Thursday, September 12, 2013

Taking the Cubs to Camp Whitsett #cubscouts #scouting

Adventures of a Cub Scout Mom 

Me, Andrew & Joe at Camp Whitsett

Truth be told, I've got my fingers in too many "pies." It's a wonder I still have curls in my hair, but when Joe's den leader asked for an assistant and no one else volunteered, I started feeling bad for the boys and raised my hand. After all, Cub Scouts is a big adventure to a 6/7 year old.  How could I let my son down?

Being a Cub Scout assistant den leader has more pros than cons. I love watching the boys grow and learn and have fun. There's always a new adventure around the corner. My big stress is getting to the meetings on time with everything I need.

Just recently the pack (We belong to Pack 40 out of Valencia, CA) spent family cub weekend up at Camp Whitsett. The camp is up in the Sequoias near the Kern River. Kernville is the nearest town. It takes a good 3-3 ½ hours to get there.

We waited until the boys got out of school on Friday and left at 4 pm., stopping for a dinner break. We arrived at 8:15 pm at Camp Whitsett and signed in. We were staying at the Tillamook Camp. We found our way over there, unrolled our sleeping bags on the cots and passed out. I got to share a tent with Andrew, my 11-year-old. The tents are canvas and on a slightly evaluated wooden platform with 2 cots. I really can't complain about the sleeping arrangements. If anything, the porta-potty was a hike in the middle of the night. Uncomfortable.

Our Tents

The staff that runs the family camp are very friendly and helpful. We talked to a bunch while waiting in the Saturday morning breakfast line. One lady helps because her son, now a teenager, wants to be there. It just shows the positive influence of scouting in a boy's life, being outdoors, doing things with your hands, learning skills that will last a life time. These qualities resonate with a young boy and provide the building blocks for responsibility, discipline, and leadership as they get older.

The staff provides the food under a big tent. This weekend there were 400 people. For me, all the food was edible. I'm not a big complainer. Joe ate the food which is fantastic considering he's the pickiest boy I know.  (Being a fond believer in the zodiac, I just learned that Virgos can be picky eaters. Go figure. Joe is all Virgo.)

Opening Flag Ceremony

After breakfast the boys participated in a flag ceremony. Then we went back and changed into our Camp Whitsett t-shirts. We took Joe fishing first, but the trout didn't nibble on his line and he lost patience. After lunch we "tie-dyed" t-shirts and worked on beads. The boys rushed off to BB guns while I finished the beads. I caught up to them on the Archery range. The bow was as tall as Joe. He was a little tired, it being the end of the day, but he did manage to hit a target or two with the instructor's help. Afterwards, they let the adults shoot some arrows, so I got up and had a go at it. The last time I shot a bow was in junior high (about 32 years ago) and I forgot how much fun it was. After adjustments I was sticking it to the target something fierce. 

BB Gun Targets

Before dinner I played chess with the boys and I won. (It was hard to lose) I used to play all the time when I was Andrew's age, not so much since, but chess is like riding a bike – you never really forget once you learn.

Joe at the archery range

After dinner, our group had clean up. I helped out in the kitchen. Andrew was right at my side and I'm glad. He was always willing to get his hands dirty. Afterwards, we crashed on the cots, totally pooped.

Me at the Archery range

My son, Joe, said the best part about the weekend was spending time with his family. He also liked the BB guns.

Andrew and I loved the archery. Heck, I had fun tie-dying the shirts too, but it's being outdoors that invigorates the soul - and watching the smiles on the boys' faces.

More adventures coming soon…


  1. You're lucky you had such nice weather. When my son was in the scouts and went camping, we knew it would rain that weekend, and it did! Every time!

  2. Oh, Stacy, I know that really takes the fun out of the camping. We have pretty descent weather here in California most of the time so it's easy to go camping. Is your son still in scouting? What state/country are you in?


  3. My husband is an Assistant Scoutmaster with the local troop. Even though our son's are older and not a member, he still goes because he loves working with the boys. He is with the older boy scouts and loves the different campouts. I used to help with the meetings and such until my life got in the way. :(

    Thanks for sharing your adventure. It's fun to know that others enjoy the scouting life too!

  4. It looks like your family had a great time. I would love to be able to try out an archery range. You're to be commended for stepping up and assuming a leadership role in this activity.

  5. My son became an Eagle Scout in the late 90's and has been out of it for some time (he's 31 now). We live in Ohio, where it's even been known to snow on one of their outings! :) We still joke about it when it rains on the weekends - we figure the boys are out camping!