Our son’s 9th grade class went on a camping trip in the first week of September. It was his first one, and in a sense, Ralph’s and mine as well. Josh (that’s my son’s name) is on the small side for his age, so we had been reluctant to let him go on camping trips when he was younger. But now he’s 14 and there really was no stopping him this time. It was only for a weekend after all. They left for Big Bear on Friday Morning and returned by 4pm on Saturday.
Being a protective mom, I wanted to make sure Josh would have everything he needed. I know he was a bit embarrassed by how much I was fussing over him, but when he got back I was glad to find out it had paid off. Even as he made us laugh with stories of kids who had forgotten their sleeping bags and had to frantically call their parents when they were already halfway to the campsite, I was happy that he didn’t have a similar experience.
Before he left, we went shopping for all the things on the list that the school had given us. The sleeping bag was at the top of the list, of course. We also got him a water bottle, new hiking shoes and a warm fleece jacket. Josh had wanted some snacks as well, but the school had been very specific about the kids not bringing their own food so that the wild life would not raid their cabins. Ralph gave Josh a flashlight that he had been using since his college days as a sort of father-son passing on tradition. I thought it was adorable, but to be on the safe side, I looked up the best rated flashlight brands 2015 and bought one with all the frills. That definitely was worth it, because Ralph’s old flashlight stopped working on the first night!
We dropped Josh off at the school at about 7 am where he got on the school bus that would be taking them to the campsite. When we left him, he was still sleepy-eyed and silent but at pick-up on Saturday, he was boisterous. His hair looked windblown and he was smiling from ear to ear and for weeks afterwards he kept mentioning different details about the trip. Ralph and I are glad he had a great time on this one, and maybe we’ll be more willing to let him go on some more in the future.