Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day: Off to BSA Camp Dobbins

Ah, Father's Day. That really nice summer Sunday when Dads everywhere can hardly wait to get up at the crack of dawn to bring their boys to camp.

Not exactly Hallmark is it? But it is what many dads do.

Here is N. posing with the Engineering Geek in his new Father's Day issue T-shirt.

N. picked out the T-shirt.
He is looking disgruntled because I approached with a camera in hand, and proposed a pose.
N.'s comment: "Mothers! They're positively annoying with cameras." (I think he meant embarrassing).

The T-Shirt lists the 10 most common phrases out of the mouths of dads everywhere when something breaks.

(Note the form of the word--breaks. As if it did so spontaneously).

Men Loading the Vehicle: It is never called a "truck" or "car" or, G-d-forbid, "SUV" in the context of loading for an expidition. It is always and forever in these cases a "vehicle.'

N. cheered up somewhat. Guys like loading vehicles. (And he didn't notice me and the camera). They get to show off some physical muscle by heaving heavy articles of camping gear in an improbable pile in the back of a pick-up. They also get to display their ingenuity by walking around importantly with a clip-board, checking off the essential items, and by arguing over the best way to distribute the load for logistical purposes. (As in, "Hey, put that in last, Will, we'll need it right away when we get there!").

The dads got in some action with vehicle loading, too.
After all, it was Father's Day.
They got to deploy the tarp over the random-looking-but-carefully arranged pile of stuff in the pick-up bed.

Here the Engineering Geek performs the ancient Boy Scout art of knot tying.

At this point, the actual Scouts were engaging in the requisite high-jinks, the rolling bear-cub behavior that always spontaneously happens five minutes before they have to climb into cars and tr...er, excuse me, I mean 'vehicles' for the seven hour drive to camp. (BSA camps seem to always be located at least seven hours away from wherever the troop assembles. This allows for at least two mandatory sugar and junk-food stops to increase adult driving pleasure).

About two minutes before the boys needed to squeeze themselves into the ca...um, vehicles, the troop camp coordinator, Duke Buster (isn't that the perfect name for a BSA troop camp coordinator?)--anyway, Duke lined the scouts up for a list of last minute instructions.

There were instructions about getting to merit badge classes, dressing for dinner--they wear their uniforms in the mess hall--flag ceremonies, and helping old scout masters across the camp grounds (just kidding). The last few instructions were the most important:
  • Remember, Scouts who spend all of their pocket cash on the first day are very hungry on the drive home
  • Wear sun-screen
  • Have FUN!

And they were off!

Packed into SAV's (Scout Assault Vehicles) around the most important stuff--the gear. Settling in for the long drive. Chattering excitedly about the relative merits of the various badges each boy had chosen...

Suddenly the parking lot was very quiet.
The Engineering Geek said, somewhat forlornly, "Sure is quiet around here."

"Yeah, too quiet." I answered.

We stopped at the store.
We met the Chem Geek Princess and her boyfriend for Father's Day Breakfast at Wecks. I went on to teach three reading classes.

The Engineering Geek went home to practice the fatherly art of sipping coffee on the porch with his newspaper.

It sure is quiet around here this week.

Too quiet.

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