Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cub Winter Camp

Welcome to Winter Camp!

Arriving at the gates of the Scout campground.

Our younger son experienced one night at the Winter Cub Camp recently, eagerly awaiting such an opportunity to work on more badges, plus others to sew on his camp blanket.

Lovely road conditions to travel this day.

Little did we dream a fresh snow fall would be the driving condition to travel to the scout camp where they’d be staying though, so it was most interesting to note several other scouting groups also participating in their winter camps, one younger group (The Beavers), one older group (the Scouts), then the VERY brave group who pitched tents outside in the -10 degree snowy weather (The Ventures).

The camping list included all the basics, bringing a helmet and sled were even on the list noting the recent weather conditions locally. It wasn’t noted however to bring along a mattress, so through trial and error it won’t ever be forgotten in the future. Our son’s first camping experience offered little in the way of sleep from strange noises surrounding him in the one room cabin, let alone a very hard surface to lie upon. Triple bunks were the norm in this cabin, located on three sides of the inner walls, tables, and benches in the center, and a kitchen area on the last wall. I haven’t mentioned a washroom here, so why not guess where the bathrooms were. Yes, a short walk away, down a bit of a path and you can bet no boy was brave enough to run out there for too long and especially not during the dark of night.

Hiking was the mode of entry,
an unexpected surprise (and workout)!

As I arrived at the designated parking lot, I noticed no cabin around the area and luckily arrived at the same time one leader and his son were loading up a toboggan to haul along the snowy paths. Little did I expect the incredible workout ahead awaiting us all, lucky for me too, I brought my older son along to help.

Taking a little break, napsack was heavy.

We had to hike up two very large mountainous hillsides, down into the valleys, meandering along long paths, until at last; we arrived at the boy’s assigned cabin. Truly, I thought the leader was joking, but we all made it just fine carrying a suitcase, large garbage bag with sleeping bad/pillow/blanket contents, sleds, food to contribute, knapsack, hockey helmet, and oh, my purse! I had no gloves (dumb!) and my hands were frozen before reaching the first hill summit! No Kleenex tissue in my pocket either, so all of us were sniffling all the way up and down our pathways. The park ranger roared by on his skidoo, and at one point I was most tempted to ask him for a ride. Once arriving at the cabin however, we were able to unthaw a while, settling in our son with all the other boys and marvelous participating fathers we’ve come to know as very good family centered men.

Two badges were being worked on during this mini camp session, those being the “winter camp badge’ and the “Hiking badge”. Snowshoes were worn for one of the hikes, useful with the recent snow falls of three feet and more gathering up in one area of the mountainside. Two other hikes were on the agenda, all campers and their fathers/leaders participating, one hike had been scheduled during the dark for a night owl hike, flashlights in hand.

Rules of the camp!

Toboggans, sleds and snow boards came in handy but none of the boys were allowed to take a ride down the hill nicknamed “Broken bones”, as the many trees lining the run were much too dangerous enjoy a gleeful ride around them all. Helmets were mandatory nevertheless, and of course, all the boys and big boys (men) were passing some of the time making jumps to zoom over along the way.

The first hike - Snowshoes!

As usual the campers eat very well at these camps; all enjoy a toasty warm campfire and lots of creative activities with the badge goals at the forefront of the planning for agendas to follow. The next camps for both the younger ones are for the entire families to participate in, sleeping in tents! Did I mention my hubby hates to camp and we’ve never owned a tent large enough to enjoy such an event? Uh-boy!

Heading back to the parking lot,
downhill before the climb.