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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Grub Master April 17, 2009 9:30 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Noah, Of Being Dad, Of Interest, Scouts
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I was in front of my computer roughly 17 hours yesterday. Most of that was actually typing code. I am a Assistant Scout Master for my son’s Boy Scout troop although lately I have passed on meetings and activities in lieu of working. I skipped Monday’s meeting only to find out my son volunteered to be the grub master for this weekend’s trip. The way our troop works is one scout buys all the food for his patrol and is reimbursed. The idea is that the patrol plans the meal then the scout works with an adult to calculate portions and costs and buy the appropriate supplies. It is a good activity for developing their planning skills. The grub master should check the food pantry in the scout room for existing supplies (which I’m certain my son did not do). Unfortunately my son did not check with my secretary to see if I had one iota of spare time for this activity. Since their trip begins at the church at 5:45 today, Noah gets home from school with little time between school and the church, and Cathy will be doing her weekly trip to the Kentucky border this afternoon, I find myself faced with taking my lunch hour now to do Noah’s shopping for him. I should add that I don’t even get to go on this trip! (I very badly need a camping trip) This weekend they get to go to a fishing camp, clean and debone their food, cook it, and choose to eat powerbars instead.

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1. Daryl - April 17, 2009

Once when I was in scouts as a kid, the guy in my den or whatever (our troop had smaller groups; maybe they’re called patrols?) who was supposed to buy the food for our little group for one camping trip, and who also happened to be morbidly obese, forgot. He collected our money and then just didn’t show up. The other patrols had to share with us. We joked that he bought the food but then his ponderous tummy started growling and he at it all before the camping trip. In truth, he was borderline retarded and almost certainly didn’t have involved parents at home.

2. Doug McCaughan - April 17, 2009

We’ve had similar things happen. I believe it is part of the learning process. Of course, we would never let them be unhealthy or starve but I think making mistakes reinforces the lesson more than just having an adult correct you. For instance, on our recent 5 mile hike to camp, the scouts carried 15 softball sized oranges, one for each camper. They did not eat them at the beginning of the hike, dehydrate them or distribute the weight between multiple people. The next day when they readied to hike out, they discovered not everyone wanted an orange, not everyone ate an orange, and they were faced with packing the same weight back out 5 miles. I suppose we could have told them to leave half the oranges in the van but that would have had less of an impact.

The involved parents is a big deal. Having parent involvement in the scout program makes it sooo much better!

3. Morgan - April 17, 2009

Zak was going to buy me a Wii for my birthday but I didn’t think I would use it really. So I asked if we could get nice backpacks and some of those tree hammocks. When he gets back from his national guard drills I think we are going to plan my first ever backpacking trip. I have car camped and I have hiked but never both. I am a little scared of bears, lol.

4. Doug McCaughan - April 17, 2009

First off, the Wii is awesome!

Second, the bears aren’t bad as long as you use some common sense like really using the bear bags at the campsite, not feeding the bears, and not taunting them. Before investing in gear, you might consider borrowing some to make sure backpacking is something you will want to continue. And getting involved as a volunteer in a Venturing Crew, Boy Scout Troop, or older Girl Scouts is a good way to get some regular adventure in. The hammocks should be the ones fully enclosed with mosquito netting so its more like being in a cocoon than a hammock.

5. Andrea - April 17, 2009

Morgan, by car camping do you mean sleeping in the car? I suggest trying to tent camp in a site where you can have your car with you WAAAAY before backcountry camping (walking in with your gear far away from your car). I’m terrified of bears too, but we tent camp often and as Doug says, it’s all common sense. My girl is away at Camp Tanasi this weekend. I’m really hating not being with her!!

6. Morgan - April 17, 2009

Doug- We could probably just use some of Z’s military backpacks the first time or two, though the frames are pretty heavy. My son quit scouts (and I have some issues with certain policies), my “goddaughter” is only a 6 year old girl scout but I’ll have to check into this Venturing Crew thing. I do like the outdoors a lot and enjoy identifying species and such nerdy things like that. Z likes the survival aspect of it because of some of his military training. We don’t have an awful lot of activities we enjoy in common (I like crafts, he likes videogames) so we think we’d both like to do more physical and outdoor activities. I saw hammocks at gander mtn that you could buy optional mosquito nets for. I certainly don’t want the malaria 😉

Andrea- No I mean tent camping in campgrounds or in the woods where you are never more than a few feet from your car and the ability to reach civilization. I enjoy that but I bet backpacking is much more serene.