I was pretty busy yesterday. The Pathfinders are headed to Rhode Island on Wednesday for the Atlantic Union Camporee. Paul, our conference’s Associate Pathfinder Director was to take our trailer there today (Monday), so we needed to get it packed yesterday (Sunday).

Sunday was also the day we had planned to sweep the church parking lot. Everyone was to arrive at 2:00pm for that, and they were supposed to bring all their personal camping gear with them so we could get it loaded into the trailer.

Before the clock struck 2:00, I exchanged our empty propane tanks for two full ones, and bought some other supplies that we found we were out of at the last campout. I also took the canvases for our new kitchen shelter out of my garage where they had been drying for a week.

While some of the kids swept the parking lot, I had one staff member checking everyone’s gear. I had made a list, and they were supposed to bring everything on it. Most did, but others will be bringing a few forgotten items on Wednesday.

I was also planning to empty the trailer before we reloaded it. This would give us the opportunity to cull out things we did not need to haul, inventory what we had, and while the trailer was empty, refit the shelving. The shelves have been racking front-to-back and also they’ve had a tendency to tip towards the center aisle (but only towards the back). This puts a lot of stress on the two-by stock that supports them. I engineered some bracing that should put an end to that. The challenge was to brace the shelving in a way that wouldn’t present a nice surface for perpetual head-bumping. We also swept out the trailer for the first time since we bought it (it was filthy!)

Then at 4:00, we started a regular meeting. I had to rearrange our schedule because one of our counselors was going to arrive late. Paul was there to teach the Fire Fighting and Fire Safety honors we’ve been putting together, so we worked on that first. While we were doing that, two other staff members went out and bought the non-perishable food items for our trip. We wanted to compare our shopping list with our inventory before buying anything, and by clearing out the trailer, we were able to do that.

They arrived back in the nick of time, and then the kids practiced their drill routine while we loaded the just-bought food into the trailer. Our fancy drill team will compete in Rhode Island, so this was pretty much the last practice, except for whatever we wedge in while we’re there.

It was a long day, filled with logistical challenges, and I am very pleased with how it all came together (even though it seemed it wouldn’t at times). I think I can say that because of all this planning, we should have less “adventure” next week, and instead just have fun.

Before the meeting ended, we had refitted the trailer, reloaded it with the things we need, and Paul hauled it off. It should have had room to spare so Paul could fit the things he wanted to bring too (a pair of full-sized model mooses, one male, one female). Pretty sure they’ll fit.

It was a long day. I still have a few loose ends I need to wrap up (mostly paper work, but also some perishable food purchases), but I think I’m pretty much ready to go.


This morning Beth went out to play and saw our next door neighbors shooting arrows. She remembered that the boys each have bows, and came in asking me if I would teach her how to shoot. I figured why not? I asked David if I could borrow his bow (if Beth had asked, we would have gotten a different answer). Then I showed her how to nock an arrow, draw the string, and release. We’ll work on aim another time. She got to the point where she could actually shoot pretty decently. She’s not hitting a target yet, but the arrows aren’t coming out sideways either. I call that pretty good for a six-year-old.

I planted seven more squash seeds in the places where they did not come up. Surely this is too late in the year, but hey! we’ll see what happens!

Around lunchtime I loaded a bicycle into the trunk of my car and took it over to Samuel’s house. Samuel is a refugee from Sudan who is in our Pathfinders club. He asked if he could have a bike at the yard sale we had on Memorial Day, but the only ones we had left when it was over were both broken. One was missing a pedal and the other was missing a seat. I took the seat off the one that was missing a pedal and attached it the the other one, so that left me with one pretty worthless bike and one fully functional one.

I had intended to take it to him last week, but it rained almost every day, and I did not relish the thought of loading and unloading a bike in the rain. I was planning to go into Concord anyway today, so it was not really a special trip. I did stop at Walmart first and bought him a $4.00 bike lock. Otherwise, I don’t think he would have that bike for very long.

Samuel was not home when I went by, but his aunt Paska was walking up the sidewalk just as I arrived. She knocked and hollered, but no one came out. I dragged the bike out of the trunk and reattached the front wheel (had to take it off to get it in the trunk). Then Paska and I wheeled it behind his house, parked it outside his back door, and I locked it up. I peeled the sticker off the lock and stuck it to the inside of his storm door. I meant to call and let him know where it is, but I forgot. Maybe Paska will tell him, or he’ll figure it out, or he’ll call me (he does have my number). I’ll call tomorrow and check on him if I don’t hear anything.

After that I went over to the church to meet Warran. We had arranged to install a vent on the roof of the Pathfinder trailer, and we did just that. I had forgotten to bring my caulk gun, so after Warran cut a hole in the roof with his saws-all, I hopped in the car and went to Home Depot for a caulk gun. The first one I saw was nearly ten dollars. The one I bought was a buck ninety-seven. Woot! As soon as I got back, we took a look at the sheet metal screws that came with the vent. Torx! Neither of us had a properly-sized torx-head driver either. So… back to Home Despot. We got some Phillips sheet metal screws instead, and finished the job just in the nick of time. A few minutes after we put the last tool away, it started pouring.

On my way home I got a call from Va wanting me to pick up some yogurt. So I went to Shaws. Before I found the yogurt I found the novelty ice cream freezer and bought a box of drumstix. I ate two of them on the way home (don’t tell anyone!)