The Bad Mommy

I work only to pay for his therapy later.

Location: Novato, California, United States

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Vacation

(First, thanks go to Rolf for the photos. I totally stole them from him.)

For the last year and a half, Carter has been preparing, along with 87 other boys (ages 12 to 17) and 10 adults, to go to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Ft. A.P. Hill, Virginia. This is not an every year kind of thing - if only because the parents need a couple of years' head start to pay for the thing :-) The Troop met regularly beforehand to work on skills, develop camaraderie amongst the boys (many of whom had never met before), practice setting up their village within the Jamboree camp and generally prepare for living on their own for a couple of weeks.

Totally worth it. The kid is having the time of his life. The Jamboree itself is "only" eight days but the Marin Jamboree Troop spent a week beforehand and will spend a couple of days afterward touring the area, visiting everything from Gettysburg to Mt. Vernon, to the varioius Smithsonians to the Holocaust Museum to the Spy Museum. One of the adult leaders (Thanks again Rolf!) has been taking photos every day and posting them. Really smart - this enables the parents to see what's going on, get a feel for the various places the Troop has been, and undoubtedly cuts down on the number of parents calling to ask how their babies are doing. (Not that it would ever occur to any of us to do that. Uh uh.)

In pre-cell phone days, we probably wouldn't have heard from Carter at all. Even with a cell phone, it's hard - the kids can only use them when all the group responsibilities and activities are over for the day. And at that point, getting some down time and/or actual sleep is a much bigger priority than talking to the people that you have to live with the other 11 months of the year.

Nonetheless, we HAVE spoken to our boy a couple of times and gotten some great reports about the cool things the kids are doing - hosting a troop from the UK, participating in all kinds of games and events, making use of a big storm to put together an impromptu slip-and-slide, attending an Eagle Scout award ceremony and so on.

My favorite story though - mostly because it was told with such enthusiasm and awe - is this:

"Mom, last night there was a lot of opened Spam left over from dinner and nobody wanted to throw it away and WASTE it, so we had a Spam-eating contest. About six guys competed to see who could finish an entire can of it the fastest. One guy had previously participated in a wilderness survival thing where all they had to eat was Spam. He had kind of developed a fondness for it, so of course he won. But there was this other guy. He ate so much of it so fast that he PUKED. It was NASTY."

Good times!

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