Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Where Was Jeremiah? A Q&A

Where were you?

I spent the better part of the week in the Big Woods here in the Great Northwest, being a cabin leader at my oldest son's end of the year school campout. We did all sorts of outdoors activities involving water and dirt and I got to try to get a cabin full of worked-up 11-year old boys asleep! By myself! Where are my pills!

It didn't rain every day, did it?

Well, no, not EVERY day. Just about 3/4 of the time we were there. And, because the only indoor facilities were the dining hall, and the cabins themselves, and because there were classes all day and we only had meals in the dining hall and not "huddling and shivering" classes there, we were outside most of the time, getting nice and wet. In fact, I think that one of the classes was called "Stand Here and Get Ridiculously Wet--No, HERE, Right In the Rain."

How did you get the boys to sleep?

Well, I tried playing guitar, which only got them riled up ("Jeremiah, do you know any songs about 'snot'"?). I then let them tell each other stories, which I had to stop after a while because the legs of the female camp counselors began to get discussed in a little too much detail. I finally just got mean and I put my foot down, put on my "city face" and told them to be quiet immediately and that got them to sleep, about 30 minutes later.

But, did your son have fun?

Oh, yes. Being in the woods, which is full of sticks, with his best friends, who all love throwing things too, was glorious for him. I let him loose a bit and I think he appreciated being able to bend the envelope. A few things got out of hand, but I just turned the other cheek and gnawed on some bark and I was just fine. Good dad!

What were the meals like?

Well, we had another school there with us, an older bunch, and we had daily dining competitions concerning who left the least food waste on their plates. Food left on your plate, by the way, is called "ort," which is a word that 11-year old boys can find many ways to, ah, alter. I'm proud to report that our school had the least amount of ort at each meal there, sometimes weighing in at zero ort particles. We got a lot of satisfaction out of that, but the parents, in secret, all admitted that the actual amount of ort that occurs at their homes regularly outweighs the family dog, who actually, by the way, is also the ort disposal unit, so really, nothing gets wasted anyway.

There weren't REALLY any good-looking female counselors, were there?

Oh, no, no way. I can't stand statuesque women who get dirty camping, and who can wield an oar like Xena, warrior princess, and slice up a squid without the least bit of a grimmace, and who can, of course, play guitar. Can't stand them, or their legs.

So, what did you learn?

The following:
Next week: Camp with my youngest! Where are my pills!
Jeremiah, 9:16 AM

5 Back at me:

Considering the chin-scrating, I am wondering what kind of pills you plan on taking with you, exactly?!

Sounds like you had a blast. Glad to have you back. I was wondering if you pulled a fast one on us again... ;-)
Blogger Sarah Elaine, at 7:17 PM  
This takes me back to our 8th grade camping outing, the first time we were away from our parents and anyone related to us. (The teachers were chaperones...they don't make enough money to watch 14-year olds act like 6-year olds.)

We stayed in cabins for 3 nights, ate hot dogs every day, learned nature-stuff, crossed a scary elevated rope bridge, ran half-naked in the rain, and felt every minute of our gender-specific cabin assignments and budding hormones. Oh, and some of the girls took Feminine napkins and spelled out "HI" in the boys' cabins.

Next year I'm gonna chaperone Boy-child's 4th grade trip to Lake Michigan. Can you hook me up with some of those pills? And teach me how to play guitar?
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 3:51 AM  
wow ...
Blogger s@bd, at 7:04 AM  
I got a charge out of a story a friend of mine told me about camping and food. He's an advisor to a Venturer company with Scouts Canada. They planned a camping trip and told the boys - of high school age - that they could bring whatever they wanted for food. Once on the trip the advisors were eating... much like we always do when we camp... BETTER than at home!

Meanwhile, the boys are chowing down on instant noodles and trail mix. One said, almost in disgust:

"I didn't think we could bring REAL food, I thought we had to bring CAMPING food!"

...lots of ort there, I'm sure!
Blogger Turtle Guy, at 7:06 AM  
BTW... there's something waiting for you over at the Armchair...
Blogger Turtle Guy, at 10:03 AM  

Say sump-tun