Basically, I've come to the realization that Tiger Cub parents are supposed to learn as much as the Tiger Cubs themselves during this first year of scouting.
|Reese and I in the hangar on the Yorktown|
Patriots Point, South Carolina
Pack 420 went on our annual "supertrip" this past weekend to Patriots Point, which is located right across the river from Charleston's French Quarter. It was a great opportunity for Reese and I to spend a weekend together with a bunch of other scouts and scout-parents sleeping on the USS Yorktown.
On the way down, Reese was excited to be going to South Carolina. Then, he was excited to see and touch some Spanish moss. Then, he was excited to see and touch actual palm trees. And when we got into the marshy areas, he was on a vigilant lookout for alligators. For the most part, he kept this excitement up throughout the whole trip.
A few things about the Navy
These ships are not made for 6-foot tall guys who like to walk on the balls of their feet. Even on the Yorktown, I had to constantly remind myself to walk flat-footed, or I would've left the ship with multiple concussions. But even flat-footed, I still had to duck every so often. Then, there's the USS Clamagore, a submarine at Patriots Point, that gave me a nice quad-muscle workout going through it, which Reese wanted to do multiple times.
Beyond feeling too tall on the ships, there were also the bunks, which were stacked four beds high and two across (about 3 inches or so separating me from the guy on the other side of me). The bunk on top of mine had about a foot or so between my face and the bottom of the cot. We brought our own sleeping bags and pillows to lay on the beds.
|The view from my bunk (yes, those are my feet)|
And the showers changed temperatures with each flush of the toilet. Our sailors have it rough, especially if they are taller than 6 feet.
Going to sleep at night
Imagine two boys keeping themselves up by giggling and grabbing at each other. Then, multiply that by another 30 or 40 pairs of boys. Then, imagine the first father who can ignore the giggling enough to get to sleep, and imagine this father has a distinctive snore. And if you can, imagine that this makes the boys all laugh each and every time the father snores. And, well...let's just say I was glad to get back home to Tammy on Sunday.
Final thoughts on Patriots Point
The trip really was excellent. There's nothing that makes a parent feel better than to watch one of his kids grow, and I witnessed Reese making new friends, braving new challenges, and even volunteering to leading a group of 200+ people in the pledge of allegiance. Together, we walked up and down more than 100 flights of stairs (not an exaggeration), saw several cool exhibits, learned new things about our history and marine biology, and even watched Tora! Tora! Tora! on the big screen.
In fact, Reese gave the ultimate compliment by claiming that he wants to move to South Carolina. Wow!
Duluth Police Department
For the time being, we're not moving anywhere (not even South Carolina), but I did line up another tour for all the Tiger Cub dens (there are two others besides my own). We went there last night, and it was a fun experience. I think several of the boys (including Reese) started the tour a little afraid they'd somehow get "locked up" while they were there, but all of them seemed to have a lot of fun.
This tour was most significant for me as a den leader, because it completed the Tiger Cub requirements for three of my five scouts. (Two of them still need to make up an earlier requirement they missed.) I couldn't be any happier or feel any more half-way competent.
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Does this post get your camping juices flowing?
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- Coleman PVC Double Wash Basin - for cleaning them dishes easily
- Brunton Gentleman's Compass - for finding your way (in style)
- Coleman Camping Coffee Maker - for, well, waking up
- Columbia Bugaboo II Geo Dome Tent with Footlockers - for braving the elements