Chris, Ross and I spent Memorial Day weekend at Cub Scout family camp. The local council owns some prime acreage on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, which is called Camp Easton. It was a beautiful setting for a very busy weekend.
Here's Ross in front of our tent (provided in the weekend package). We got a prime spot, not too far away from the bathrooms and showers, dining hall, etc.
Boys and their families were divided up into groups, and each group was guided to the various activities by a Boy Scout. Our "traveler" was Mike, a Star Scout from Post Falls, Idaho. This was his first time at this camp, and he endured some ribbing from the parents and kids, but he did a great job. Here's a group picture of all of the kids.
The boys had a lot of activities. Ross was especially excited about the BB gun range. The boys got a lot of safety instructions before they were allowed to shoot. Chris and the range master worked very hard with Ross, who was having a hard time figuring out which is his dominant (aiming) eye. Finally, he figured out that he has to use his left eye, and once he did that, he shot pretty well. He was very disappointed, though, that he didn't shoot a good enough score to get a BB gun pin for his uniform. Chris and I told him that he did very well for never having shot before! After a while, I think he realized that with a little practice, he'll be able to earn his pin next year.
They made lots of crafts, learned how to do some magic tricks, ran an obstacle course, shot wrist rockets (using dog food ammunition!), tried archery, and learned about the US flag. They got to practice folding a flag, using a huge one (like you see at car dealerships or Perkins).
Sunday night, everyone participated in a flag retirement ceremony. Some Boy Scout troops perform these ceremonies as a community service, and they had brought many worn, tattered flags to this event. The Scouts had started a large campfire. One of the staff, a veteran himself, read a moving account of why we burn old flags when they are worn out. Then, he invited the other veterans in camp to carry a worn flag to the fire. The audience stood and watched solemnly as each flag was placed on the campfire. Then, the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts started carrying flags (and pieces of huge flags that had been cut up for this night) to the fire, and then the families helped, as well. As the light started to fail and the wind started to whip up the waves on the lake, we burned the flags and sang patriotic songs -- The Star-Spangled Banner, My Country Tis of Thee, etc. It was very, very moving.
It was a tiring weekend, but well worth it. I think we are all looking forward to going back next year.