Camping with my 11yr old

Last weekend, October 18th-19th, Senta took Zoey to Chicago…This is not about that trip. The same weekend Senta took Zoey, Nolan had an 11 yr old campout scheduled with the older boy scouts in our ward, and thanks to some helpful family members, who where willing to sleep over at our place, to watch the rest of the kids, I was able to take him.

The day started off with a huge work project, we moved 2 departments from our location in Dearborn, to a location in Southfield. The morning went ok, and I was looking good on meeting the scouts at 5:30. Our group went to the new location at 2:00 to meet with the moving company so we could unload and setup the computers…they where late…2 hours late. We started setting computers up at 4:00, and finished around 6:00. I made it home, packed the car, and was out the door with Nolan by 7:00. We arrived sometime around 7:45 to discover that the older boys bailed, and opted for a sleep over  instead, and one of the 11 yr old scout leaders had to work. So it was Nolan and another boy, his dad, the scout master and me. The older boys scout master also come to the campout and hung for a bit.

Dinner consisted of bacon wrapped hot dogs, and S’mores. Nolan, not a huge fan of hot dogs, discovered it was quite easy to cook bacon on a campfire with a stick. After dinner, we cleaned up, prepared for bed, and went to sleep. It got pretty cold that night, so rather than dealing with a freezing son, I brought our tent heater…yep they make them. I have a 2 man backpacking tent, that is designed to keep heat in, as well as providing a sheltered vestibule, its basically a modernized pup wp_ljhk_20131019_001tent. The heater gets that thing warm…it was around 40 degrees outside, but inside the tent, Nolan was sleeping on top of his sleeping bag. The only downside was when I turned the heater off, Nolan forgot it was there and accidently touched the grate, it gave him what he said, was a pretty cool looking burn mark.

Around 4:00am the rain started…and it didn’t stop…

We woke up the next morning, broke down camp, and made breakfast…all in the rain. Nolan made pancakes, and did a great job. after we where all cleaned up, we made our way to the Island Lake Shooting wp_ljhk_20131019_003Range. the older boys meet us up there, some of them where working on their rifle merit badge while others their shotgun merit badge. Nolan, was going to shoot rifles, but first he had to get his protection gear…he was supper excited he got “budder” glasses…(Minecraft thing)

As we walked down to the rifle range, Nolan got nervous. He said “I don’t really want to shoot”…I told him, just shoot one clip, and if it’s not your thing we can leave.  Nolan was shooting a Ruger Sr-22, which fires a .22 caliber round. Nolan though it was neat that it had a scope on it . The range only allows 6 rounds to be loaded at a time, but that’s all it took. Nolan loved it…He went through about 40 rounds, and then tried a few rounds on a lever action .22, then he was to cold and wet for it to be fun anymore so we made our way back to the car and headed home. It was a good day…It was the first time in a long time he said to me “Dad, thanks for bringing me, this was fun”