Spring Camporee was pretty OK. We arrived at the campground around 5:00pm and had the campsite set up in short order. We did not bring a canopy for the kitchen, but opted to use a tarp instead. The first iteration of hanging the tarp was pretty awful. I took it down and made another stab that came out much more betterer.

Camp Kitchen

Camp Kitchen

This photo came out pretty bad, which is good, because none of the kids can be identified in it. I don’t post pictures of other people’s kids here as a general rule, but this one is just so bad. Looking at the meta-data for the photo, I noticed it has a half second aperture, and an ISO of 100. I know better than to try to take a picture of moving kids (or even a still scene without a tripod) with that kind of aperture, and I never select an ISO of 100 (preferring 80, but in a dark situation, I’ll try 200 or 400 – but 100? never!) From this I can conclude that I must have had the camera set on AUTO. Oh well.

Saturday morning was a bit of a disaster. My mistake was in making up the breakfast, lunch, and dinner crews. I put all girls on lunch, and all boys on breakfast. It took them 90 minutes to cook breakfast, and they were late for flag raising. There was no time for them to straighten their tents. Inspection came pretty much right after flag raising, and we didn’t do as well as I would have liked. I will not likely repeat that mistake, and will take my Great Uncle Elbert’s observation to heart:

“A boy’s a boy, two boys is half a boy, and three boys is no boy at all.”

I had four boys on breakfast. I got them up 15 minutes earlier on Sunday, and they did much better.

On Sunday they competed in the events. The first was the “Tea Boil.” This is the one for which I baked the log. The judges were admiring our log selection. Other clubs brought 10 inch logs (which kids had to split with a hatchet? I don’t think so!) Ours was four inches in diameter, knot free, and bone dry (I guess the baking helped).

Our kids split it in under five minutes and had kindling-size pieces in short order. Then they made a nice pile of shavings and set them on fire. And watched it burn out as I prompted them repeatedly to add wood. “Add wood! Add wood! Add wood! It’s going to go out! Add wood!” Not knowing what I meant by “Add wood!” they looked around, selected a single stick of wood, and laid it next to the fire. By then, the shavings had burnt themselves out. They repeated this many times over the next 40 minutes, never achieving a flame large enough to boil the water. I guess we should have practiced a little more.

The second event went much better. They actually managed to light a fire with a spindle, fire board, and rope. Woot!

Fire from Friction

Fire from Friction

That was pretty cool.

The competitions ran a little on the long side (only one group managed to boil their water as far as I know), so we were a little late getting out of there. But we did break camp pretty quickly. Melissa treated us to ice cream at Friendly’s (I had some black Raspberry which was to die for).

So! That’s the camporee.

In other news, my Mom went back in the hospital this morning with more TIA’s. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about her. She also had a nasty cough when I spoke to her on the phone this morning. I learned since that she has a touch of pneumonia (which doesn’t make me feel any less worried). She is getting gunk out of her lungs though, and I’m glad to hear that. If you pray, please add her to your list.