Sunday, June 15, 2008

Paying a visit to Boy Scout camp

Here's our scout Brandon at the campsite for a brief stop-over between classes. He was wet when we arrived as he had just come back from a swimming class. Jimmy & I were also wet from our long hike back to the campsite. We climbed over hill & dale and I threatened to stop and not move a step further in the 90ยบ f heat, a few times during our long and treacherous hike through the wilderness....well maybe it was really a beautiful forest trail along a lake...but it was a mile back to the campsite. I swear it was!
We finally arrived at the campsite and all the boy scouts were gone. Only a set of parents were found napping in the heat in a wide open tent.
It was Friday afternoon and Jimmy was not feeling well and running a fever, but insisted on coming along. I really did feel bad doing all that complaining about the hike in the heat, all the while knowing that Jimmy was sick and knowing that I should have insisted that he remain at home, in bed.
But here we were, two hours early. It had been a long ride to Camp McKee, and because Jimmy was sick we drove the car. It was a good thing too because when we started for home that night there came a flood. Cars were pulling off the road left and right and it was all I could do to stay right behind my son and follow his tail lights all the way home. And it poured & poured all the way home and never let up. All cars on the interstate highways were crawling at a snails pace and I was glad of that.
Here's Brandon briefly stopping in at the campsite to bring us all a cool drink. He's such a good boy.

Each campsite had a His & Hers bathroom.
The girls side was distinguishable by a string
with a loop in it that could be attached to a small
nail on the wall to close the door. I never did find that nail in the
dark once the door was closed. I really didn't try
searching too hard afraid that I might run into a
spider or something creepy with lots of legs.

And of course, here are the bathing facilities
along with a drinking fountain attached at the end.

Now this is one of many permanent buildings at the camp. It's the mess hall, meeting center and movie theater. It was huge with a wrap around porch....all the way around the whole building. Here everyone is waiting to be fed, some down by the lake and others just milling around. We were told that next week they were expecting a group of 400 boy scouts to arrive for a week of camp. This week there weren't as many scouts in attendance, but the mess hall was full, but that also included arriving parents & grandparents who were invited for the last day of festivities & food.
Since Jimmy had progressively gotten sicker Brian gave him a ride back to our car and here we are walking back to the car with Brandon showing us the way back. This trail is clearly marked and I wonder why we didn't find it when we were searching for Brandon's campsite...of course we never found the mess hall either.
Brandon is skipping along way ahead of us. We are lagging further & further behind and he seems to have a continuous source of energy as he comes back to join us and to see if we are still breathing, as we are now moving along at a snails pace.
These last two pictures are out of sequence and are back near the mess hall. Brandon and two of his friends are sitting near the water on some benches.
Brandon and his two friends wait patiently. They were in charge of lowering and folding the flag for the day. The flag has been at half-staff because of the loss of the 4 boy scouts in the Iowa tornado during boy scout camp week. It was such a tragedy and we all cried when we heard the dreadful news and prayers were said for the parents & family of the four scouts and for the 40 injured as well.
Once all the leaders, scouts and their families were gathered round, the flag was lowered as each scout & leader saluted the American flag with honor. Then each troop was dismissed to the mess hall to eat.

Jimmy & I always look forward to being invited to visit Brandon each year at camp. We usually try to ride up there mid week for a brief visit and then return for the final festivities of awards and funny skits put on by each troop. The camp is about a two hour drive from where we live and it's a very enjoyable motorcycle ride through country roads. Because of Jimmy's illness we weren't able to visit mid-week, but there's always next year to look forward to.

Brian & Reva have always attended the week long camp with Brandon who is 13 years old. Brandon will be 14 in September and maybe.....just maybe he will attend by himself...when he's 18.......


jellyhead said...

Brandon sounds like such a caring boy. It's lovely you were able to visit him at the scout camp.

We heard all the way over in Oz about those poor boy scouts who died in the tornado.... just awful.

I hope Jimmy is getting better and over his fevers.

Tomas Dennis said...

I remember going to visit Brandon at that camp when we visited you. I have lost track of time as to when it was? It seems like it was a very hot day for you and Jimmy to be walking through the woods. We send our love and stay cool today and relax.
Love ya

Rachel said...

I'm sure the walking in this heat was awful. You poor things and Jimmy so sick. I hope he is feeling better now!

I'm sure Brandon has a blast at the scout camp. Looks like fun to me, even with a few creepy crawlies.

... Paige said...

I for one can tell you what fun BSA camp can be. I don't miss the heat. The last time I did camp we had record days at 100 to 103. Yes that was the last one for me.
As JellyHead said it was a horrible thing about the tornados at the BSA camp. I still thank God we lost no one at a Webelos do your best outing one spring.
Be safe y'all