Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Camp Is Great, but Home Is Better

I am back after two back-to-back long-term Scouting activities. Two weeks ago I was one of four adults that took 15 boys that are 14-15 years of age to the St. George area and did a wide variety of activities. We worked to keep everyone safe (and well hydrated) and accounted for. Everyone had a great time, but we were all glad to go home.

My son reports that he’s not too thrilled about the heat in Utah’s Dixie. He was also somewhat disgusted at encountering cockroaches for the first time in his life. I thought it was an amazing place, but I am not ready to join the multitudes of people that are flocking there and stimulating rapid growth. I was surprised to find out from one life-long resident of St. George that no building in the area had any kind of refrigerated climate control (A/C or evaporative) prior to the 1960s. No wonder growth remained slow until after that.

Last week I was one of seven adults (some attended in shifts) that took 11 boys that are 12-13 years old to Camp Loll, which is in a narrow strip of the Targhee National Forest that is sandwiched between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Nobody went anywhere without a buddy. We hiked our group to the spectacular Union Falls, which is the second highest waterfall in Yellowstone, on a 17-mile round trip hike.

While at camp we endured rain, hail, lightning, mud, more mud, incredibly nasty mosquitoes, etc. But we also experienced the beauty of the wilderness, sunshine, more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life, and a Scout camp program that is unparalleled. It is a great place to go if you want to learn about patriotism and fulfilling the responsibilities of citizenship. We came home tired and mosquito-bitten, but safe and happy.

While at Camp Loll I received an assignment from an old friend that is a history teacher to read Richard Nixon’s book No More Vietnams. He has a multi-part series on the book that starts here. He tells me it will help me understand how the U.S. can win the war on terrorism. I’ll report more when my assignment is finished.

I am grateful that we did not have any major problems or safety issues during these two activities. I am glad we took some simple, but important safety precautions. I am glad my boys had these opportunities and for the people that worked to provide them. But I am especially glad to be home.

No comments: