I’m lying in our dark tent listening to the night time activity in the tents around us. One mom is snoring, another mom is complaining about the snoring, and two boys are imitating the snoring. There are probably 40 tents just a few feet apart from one another in our little tent city. I can hear every move our neighbors make. Of course, my son is out cold, sleeping through the Noise Circus going on inches from his head. It’s just another relaxing night at Mom & Son Camp.
It’s our fifth year doing this special weekend. It’s also the final year we can take this camping trip together and I’m feeling ALL the feels. Next fall he’ll be in Boy Scouts. I hear they frown on bringing mommy along on troop camping trips.
It’s ironic. I didn’t want my son to be in Cub Scouts. The thought of all that small talk with parents I barely knew, Hell, camping with parents I barely knew, it was daunting. No, it was terrifying. And what did I know about Cub Scouts? Nada. But P was determined to join in first grade. He loved it. Took to it like a fish to water, as they say, and just like that I was committed to being his scout partner.
We’ve done a lot of neat things over the past few years- the Pinewood Derby, a sleepover at Lambeau Field, laser tag, and exploring Fort McCoy. We even slept on a World War II submarine (where I learned I’m a wee bit claustrophobic). We’ve learned knots, carving, fire starting, and bike repair. But my favorite has always been the annual Mom & Son camping weekend at Camp Rokilio.
It’s a time when we work together to plan the trip, set up the tent, and take down camp. It’s a time when the rest of our world falls away and there are no dishes to be done or homework to finish. It’s a time when we get to do things together that we probably wouldn’t take the time to do on our own. It’s a time to connect.
Whether we’re cutting wood with the two man saw, working on leather projects side by side, helping each other figure out the BB gun, or simply walking back to our tent in the dark, it’s time set aside for the two of us to be together. We don’t get a lot of that in our everyday lives. I’ll miss this next year.
Five years flew by and suddenly we’re starting his final year of Cub Scouts. I’m not going to lie. Cub Scouts has been challenging for me. I could do without the sexism. Scouting isn’t cheap. And lets be honest, plenty of small talk and camping (the snoring!) with near strangers? It was often (epically) awkward. It still is. But the experiences we’ve had together and the friends we’ve made…worth every awkward moment.
And the woman complaining about the snoring? Now she’s snoring.
*on the last morning, just before we left for the last time, we learned that any scout can participate in the Mom & Son weekend. We’ll be back next fall!