Last Saturday my son Arthur had a Cub Scout camp out in which I participated. Though we were lucky; we had a big cozy lodge with a wood stove/fireplace, so we did not have to sleep outside. The Boy Scouts, however, slept in tents on the ground. It made me think of the many times I camped out in the woods in winter, even into my thirties, all by myself with nothing but a sleeping bag, ground cloth and a wool blanket. And I enjoyed it! This time I was extremely happy to have an inflatable mattress and a warm roof over our heads. God, I’m getting old!
We were also fortunate that this winter has been more like the beginning of spring. We’ve barely had an inch of snow so far this winter where we live. And last Saturday morning when Arthur and I arrived at Godfrey’s Pond, a beautiful hidden world of woods and lakes and hills tucked away among the farmlands of Genesee county, the sun was shining and there were geese everywhere. The air smelled like March, too. Though usually the first day of spring in Western New York is never this nice! Usually there’s a foot of snow on the ground. But this day was just glorious, even with a nippy breeze my spirits were soaring. The scent of water and earth and the warm sun on my face was glorious.
The Boy Scouts and their leader took us on a geocaching expedition, which took us over swamps and up into the hills and was a lot of fun. To tell you the truth, I was not really looking forward to this overnight. But getting some exercise in such lovely surroundings, and getting to hang out and get to know some of the other boy’s parents was quite fun. On last years sleepover, I was told, it got down to about five degrees at night. But during the day the kids spent all their time sledding. But despite the lack of snow the boys ran around like maniacs most of the time and Arthur was in absolute Boy Bliss the entire time!
I even got to go home in the afternoon for a couple of hours to take a nap! There was lots of food and in the evening there were many games for kids and adults alike to play. The boys ran around like maniacs some more with flashlights, then went for a night hike (the moon was bright and full). Arthur and four of his friends were the last ones to go to bed, after playing cards and enjoying the silliness of nine-year-old camaraderie and laughing more than he has in a long time. It was nice.
And I even slept better than I thought I would (thanks to the air mattress) despite waking up three or four times during the night. All in all; I am very glad I went!
Today, six days later, we are finally getting some wind and snow and I’ve been knocked out of my eternal spring reverie. Ah well; it was wonderful while it lasted! At least we can go sledding now.