V Minus One

Last night (on the 4th of July) marks day one of twenty one (three weeks) that we will be short one child.

After his initial week of C.I.T. Staff Training, #2 of 5 moved into the official "hands on" portion of his career as a C.I.T.

His first week will be filled with helping the staff operate the reservation in a "Day Camp" mode.  A Pack or Den of Cub Scouts come to the camp and partake in a select set of activities at various locations throughout the Reservation.

Weeks two and three are for Weblos Scouts (older Cub Scouts).  They spend a week at the Scout Reservation.  During these two weeks, #2 of 5 has been assigned the position of "Den Chief".  He will be assigned to a Cub Scout Pack (or Den) each week, and act as a "guide" of sorts.  He will ensure the scouts and their adult leaders are up on time, get them to their pre-scheduled activities throughout the Reservation in a timely manner, and ensure they get back to their campsite when they are finished with their daily activities.  He will act as the representative of the Phillipo Scout Reservation to that Pack/Den, helping them out with whatever needs they may have. 

He will act as the "Concierge" to his Pack/Den.

We had planned on leaving for the camp (a one hour drive) between 8:30 and 9:00 pm.  Due to an extended Fourth of July family celebration, we did not get on the road until 9:30 pm.  We watched the fireworks all over the horizon as we drove through the darkness.

When we finally arrived at Phillipo around 10:30 pm, we found the camp dark and empty.  I drove to the dining shelter (which was dimly lit) and found no one.  We drove to the Gwinn Staff Building and found that also dimly lit with no one around. I called their phone number, and got no answer.  It was so very surreal...  (cue the flashback music)


I fully expected that at any moment, and large figure in a white hockey mask, armed with a grotesquely large machete knife would lumber out of the woods and chase us all the way to Camp Crystal La... Uh, oh wait.  Camp Crystal Lake is no where near Phillipo Scout Reservation, and to the best of my knowledge - Jason Voorhees (or his mother) have never stayed at Phillipo...  Maybe I'm freaking myself out a little, huh?




Ok.  While I was not too worried about being the victim of a machete attack, it WAS really sort of odd, and a little creepy.  The Mother of Five and I decided it was time to leave.  We would return and drop him off first thing in the morning.  Just as I reached the main gate of the Reservation, a car's headlights came into view.  I pulled over and let the car pass, turned on it, and followed it as it made it's way back into the Reservation - finally pulling into the parking lot at the Gwinn Center.

There, we met one of the Full time staffers.  We explained who we were and why we were there.  The staff member quickly welcomed #2 of 5 to the Reservation, and helped him check in.

I walked #2 of 5 back through the woods to his staff campsite and his tent - only to find a bicycle parked next to it.  As #2 of 5 made his way into the tent, he stirred at least one other camper who had arrived earlier and had already "crashed" for the night.

Since #2 of 5 had the only flashlight, I stuck around outside the tent to let my eyes acclimate to the darkness, said my goodbye, and headed off down the trail in complete darkness - leaving one of my brood behind.

While it is true that he will be gone for a total of three weeks (which will seem odd – being gone for so long) - he does get a day off each week - and we plan on having him home to veg out on the couch, watch some TV, play some xBox, and do whatever teenaged boys do when they are not hiding out working in the wilderness.


  1. Leaving your kid in the middle of a rowdy bunch of kids and staffers in the broad daylight is one thing, but dropping them off in the dark, in a quiet campground...that's TOTALLY something else. Not sure I'd have been as comfy doing it as you. But then, your kids have been camping a lot with you.

  2. I'm with you on that one P&P. We had already decided that we were not going to leave him there alone.. Even if that meant another 2 hour car ride the next morning.

    I am not sure I would have left him there with just one staff member either...

    But when we met with the staffer, we found out there were several others already in camp. We just could not see them from the road we were driving on.

    Then when I walked #2 back to his campsite - and there was another CIT'er that he recognized from his initial week of training - I was much more relieved...

    I know that many folks overlook the significance of Boy Scout Training (I know I did as a kid myself - I used to tease the Boy Scouts) - but one of their core values is self reliance...

    Before I left - I did ask him if he wanted to stay or come back in the AM... He said he wanted to stay.

  3. What a great experience this will be for 2!

    The fireworks sprinkled drive sounds awesome.


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