Monday, August 9, 2010
the boys are back in town
Did you know that you can go two weeks and only take a couple of showers? (Swimming in a river probably counted as one, and being out in a thundershower was probably the other one.) Did you know that you can go a week wearing the same "conson's" (KUH-sawns)? That's the Cajun word for underwear. Mothers of boys probably know these things.
Anyway, the whole group smelled. I can imagine what the other patrons of the establishment where they stopped for lunch thought. They probably finished their meals quickly - if they were able to continue eating at all....
It was a great trip, by all accounts. They whitewater-rafted on the Ocoee River. They spent an entire day riding go-carts at the Nascar Speedpark. They ate pizza. And bar-b-q. They spent ten days immersed in the Boy Scout culture with 40,000 other scouts. They said that at times, in whatever direction you looked there were other Boy Scouts, all going the same direction that they were. They traded patches and made new friends - some of whom have already shown up on Facebook. My guys reconnected with an old friend who now lives in another state. They slept several nights on the bus, one night in a cave, many in a tent, one under a tarp, and another in a church basement. They were treated kindly by strangers. They participated in a 5K run/walk. They earned merit badges and came home hungry to start working on a religious emblem. They attended Mass concelebrated by 4 Bishops, a couple of dozen priests and deacons, and attended by 14,000 or so other scouts. They spent 2 days seeing the sights in Washington, DC, part of a day in Chattanooga, and time crawling around in a cave on a "wild" tour.
Hopefully there were seeds planted that will bear good fruit and memories that were made that will last a lifetime. For what they did, the price tag was very reasonable, but still a stretch for the family budget. I hope that some day they will appreciate the sacrifice.
This is the group on Saturday night as they gathered the final time to hear the final Scoutmaster Minute. This was usually a short story about someone who demonstrated some kind of virtue - never give up, treat others kindly, do the right thing.... In a parking lot with over 100 people, there was quiet. A prayer of thanksgiving was offered, the Scoutmaster offered his final reflection - with no need for a microphone. There were no mosquitoes noted to be present. I think it might have had something to do with the aroma that hung over the gathering - body odor and dirty clothes, with a touch of mildew. It was good; very good.