Sunday, August 5, 2012

52 Blessings – Scout Camp

I mentioned last week that Calvin was asked to cook for 160-180 people at scout camp this past week. We left Monday morning about 5:00 am and got home Saturday afternoon. We cooked fourteen meals without electricity, running water, or fires. Not one person got a foodborne illness so that spelled success in my book of expectations.

Size and number of pots needed.  That big one on the right, when filled to the handles, will feed 100.

And the fact that we also had a great time and the food was really good made it even more successful.

There were over 2,000 boys at the camp besides all the leaders.  It was tree to tree tents. When we first arrived at the camp I texted family and said, “Men everywhere.  I now begin my role as Sacajawea.  Wish me luck.” 

Rachel, the historian, wrote back, “You do remember Sacajawea was married to a jerk don’t you?”  That I did not remember.  And since I later passed another woman waiting in the bus line to go home to sleep and shower, I don't have an ounce of Shoshone blood, nor is Calvin a jerk, I wasn’t really Sacajawea anyway; but I was outnumbered.

We have many Eagle Scouts in our family, I’ve served as a merit badge counselor, been a Blazer leader, stapled merit badges on the sash in a pinch, and gone to scout camp once before, so I’m not ignorant of the scouting program, but this week I finally appreciated it.  I realized what a valuable program it is for so many young men.  Our boys had the benefit of a father who loves the outdoors and camped with them.  They also had the advantage of growing up on a farm and digging deep holes, making forts, using a pocket knife and b.b. guns, building fires, and climbing corrals and ropes.  But this week I better appreciated how few boys get those opportunities.  The scouting program allows for many young men - those with fathers as well as those who don’t have father figures in their home - to be mentored by good men and to participate in activities that help boys become men. (I’m sure much of my newfound perception came from things learned in Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax.)

For many years I was a stake girls’ camp director and stake young women’s leader, so I have a lot of great memories from girls’ camp as well.  It was interesting seeing the contrast of the two camps.  One is certainly no better than the other, but they are run differently.

For example:

Boys don’t sing nonsensical songs.  Ever.  Camp morale comes from lots and lots of food rather than songs.

Another difference is that women keep the girls organized while men give boys a very long leash.

One other is how they make food.  I’ve seen cooks at girls’ camp pray that the food will stretch and feed the 5000, whereas men bring out their power tools and mortar mixers to feed the masses.

Calvin whipping the pancake batter.

It was a great opportunity to work and go camping with Calvin this week.  It was exhausting, but very rewarding.  It was surely one of this summer’s blessings for me and I suppose for many others as well.


Deanna/Mimi said...


Jill said...

Wow, that is a job I am definitely NOT equipped to handle!! That would be super stressful to me.

The food at Landon's Scout Camp in Idaho was terrible, the boys have told tales!

I am grateful for the Scouting program and am very thankful we live in a ward with great leaders who run the program well. My son wouldn't be camping and hiking and doing all those outdoor things without scouts (even though Randy is an Eagle Scout and apparently loves all that) so I am very thankful he has those opportunities. I can see a big difference in the boys in our ward who participate fully in scouts and the couple who don't.

Deidra said...

Hats off! What an undertaking.

I hope that one day, if I have a son, I can appreciate the scouting program. Coming from a family of all girls, I usually resent what the YM were able to do while we did lame activities. And my time as a Cubmaster didn't endear me much more. Chris loves being the Scoutmaster and working with the boys though.

The girls at our stake girls camp got food poisoning this summer. The cook felt TERRIBLE! What a bad experience and glad you avoided it.

melanie said...

In the many testimonies borne about scout camp yesterday, there was definitely a few common themes.

It was hot. It was dusty. Lots of mosquitoes. Good food. A few even mentioned their long leash and made scout camp seem quite appealing and relaxing (these were farm kids getting out of changing water). Yes what they spent the most time talking about was the love of their leaders, their Savior and how their testimonies grew this week.

I sure hope you have a few days of rest. You've definitely earned that reward!

Carol M said...

When I saw you Friday, you looked and smelled great--only Jane could have pulled that off after a week with the boys and men. What a trooper! You and Calvin deserve a week in Hawaii on a beautiful beach with lots of cool drinks. I am glad I got to see it at a distance for a short minute, I would not have made it for a week. You guys are to be admired and commended for a job so very well done. Carol M

Deidra said...

My dad raved about your food and how great you and Calvin are (I completely agree). I am glad you survived a week with all those boys/men!

Michelle said...

I loved this! And I loved Deidra's comment about the YW doing lame things. Everytime though that I got jealous of the YM, I would remind myself how obnoxious it would be to try getting a bunch of those girls to do some of those activities. It would suck all the fun out of it just by imagining it. With that thought in mind I was happy to put beads on a string and leave the high adventure and sports to the boys.

Barb said...

Oh, the contrast between YM and YW camps! So true! I would love a more detailed list of the food and how you cooked it. I fear I will have to do this one day - somehow I have become the crazy scout lady of the ward even though I only have 1 son.

michelle said...

I am beyond impressed!

Nonsensical songs are my least favorite part of YW camp.