And I have no pictures to show for it. Eli has his first Boy Scout "outing" this weekend, and I grossly misunderstood what it was he was doing when I signed him up and paid my $50. I knew they would be camping, and the leader talked about a 5 mile hike, but I stopped listening at that point. That is, until C started compulsively listing off packing lists that didn't make any sense. I assumed that the boys, and several parents, would be parking, unloading gear into a camp spot, teaching the boys how to put up enormous tents, and then trekking off to a "grueling" 5 mile hike. I also assumed that I could get away with sending him with a hodgepodge of gear from our stash, and maybe new boots if I got a good deal on them.
OMG. This is why every kid event should send home paperwork. We went to the REI garage sale to see about *maybe* getting a few of the basics and only got the boots (but yay!) We decided to go check out the full price packs, so that we could start budgeting and also to have an idea of size etc. As we were looking, on a whim, I thought I'd call the troop leader just to make sure I had the basics covered. You know where this is going, right?
So no. No hodgepodge and no car camping. The WHOLE troop (from 10-17 year olds) is backpacking 5 miles, carrying all. the. things. before they will be setting up camp in the wilderness. There will be NO adults except the troop leaders.
Just so you get an idea of what we're facing, we don't allow our kids to do sleepovers. And now I'm sending him off into the woods with strangers to share a tent with a kid he doesn't know and hoping that he won't die (or be weird or get picked on.) So what's a mom (and a dad, don't let him fool you) do with all that anxiety? We buy shit. We bought the boots. And the pack. Last night I made a rush trip to the sporting goods store for the sleeping bag and gear clips. I just talked to C today and he's buying "non-cotton underwear."
This month was supposed to be a continuation of the frugality we were experimenting with last month, and instead I've broken out the credit cards we just paid off to buy backpacking gear I wasn't planning for. Everytime I think about it I want to puke a little. But then I think how cool it is that my 10 year old is going on a 5 mile backpacking trip without either of us and that's pretty awesome.
So, I guess what I'm asking is this. Please, for the love of all things holy, let this kid go on at least two more trips so I don't feel stupid for buying that damn pack.