Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Camping

Wet describes Sunday.

Over the weekend my son and I were camping with the Boy Scouts. We were at Treasure Island, an island in the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia council runs the camp, the oldest Scout camp in the country.

About a third of the Troop's boys came on this trip, and 6 of them opted to try sleeping in hammocks. They were joined with 2 other leaders. I, on the other hand, decided to stay in a tent as usual, as did 4 other boys (my son included). The camp site had one lean-to and about a dozen of tent platforms, upon which our tents were pitched

Friday night was fine... the sky was clear, and the temps mild. Saturday, we were warned, was supposed to be rainy all day, but we got by with only clouds. Around 11:30 PM, as the leaders retired, a few rain drops started falling. All of the hammock users had at least one additional line above their hammock, for suspending a tarp over their bedding to keep the elements off them.

Around 1:30 AM, I was in my tent, and felt as if a draft was on my shoulder. It had been raining pretty hard by then, and I thought it might have been moisture, but couldn't be sure. I checked the floor outside of my sleeping bag, felt nothing unusual, so I went back to sleep.

Around 2:30, I rolled over into a puddle. My tent did have a small by decisive puddle running through it.

So there I was, stumbling out of my tent, in the rain, heading for the vacant (but dry) lean-to and to fire up some coffee. Before too long, the other adults came in, because they were too cold.

None of the boys were either cold or wet, all night long, but we adults played cards and drank coffee for a couple of hours. Around 4:30, the assistant Scoutmaster got a fire started (in the rain!) while a few of us caught some zzz's in the lean-to.

In the morning, one of the boys told me no wonder your tent leaked... you didn't set it up right! Now it's my job to find a nice day to set-up and air-out the tent.

However, there is an advantage to having a son who is Boy Scout!

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