This past weekend, Mister Man went on his very first Boy Scout campout. His den headed out to Wisconsin to do some cave camping for two nights. Or… I thought this den did. Boy Scouts is my husband’s thing to do with Mister Man, so I don’t have a lot of information – for one my husband doesn’t share it, but neither does he find out as much information as I would.
Because this was his thing, I decided to stay out of it as best I could. If it were me, I would have bought a three person tent for the two of us, knowing that I wouldn’t want to be claustrophobic, and I’d want extra space for my gear.
I would have gotten a list of needed items from experienced Boy Scouting campers and then updated it to meet our needs (e.g., including Mister Man’s homeopathic attention and learning spray).
I would have practiced putting the tent together and taking it apart several times starting at least a week before the camping trip.
I would have packed everything the night before – checking items off my list as I went. I would have picked Mister Man up from school and headed straight up to the camp so as not to get there at a ridiculously late hour.
But it wasn’t my trip, and I was not in charge. I decided to keep my mouth shut after my husband brought home a two person tent (that’s five feet by seven feet at the base, and it narrows quickly) thinking that would be plenty of room for the two of them. Measuring out five by seven on the foyer carpet (which is bigger than that, interestingly) and then laying the sleeping bags atop my measurement showed my husband that their sleeping bags would overlap in the tent. Ok, so after that bit of interference, I decided to keep my mouth shut.
I did it, too. Or at least I did until the night before the trip when the new three person tent was still sitting in its box in my foyer, unopened. I couldn’t help myself but to suggest that my husband at least practice putting it together, given the hour they were likely to arrive at the camp and his utter inexperience with camping.
That was it, though.
I said nothing about the lack of packing that I saw when I woke up on Friday morning. I said nothing as I watched my husband scramble around the house trying to pack at 3:30 on Friday, hoping to finish before Mister Man arrived home from school in carpool. I said nothing about what snacks I would have brought to maximize protein and minimize sugar for Mister Man while my husband dug through the cabinets – obviously not wanting my help. I didn’t even look at the contents of what was packed.
And you know what? They came back today, and it all worked out just fine. Sure, their clothes are wet and filled with mud – I’d expect no less from a cave camping trip. They were overtired (I got an update phone call at 10:55pm on Friday night), but I wasn’t exactly surprised by that. I don’t know if they were short anything or had to borrow anything. I don’t know if they packed things they didn’t need or did it just right. It doesn’t matter. This was their trip, not mine. It was their trip, and they did great.
In fact, Mister Man has already announced that he wants to go cave camping again. Really soon. And to Boy Scout summer camp.
Good thing this is my husband’s department, huh?