Widgets Magazine

Jun 15, 2011


In 2008 when the Dog Walker was fourteen, he was all excited about finishing his merit badges to earn his Eagle Scout award. It takes 21 badges to earn the Eagle and some of them are required. One of the hardest is Camping. Camping was one of the original 57 badges created in 1911, and to earn it a scout has to spend 20 days and 20 nights camping either with his troop or his family. 

Family campout 2010
We started keeping track when the Dog Walker was an 11-year-old scout. For each trip he would either take pictures and log the dates or draw pictures of what they did while they were camping. He got five days each for his 12 and 13-year-old scout camps, so that gave him a pretty good jump. Fathers and sons times three years, plus several family camping trips and he was at 19. We were excited about this, knowing that with the May Fathers and sons camp he would be at the required 20. That same weekend we made an appointment with the counselor and showed up on his doorstep with all the requirements. 

Dog Walker
The Dog Walker proudly presented all of his pages and dates to the counselor (who also happened to be his scout leader). Everything was perfect except for one thing…we didn’t have enough campouts. "But we counted so carefully," I protested. Our very patient scout leader pointed to each individual camp and ticked up the numbers. When he got to the second scout camp, instead of assigning it multiple days, he only counted it as one! Apparently you only get the full number of nights the first time you go to scout camp. The Dog Walker was devastated. 

We headed back home and my brain was churning. Once again, I was seven months pregnant with Curly and not excited about the prospects of doing any camping. Unfortunately, there weren’t many other options for us. So we pulled out the calendar and planned a trip to a nearby campsite for the first weekend in June. It seemed pretty silly to haul all of our stuff 20 miles down the road just so we could sleep in a tent, but that’s exactly what we did. 
Pic credit

Willow Park was a huge flat area with some trees, a playground, and lots of mosquitoes. We pitched the tent in the center of all of them. There weren’t many other people around that particular evening and we found out later that it is because they chose that day to spray the area with pesticides. Somebody came around and warned us to stay in our tent between 5 and 6 in the morning…. 

Anyway, we camped as close to the nearest restroom as possible, but I had been getting up four or five times every night and even that 300 feet to the restroom seemed impossible. I slept in my clothes with my shoes at the ready. I spent several minutes in fervent prayer, asking for intervention so that I would be able to make it through the night even though I hadn’t been able to for several months. As I drifted off, one last trip down the road seemed like a grand idea. 

The next thing I knew, the sun was up and it was morning. My bladder was definitely urging me to get up and quickly, but the kids were already stirring and it was time to start breakfast. I am so grateful for these small and simple things that remind me that even the seemingly impossible can be accomplished if you believe in the power of prayer. 


Cori said...

Thanks for stopping by :) I love your story..a true mommy moment when you packed up to go 20 miles just to make your son happy! I hope for a big family too! Yours is beautiful :)


Prima Donna said...

oh i remember that... but only the playground:) i also remember getting a little lost trying to find it or maybe i was so anxious to camp i thought we did because it felt like it was taking forever. i hate mosquitos!

LeAnn said...

This one brought a smile to my face. We have three Eagle Scouts and it does take great committment by the parents. I can the trips to the bathroom too. This was a very awesomepost.
Blessings to you!

Stacey said...

I don't know how you do it all.


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