Full Disclosure: SC Johnson did compensate me for this post, however the thoughts and opinions are my own.
One of my fondest memories as a child was one single camp out with our local boy scout troop. There was a lake that we would always visit during camping season, which for us growing up in Kansas we considered every season camping season. It did not matter how cold it was, or how hot it was.
We would camp.
On this camp out though, as a troop, we walked down to the lake from the cabin. It was a crisp cool night, and the moon light was shimmering off the lake as the waves lapped up against the shore.
One of the games that we would play at night was capture the flag. Scouting out locations throughout the day was how we spent the days as we explored where ever we were camping. Dry river beds, snow-covered fields, deep in the forest with the mountains as our backdrop. But this time it was going to be different.
The lake was low from the dry western Kansas summer. The cattails that line the lake has been laid down on top of the shallow water that they were in, but thick enough that we weren’t running in the lake. We had been looking for a place like this since we pitched our tents.
It was our choice for the perfect game of Capture the Flag.
The cat tails that remained standing made great places for us to hide the flags. We did nothing but run that night. As the moon shown down, we played through the night. At one point a member in our Boy Scout troop tripped over a small tree that had fallen as he captured the other teams flag, the cattails softening the blow.
As the game started to wind down, we each made our way up to the cabin to warm up by the fire before making our way to the tents we had pitched for the weekend.
I look back on that night, and the one thing that I will always remember from that trip is that my dad was there with me. He had come out that night and played capture the flag with the troop.
One of the other things that I couldn’t appreciate in the moment was what my parents did to make sure that I was always comfortable not just on that particular camp out was for all the campouts that I would attend.
It almost seems like an impossible task, but somehow my parents made sure that I was comfortable when I would leave for a Boy Scout campout. It was the one thing that stuck with me, besides the memory making part of the trip, that I will pass on to my kids.
My parents would make sure that there were always enough socks, pants, shirts, underwear, blankets, sunscreen, and of course the insect repellent. It is one of those things that I always found annoying at the time, but now that I look back on it, I realize just how important it is to make sure that we stay comfortable while camping.
At some point, I know that we will be sharing the camping experience with my son. We will bond as we walk along of the bank of a lake, sharing stories and s’mores around the campfire, and maybe eventually playing Capture the Flag.
I might be like my parents when I am packing my son for camping trips, but at some point, my sons will understand just how nice it was to be comfortable on their camping trips.