written by: Odette Nassar, Scouting Volunteer
Your son has just bridged into his chosen Boy Scout troop. He’s excited. You’re excited. And now both of you are getting ready for the greatest-of-the-great, a week long stay at summer camp.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What’s the big deal? My son has been to week long camps before.”
Well, think again.
Nothing can compare to Boy Scout Summer Camp! And try as you may to prepare him and yourself, you will never know what to expect until after he returns from his first trip.
Here are five things you can expect to hear about when your son returns from camp.
- He started (but probably didn’t complete) at least three merit badges. Possibly more. He will probably not complete these partial merit badges for a while. And that’s OK. Just give him a box, bin, or binder to store it so when he does decide to finish, it’s ready and available.
- He took the swim test in the lake (if there was one) and it was freezing cold. In fact, for the next year, every cold liquid that you encounter whether it is a pool, a beverage, or a body of water in nature will be compared to the swim test experience. And it will not be as frigidly cold.
- He took too many clothes. As hard as it is for us adults to accept, the carefully packed stack of underwear will probably come back untouched. As will the six t-shirts, two shorts, and three extra pants. In fact, do not be surprised if he returns wearing the same outfit he left in. Also, do not be surprised when he takes off his clothes and they stand on their own. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
- He did not bathe. Your son will happily, no, gleefully, inform you that they didn’t have to take a bath all week. You will not have to debate this since you will have to drive home with all the windows in the car rolled down for fear of passing out from the fumes.
- He had the time of his life. Swimming, canoeing, hiking, making crafts, hanging out, learning new games, campfires, shooting, and archery will feature heavily in the descriptions of his activities. And even the most horrific sounding events will be recounted with great gusto and, dare I say it, happiness. Not to mention that the Scouts from the troop will form a bond that will carry them throughout the next year of Scouting and beyond.
After everything is said and done, you will have a happy, tired Scout who is even more excited about Scouting than ever before.