Suzi Beech and Family

This blog is about my family and my trials and tribulations as a work-from-home mom of twins.

I made it through Camp! August 3, 2009

Cub Scouts at campfire

Cub Scouts at campfire

Let me start by saying it has been one hectic month!  We went from the fun and games of the kids’ 8th birthday, straight into some new experiences for us.  The first was Gus’ first time at overnight camp.  He and his Cub Scout den went to a two-night, three-day camp called Cub World.  They had a blast.  He came home exhausted and missing a few shirts, but happy as a little lark.

Happy Cub Scout

Happy Cub Scout

My hat is really off to the adults who chaperoned.  I can only imagine what it was like to be in charge of those 11 young men.  The chaperones had to pitch and sleep in tents (on the ground, in the heat!!).  This alone, I fear, would’ve made me so grumpy that I would’ve been a not-so-patient Mommy helper. Good thing I didn’t go along!  I’m not really much of a camper.

Philip, Ruby and I drove out to the camp on the last day so Gus could give us a tour of the place and show us all the cool activities.  They boys got to sleep in a giant wooden teepee with built-in bunks where they could put their sleeping bags.  It was a cool structure, but in full sun and very hot.  They also happened to be near the end of the giant slip-and-slide the camp had set up.  This, apparently, led to some flooding issues.  The boys thought this was hysterical, the parents found it not so funny (especially when their own tents began flooding and had to be picked up and moved…).

There was a little “trading post” where the boys could buy inexpensive junk…I mean little treasures…which were scout with bow and arrowpromptly lost, eaten (candy!!), or broken.  We did have fun shooting bb’s, winging garbanzo beans with slingshots and trying to shoot with a bow and arrow.  The boys also did some leather working, whittling (earned their whittling chips and now can handle and own knives…or, at least, so say the Scouts, this mom’s not going for it!) and branding on wooden pieces.

We had only one night to go from Cub World onto our next first – Girl Scout day camp.  I was a week-long, full-time volunteer, which got me a discounted rate and meant Gus got to come along and be in the boys unit.  This was Ruby’s first year attending camp and we had been looking forward to it for a very long time.  Unfortunately, it

Camp - this-a-way

Camp - this-a-way

coincided with a record-breaking heatwave here in Oregon.  Even though it was hot, it was still lots of fun.

I am both happy and sad that our camps are over for the summer.  They were both fun experiences and definitely the stuff childhood memories are made of, but I’m happy to have my kids and “normal” life back!

I have pictures of both activities and will get them posted very soon.  I’m going to save telling all about Girl Scout camp for another post.

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Fishing Trip with the Cub Scouts June 12, 2009

Welcome to Horning's Hideout

Welcome to Horning's Hideout

I tagged along on my son’s Cub Scout troop’s fishing trip yesterday.  We went to a beautiful place in North Plains (Oregon, where I live) called Horning’s Hideout.  There were the two troop leaders, myself and 11 Cub Scouts.

Horning’s Hideout is a beautiful place about 25 minutes or so from Portland.  They specialize is outdoor weddings and have a couple of ponds for fishing, camping areas, paddle boats, Frisbee golf…all kinds of fun outdoor things to keep folks busy.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any decent pictures of the many pretty peacocks on the grounds.  Every time one of them would get close enough for a decent shot, my dog would try to get at them, so I had my hands full!  I did get a pretty picture of this butterfly, though.

Butterfly on Rhododendron

Butterfly on Rhododendron

Two of the boys (brothers) had brought their own fishing poles and tackle boxes.  One of them wanted to use his stuff, the other chose to use the gear provided by Horning’s.  All the boys who used the rods and bait provided caught fish within minutes of tossing in their line.  Seriously, half the boys had already caught their quota (one whole trout!…each!…woohoo!) before the other half even got bait on their hooks.  The boys who wanted to use the fake, neon green “worms” out of the personal tackle box had absolutely no luck.  We waited and recasted and recasted…no bites at all.  Finally, even though they didn’t want to hurt the wiggly little wormies, we convinced them to use the live bait.  Minutes later, their fish had been caught, too.  It was a wild 30 minutes of lines flying, hooks being baited, fish flopping on the dock and much, much, squealing, yelling and shouting.  There were only a few hook mishaps and tangled lines – not bad considering the pace the fish were flying out of the water!  Those red hook-puller things did a great job of getting those hooks out of the fish.  I don’t remember

Nico tied up on the dock

Nico tied up on the dock

having those when I was a kid.  Very handy!

I had to tie Nico up on the dock so I could help the boys.  She didn’t like that very much and cried until some of the boys went over and played with her.  She’s such a baby!

Before we knew it, it was time to head back up the hill and clean our fish.  The boys were pretty much horrified, as was the one leader who had never been fishing before.  I like fishing and gutting the fish doesn’t bother me at all, but it’s not my favorite thing to do, especially with the number of fish that needed cleaning.  Luckily, our hostess at Horning’s came to help!  She was terrific and tried to get the boys interested in the fish insides.  She pointed out their “parts” like liver, gullet, lungs…I think our

How to Clean a Fish

How to Clean a Fish

inexperienced leader almost threw-up at that point!  They did have this helpful sign with instructions posted near the cleaning stations.  I thought they were pretty funny.  I was

Gus holding his big catch

Gus holding his big catch

surprised the Scouts were so standoffish when it came to holding onto their fish.  They all thought they were too slimy.  One boy told me he wouldn’t eat “that kind of fish.”  He only ate the kind from the grocery store.  It’s odd how out of touch they are with where their food comes from!  I hope the rest of the families enjoyed eating their son’s catches as much as we did (well, when I say “we” I mean Philip and I…Gus had a couple of bites Ruby might’ve tasted it, but that was it!).

It was a pretty exhausting couple of hours. Those boys are full of energy, let me tell you!  I was really glad I got to join them on the trip.  I spend so much time with the Girl Scouts, I was afraid my son was going to think I didn’t want to hang out with the Boy Scouts.  I am so lucky to be my own boss and have the flexibility to be able to take time to do these things!