Saturday, August 16, 2008
On my honor...
Well, Noah has been having a great time at Boy Scout camp this week. (That's him in his tent above.) This has been such a good experience for him -- hanging out with friends, working on merit badges, sitting around the camp fire, swimming in the lake, and generally challenging himself to do things he's never done before. I'm sure it wasn't easy for him to be away from home for a week. I know it wasn't easy for me to have him away from home for a week, especially when the phone rings and Noah is on the other end asking for advice on his pocket-knife injury. Fortunately, it was very minor. Still, the thought of my boy in the woods with a knife on his belt or at the archery range with an arrow in his hand is a bit frightening. After all, this is the boy who used to fall down spontaneously while just walking across the room.
We were at camp for Family Night on Wednesday, and it was such a treat to see Noah looking so confident and content. I was the only one in our family wearing old hiking boots that night, so Noah asked if he could lead me through the woods -- which is a mud pit after almost daily thunderstorms -- to his camp site. I walked behind him, looking at the mud splattered all over his legs and the look of determination spread across his face, and I was so proud. Although the prospect of Noah taking on some of the more difficult or dangerous aspects of scouting (white water rafting comes to mind) sometimes scares me, I have nothing but good things to say about the Boy Scouts. They are opening up a world for him that he would otherwise never see and I can only hope that he continues to Eagle Scout, which is his hope and plan as of now.
Here's the garter snake Noah found in the fire pit.
Here's the newt he found in the grass. (I thought these creatures had better camoflage.)
Here's Noah with a toad.
Here are Dennis and Noah at Camp Rotary. Dennis was a chaperone for three of the six nights and loved every minute of it. He said he misses the quiet of his tent and the big night sky full of stars, some of them shooting.
Meanwhile back at the ranch...I took the girls to Five Rivers Environmental Center, which is a wonderful nature center just a few miles from our house. As you can see, the perennial garden is in full bloom. There are hiking trails and streams and a lake. Plus, in the actual center you can watch a really cool one-winged owl munch on a mouse. We love this place.