Not a Girl Scout or a Boy Scout - a Grandma Scout

Emmitt B. Feldner • forThe Review

Some people go through a second childhood, but not my wife – she’s going through a second Scouthood.

And it’s not even Girl Scouts, it’s Boy Scouts.

Terry’s reintroduction to the Scouts is thanks to our oldest grandson Ty, who has moved up from Cub Scouts this year.

His new troop likes to keep the boys busy, with lots of activities and camping trips.

They also do a lot of fundraising activities, including a plant and flower sale that I was able to harvest a column out of last week.

The two campouts that Ty has gone on with the troop thus far have happened to fall on days when Ty’s father was busy with military duties and I was busy with work.

So that left only Grandma when they asked for parents and/or adults to go along on the campout.

She seemed more than willing to go along, even though she hasn’t roughed it out in the wilderness since probably sometime in the last millennium.

It meant a mad scramble for the equipment she needed that the troop didn’t provide.

Fortunately, we still had our old sleeping bags in the attic and, surprisingly, they were still in good shape.

Indeed, in a lot of ways, they’ve held up better over the years than the people who used to sleep in them.

What we didn’t have, though, were air mattresses or sleeping pads.

It may be just as well, as I’m not sure if either one of us could blow up an air mattress these days – at least not before it was time for bed.

She convinced our son to let her use one of his Army cots to sleep on, instead of being forced to sleep on the ground.

With that out of the way, there was the matter of finding or putting together a mess kit.

My suggestion was to take paper plates and plastic ware – we’ve got plenty of those around the house – but that apparently isn’t green enough for the Scouts.

Instead, she made another excursion deep into the attic and managed to uncover an old Scout mess kit we still had in there – not sure who it originally belonged to, but it probably should head to a museum display next.

She finally got everything together and headed out for her camping experience.

She was definitely the oldest one there, but at least she wasn’t the only one of the female persuasion – several mothers accompanied their sons and kept Terry company.

The first trip was a two-night stay at a nearby rod and gun club, where Grandma got to show off a few of her skills for her grandson – probably better than Ty’s grandfather would have been able to do.

Having survived that camping experience – Terry and the troop, both – the next was an overnight at a free fishing event in a city park nearby.

At least this time, we didn’t have to go hunting for any of the equipment she needed – just for the fishing poles, tackle and gear.

Those, though, we have used more recently than the camping equipment, so it wasn’t too diffi- cult of a search.

Despite rain and drizzle on and off, she and the Scouts managed to survive this excursion as well – and Grandma even got to show off a little bit of her fishing skills.

Again, probably better than Ty’s grandfather would have been able to do.

I don’t know if the Boy Scouts hand out any merit badges to grandmothers, but by this point I’m sure Terry has earned at least a few.

Ty’s next scheduled camping experience is a week later this summer at Boy Scout camp.

Grandma may not be able to make that one, but if she does go, I’m sure she’ll be able to help them improve the quality of the chow in the mess hall, if nothing else.

And from what I can remember of Boy Scout camp food, it can certainly use all the help it can get.

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