May 30, 2014

Fathers/Sons Campout

Since we have lived in our ward, they have not done a fathers/sons campout, so when our stake decided to do one, I was determined we were going. It's one of those bucket list things I feel I have to do to fulfill my role as a father. Tomas was excited to go and Liam not so much.

Camping has never really been my thing. I like camping on the beach of Carpinteria, CA where they have nice bathrooms and hot showers. When our family used to go there each summer, we would borrow my sister's tent and between my sister's and my parents' 5th wheels, we had pretty much all the comforts of home.

For this campout, we were on our own. We don't have an abundance of camping gear. We had a tent we inherited from Katie's parents decades ago. It in practically mint condition because I don't think Katie's family every really used it much. The only problem was that it is what I call "Coleman Vintage" and we didn't have the instructions on how to put up the thing. I thought I'd find some help on the internet, but no such luck. Tomas and I decided to try to figure it out the night before in the back yard. This tent was from the era of all the different-sized poles that needed to be puzzled together. After a not-too-terribly long period of trial and error, we finally got the thing up. Tomas was a super helper. After all the work it took to get the tent up, we decided to sleep in it and have a little pre-campout. We invited Liam, but with a comfy bed only yards away, he decided to pass.

The next day, I took Liam to the store to get treats for the outing. To try and get him somewhat excited for the campout, I told him he could buy whatever he wanted and we would do whatever he wanted for food. When we got home and looked through our bags of purchases, I realized we had bought enough junk food to last us 10 campouts. I made the mistake of suggesting we buy the limited time only banana flavored Twinkies. Man, were those disgusting! For dinner, Liam decided we were not going to fix something at the campsite, but rather stop at a restaurant on the way up. It turned out we were all in the mood for Mexican, so it was burritos and quesadilla for all from Beto's.

When we arrived, we picked out our spot, and I had the boys get to work putting up the tent. I was curious to see if they could do it on there own. Tomas remembered perfectly how to assemble the tent and taught his older brother. I had to laugh a little inside whenever Tomas told Liam something like, "No, Liam. You have to angle the stakes this way."

Master tent builder

Teamwork (hee hee)
Tomas--proud of his accomplishment

Liam--yeah, whatever--he ended up sleeping in the van.
The stake put on a little program filled with the usual strange Scout skits and songs. The boys and I wanted to ditch that, but I thought we should be supportive. We were anxious to get on to bigger and better things such as S'MORES.

 He may not look it, but I think Liam is enjoying this a little.

Tomas knows how to perfectly brown marshmallows.

We brought all kinds of things to make gourmet s'mores. This was my favorite combination.

I should be able to come up with a funny caption for this, but the brain isn't working at the moment. Any ideas?

Oh no, Liam and been turned into a zombie.
In the end, Tomas and I had a lot of fun, and Liam didn't think it was too bad. My guess is this might be the only time Liam and I will get to do one of these campouts together. So, I'm really glad we did. Tomas and I, however, are now ready to take on the next one. Maybe we'll try cooking our own dinner.