'm glad that they have fun, adventurous (and safe) leaders to take them. And I'm really glad that I don't have to go. I don't even feel bad about not wanting to participate in these kinds of things anymore. I used to give myself a guilt trip about it, but I'm over that. I don't have to enjoy every thing that my kids enjoy. And they don't have to like the things I like. I don't even like all the things I used to like... I'm not even sure what it is that I do like.
But I think it's fun to watch them get ready to go. It used to stress me out, but I have enough experience with scout camps now to know that none of my children has yet died from starvation (because I only had peanut butter sandwiches and a can of chili to send for their dinner) or exposure (because they didn't take enough pairs of clean socks, or they thought a hoodie would keep them warm enough).
"Be prepared," the scout motto says, and the boys learn how to do just that. Some of my boys prepare a long time in advance; others throw a few things in a backpack moments before they have to leave. And both ways work.
I'm glad that they can go and have memories and adventures. I'm glad that they can get themselves ready. I'm glad that I don't have to go. I'm glad to see them go, and I'm glad to see them come back - sunburned and dirty and smelling like... boy and smoke. And I'm glad that they do their own laundry when they get home.