This summer was my fourth year back to the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation - and Alec's fourth year. Through hard work and a good scouting attitude (at least at Scouts) he was chosen to join the tribe of Mic O Say - the honor camping program at Bartle! (Alec is on the left)
I wasn't even sure about camp this year - I'd just completed a week as Daycamp Director; Nikki had been out for 3 weeks at the Bahamas and Powederhorn training class and I was feeling a bit fragile. And Nikki had signed me up for the Outdoor Leader / Assistant Scoutmaster classes while I was at camp. So I had to pack for Hunter, Alec, and two sets of gear for me - one for in camp, and another for the 36 hour outdoor skills class.
To top it off I'd dropped tobacco cigarettes on July 1, switching to electronic vaporizers, so I had more stuff to concern myself with.
Packing was a cluster fuck to say the least, just jamming random crap in the bag and leaving the garage a bloody mess. 3 weeks back from camp and I still haven't put that back together. Sleeping was optional at camp; hot and damp to begin with and I decided to go cold turkey from the prescription and liquid relaxation devices for the week of camp. First few nights were spent awake, listening to the wild life. Then up at 5:30 to get coffee and clean up trash that the raccoons had scattered.
But all turned out well - the OLS class was excellent, with superior leadership from Dave Allen, Chieftan in the Tribe and Nick Badgerow, the train-the-trainer wizard from the council. He's also a hard core backpacking guy so I was able to pick his brains for tips and ideas for the upcoming Yellowstone trek.
The other students in the class were almost all first year parents. I volunteered as patrol leader, and the other class members taught me something important - as a leader, it's not my job to do all the work, but to simply ensure it gets done. Delegate, supervise and contribute only where needed. They were offended when I tried to help - it implied to them that I didn't think they were able to get the job done on their own! Excellent lesson in leadership.
After getting through OLS, I seem to have begun to relax and slept more at night. Alec survived his two nights in the woods contemplating his obligations and completed his brave ceremony successfully. I even had some quiet time and made a new friend or two!