Had I written this post on Sunday when I got back from a scout camping trip with my son, the title of this post would have been something like “Desert Camping Stinks – And There’s Not Enough Deodorant to Fix it”, “Cacti Are Poor Substitutes for Trees”, or “Desert Camping – Don’t Do It…Ever.”
Thankfully, I’ve had a couple days to recuperate and change my attitude.
But I can’t change the facts. The temperature was in the high nineties; there wasn’t a single shade tree as far as the eye could see (a distance diminished by the clouds of dust that hung in the air); bees apparently like heat and dust; the Porta Potties were…never mind, I won’t go there; and it was hot. Oh, did I mention that one already?
Now that my perspiration-soaked clothes have been replaced by dry ones and my camping odor has been erased by several days of Bath and Body Works Pearberry scent, I can see the parts of the weekend that were brighter than my sunscreen-coated fair skin (as it got seared by the sun.)
The scouts spent Saturday rotating through twelve activity stations. They had half an hour to complete the tasks, which included a cow patty toss (not real ones, thankfully), panning for gold, wrist rockets (which are like sling shots), air rifles, archery, and several activities that relied heavily on teamwork.
The boys didn’t win any ribbons, but I am proud of their efforts. Their teamwork was especially great. They worked together to complete some difficult challenges and although a couple of them came close to tears of frustration, not a single one gave up. They even cheered on the competition, which the game organizers noted.
Yes, I am thankful that the good stays in the forefront of my memories, weakening my recollection of reality the bad and the dusty: the dehydration headache, accidentally picking up a dead cactus, the aggravation of my son repeatedly calling me “mean”, the centipede that visited our campsite (my imagination painted many relatives invading our tent – specifically my sleeping bag), and of course – the thick film of dirt covering every exposed inch of skin, and somehow even skin that was clothed.
As for the dirt, I don’t know which I find more disturbing: (1) the discovery that I have so many creases in my neck, or (2) the fact that so much grime could settle in these previously unnoticed creases.
I have a renewed appreciation for soap and running water… and the hectic nature of the next three months. There are no camping trips planned until spring!
I know some of you have warned me (repeatedly) about the hardships of camping, but I am a
glutton for punishment mother of two boys – I can’t avoid it. If you must say “I told you so,” please be kind 🙂
Centipede image via zoochat.com