Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy campers

Children, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. Ben and I are going to get something this weekend, that’s for sure.

As you’ve likely heard, we are apparently facing SNOWMAGEDDON this weekend. Everyone from Paul Douglas to Dave Dahl agree we will be looking at a snowstorm that could drop a foot of snow on the state over the weekend. There was a time when we used to shake things like that off. Okay, it’s a pain in the hind quarters, but you just break out the shovel, or the nine-stage snowblower, and you clear the walk. While it snows, it’s a David Lean style weekend, a nice weekend to stay close to home, maybe light a fire in your hearth, and put on Lawrence of Arabia or something similarly epic. Not Doctor Zhivago; if you want to see that, you can look out your window.

Not us. Ben and I are going camping. Okay, it’s not really a true camping, sleep in a tent experience, but it is a weekend at the Phillipo Scout Camp in Cannon Falls, about an hour south of the Twin Cities. Ben and I last went there for summer camp in July, 2005, and the temperature for the entire weekend was about 148 degrees Fahrenheit, if I remember correctly. Okay, maybe 97, but it was July and it was miserable. As I’ve noted in this space before, Jill and I are not outdoorsy types. We are very much into creature comforts and I am the first to admit I’m kinda, well, soft. I like my comfortable, conformist suburban rambler and my conformist sedan. I don’t like to go into the office and play “Can You Top This” with the hockey dads or the Will Steger wannabes. Just doesn’t interest me. But somehow I ended up with a kid who is nuts for camping. So we signed up for “Winter Camp” and will be heading down Highway 52 this evening. Into the snow we go.

Ben loves tromping around in the woods, sitting around campfires, munching s’mores and shooting arrows and BB guns. He can’t get enough of it. We will be staying in some sort of a cabin set up with about 30 other assorted scouts and parents. The kids will have a tremendous time, no doubt, sledding and sliding and trying to roust the deer and whatnot. I expect a lot of snowball fights and probably we’ll end up making some sort of odd leather thing like a key fob. We’ll probably eat some crappy pancakes and maybe work in a little roadkill for seasoning. Ben will have a heck of a time. And that makes it worth it.

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