Deer Camp TUESDAY (with photos!)

By Eric Fretz - Posted on 31 July 2012

Tuesday Update!

Today dawned clear and dry.. a perfect day for going underground!  The lads fired up their stoves and made three different breakfasts.  We make a habit of strolling by (nonchalantly of course) as they cook, just to see if some elder wisdom is in order.  FOR EXAMPLE - I noted to Jack Wallace that perhaps putting all the individual packets of instant oatmeal in a pot, making it, and THEN serving it into bowls might not have been the MOST efficient plan.  As the suggestion fully dawned on him he looked down at the messy pot of oatmeal he was cleaning and said "ohhhhhhh".   Next up was Kyle who was struggling valiantly to make a non-ragged pancake, but with no oil in the pan, it was not to be.  When I pointed out they could have saved their sausage grease, OR borrowed bacon grease from a nearby group, OR come up to the adults and gotten actual cooking oil, they said "ohhhhhh".   And lastly was Nate whose group somehow took 90 minutes to feed four boys some bacon, eggs and grilled toast.  I have no explanation as to how they were still cleaning as we arrived to go caving.  ADDITIONALLY, I have a problem with them having leftover UNCOOKED bacon.  I find this unAmerican, frankly, and we will work on proper bacon consumption!  : )

Caving was a blast.  We went to the absolute bottom of the Laurel caverns, the more advanced spelunking adventure we could not take earlier in the week because all the boys were not 12. Well, technically, they STILL aren't but after being told repeatedly he was 12, Indiana gamely replied, "oh, YEAH... i AM twelve!".  We went nearly 500 feet down over about a half mile of cave.   Our guide always gave two routes when possible, the easy way and the hard/wet/cramped way.  Guess which way the boys chose?  However, Scouter Fretz and Scouter Jim preferred the easy button.  Scouter Jim's declared strategy was to stay behind me, as any crack I could crawl through would have to be safe for him.  At the very bottom of the cave, we sent the boys down to find the bottom, and then the guide called down "Hey, forgot to tell you, it's a dead end!  come on back".  ha ha.  We then began our ascent back up, which was a good workout.  The boys enjoyed a new game, called Cave Slap, which involved waiting (or not) for someone near you to be engaged holding onto rocks or working through a crevice and you zipped in and slapped their face while calling out "Cave Slap!!".  Ahh, good times.  Not the MOST immature game I have come up with, but close. 

Upon our successful return topside, the staff offered the boys a free soda from a stash of "expired" soda.  Um, yeah, thanks.  Later on at the picnic tables, we had to stage and intervention and hold Drew down and pry other kids' Mountain Dew out of his hands.  I think he'll be OK though.   Having been sunny the entire time we were underground, it of course began to rain and HAIL on us heading home.  Mr. Fretz had driven by a place called 'Nate Doggs" so many times, he declared he had to stop and check it out.  It turns out it is a giant beer place, BUT they do have hotdogs, so we each got a dog.  There was a documentary on the TV about Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and several of them wanted to stay, but we have a strict policy about media exposure, lol!!  The fact that one car got to stop, precipitated a general mutiny, which Scouter Steve put down by decreeing that all could head to town for ice cream.  (he's the Scoutmaster for a REASON, people!!) 

So, now I sit in the rain as they have left back to camp, sneaking some free wi-fi from WV outfitters.  I saw the Venture crew coming back off the river. Nathan Patel reports that Mason was "shredding it" today.  I assume that is pretty good, but I don't know from kayaking.  When your son gets to the point of going on Venture trips with Troop 8, you have pretty much given up and are just happy to have him come home alive, ha.  : )   Jackson and Chris similarly looked pretty happy.  Tim came back with a broken paddle... apparently he continues to kayak upside down, and broke a paddle today.  But hey, when your mom is troop treasurer, I'm sure it will all get worked out, ha ha!!  Might need to mow a few more lawns...

The drizzle has stopped, so I'll post now and head back to camp.  Tomorrow they are on the river doing kayaking with Bob (as we steal the venture kayaks during their off day). 

From Deer Camp,

- E