Snap, Crackle – Watch Out!!

Things you don’t want to hear when camping with scouts and scout leaders following a storm, “Things you don’t want to hear when camping with scouts and scout leaders following a storm, “Geeze, I’ve never seen a tent snap in half life that.”

This is exactly what this scout master and his minions said upon examination of the only tent with broken poles in the camp. It had to be ours. Luckily, I drove a van, so we could crash in there.

Everything was going quite nicely at camp. We were all just relaxing while the boys were playing. There was a pretty good thunderstorm coming in, so we wanted to sit tight. All except for the genius scout master, who decided that would be a perfect time for a hike.

So, off we went, hiking until the storm got so bad that we all had to duck for cover. Genius then decides to head back to camp. When we got there, the damage had been done. Tents were scattered everywhere, except for ours. We had staked it down really well. Too well, I guess.

That’s when all of the men gathered around our tent and said “I ain’t ever seen a tent snap in half like that before.” Beautiful.

Another time, we went camping and we were told at the last minute that they had just plowed tons of poison oak from the campground, so be sure to wear boots, long sleeved sweatshirts and gloves so no one would end up with this dreadful sickness. My son and I did just that. I was particularly careful. The first night, another genius decided to gather would to burn in the fire.

No one thought to bring wood from home, that was not full of this delightful illness. So, we had a fire. Upon returning to work, I didn’t feel well at all. It was sort of like the flu. I was having trouble breathing. The doctor said I had contracted poison oak in my lungs. I know! He said it most likely was inhaled from smoke from a fire. 


Naturally, I was the only one who got the stupid stuff. It took three weeks of steroids to kill the junk. I took more steroids than Roger Clemens.


Finally, my last time to a scouting trip. The kids were in San Diego for a canoe trip down a river, have lunch and go back. I had headlined a show in Nevada, then drove all night to get to Eagle Field, in Fresno, California to do a project for The Discovery Channel all day. Still, with no sleep, I headed to San Diego. Quite honestly, I was hoping to miss the canoe trip, get some sleep and hang out with my son upon their return.


No such luck. As I pulled into the parking lot, ten minutes late, here were all of the boys and leaders waiting for me to go with them. Ok, I thought. It’s just paddling a canoe. How hard could that be? Since I was the last guy there, we got stuck with the worst canoe. There was no cross bar to sit on, no protection whatsoever.

So, I had my son sit in the front as long as he could, while I was on my now raw and bleeding knees, paddling like a mad man. When we finally made it for lunch, everyone said, “Wow, look at those knees”. I know, I said. We have no towels or blankets to put down for our knees.
You would think that someone might volunteer something that would relieve the pain going back. Not so. Not one person. We finally made it back, against a powerful head wind. My knees looked like chuck steak. My son helped me fight the headwinds back, so he was in a similar condition. They offered us a disinfectant ointment and band aids.

I love my son very much, but that was it for me. No more torture. No more broken tent poles, poison oak inside my body and certainly no more bloody knees. No more scout trips. It really gave me pause about guilt vs safety. Safety won.
See you tomorrow.
My books on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/nb8s37w

Facebook: Jerry Mabbott

Twitter: @jmabbott

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