Like all great and wonderful parents, I signed my son up for Beavers hoping I'd be able to drop him off and escape for an hour a week. After I remembered that I had another child, I also remembered he's probably going to learn fun things like starting fires and how to read a map. Which means I won't be able to say "just a short trip" when we're driving across hell's half acre again. And I should hide the matches.
So it was with considerable trepidation that we made our way to the Beaver Hike so we could schlep around the local green space then congregate with 30 other kids around a little fire pit and try to roast wieners and marshmallows. Frankly I'm surprised no one got a flaming marshmallow in the eye. To make it even more exciting, the campsite was right on the edge of a 20 foot drop off into the creek. Fun!
Guess where the boys all wanted to sit. You guessed it, next to the drop off.
Truthfully (and I say truthfully because of course everything else here is a total lie) it was enjoyable. The fall foliage was beautiful, the air was just crisp enough to be invigorating, and the boys had a blast. A few leaders grumbled about the lack of organization, but I don't think a single boy complained. Funny, that.
The other parents provided great people viewing opportunities for me. Yes, I'm one of those people that thinks she's surreptitiously sneaking glances at others when in fact I'm probably standing there staring at them so hard that I'm starting to mimic their facial expressions. No lie (more lies!) I've caught myself doing that. But the parents are hilarious:
Former Girl Guide: spending her time saying things like "remember when we did this in Girl Guides" I find myself strangely attracted to her. No, not in THAT way but kind of like I wanted desperately to be liked by the cool girls in Girl Guides when I was Looser Mc-Looserton with one earring and a mop of messy red hair. Unfortunately I don't know any of the campfire songs she tries to start singing so I flunk out of the cool girl club. Again.
Skater Dude All Alone In Woodsmanville: With his bleached blond hair and the funky nest of hair JUST on the bottom of his chin (it kind of looks like a big brown cotton ball) he most decidedly does NOT fit in with the rest of the male leaders, most of whom are carrying axes and know how to use them. I half expected him to stand around the fire warming himself, turn to me and say "puff puff give dude".
Grandma and Grandpa Taking Over for Mom and Dad: Of course someone begged off of parental duties this evening and made grandma and grandpa go on the hike with the kids. I felt a little sorry for the kids, especially since grandpa risked a hip injury trying to climb down the bank to retrieve a marshmallow stick while everyone else stared, some checking their cell phone service to see if they could get a line out to 911 if they needed to.
Hitler Mom: overheard telling her son exactly how to play Red Light Green Light and telling him to listen carefully in Chinese Telephone. Missed the point completely I think.
By the end of the hike I was sufficiently plied with hot chocolate, perfectly toasted marshmallows and half a cold weiner and we headed home. Just in time because one second it was dusk and the next it was night time.