I was thinking last night about Scouting families, not this great big Scouting Family we all belong to, but our own individual Scouting families. I’d just been printing off the final information forms for the Scout’s summer camp, and it got me thinking about the new camping kit my own sons’ could do with. Then it got me thinking about how long they have actually been camping with me on the various numbers of Beavers, Cubs and Scout camps.
Their first experience of camp was when my eldest was 3 and my youngest was 2. Having organised many Cub camps for the previous 6 years, I’d talked my wife into the idea that taking them to camp would be a doddle. I said ‘They’ll join in with all the Cubs and have a great time.’ Of course we had blinded ourselves to the fact that two small kids need and army of kit, and every small child will find every muddy puddle on a Cub camp. The youngest was still in nappies too, what on earth was I thinking. How on earth did I think it would be easy? To be honest, it was a very sunny camp, so trousers were easily cleaned and dried. The eldest was fine, where ever the Cubs were, then so was he. Our 2 year old though, is one of these children who is very independent. Well of course a campsite with a couple of hundred kids, big fields and about 4 acres of woodland was an inviting playground to him. Within an hour of arrival, he’d already wandered off to sit and watch some Scouts on the Climbing wall.
Since that camp they have been on every Scouting camp I have done, about half a dozen week long camps and so many weekend camps. To be honest, it sounds like they might have been a nightmare to look after, along with a group of Cubs or Scouts. But to be honest I think they have had a brilliant time of learning and socialising. Every week long camp, they just seem to grow up so much, and when you think about it, to them, they have had a week of fun, new friends and activities 16 hours a day. It’s no wonder grow up so much. They are now both very good campers, and they know probably more than most kids their age. But we have made sure they don’t learn above their years, so that when they move up a section they still have lots to learn. But as leader’s kids they also have to put up with a lot, when other Cubs have gone home, they’re still having to help put kit away in stores or unfolding heaps of wet canvas to dry. Or of course they can never be seen to be favoured.
@Cilben & @Goodwickscouts