A guy told me the other day about his boy scout troop doing a regular hike into the grand canyon when he was a kid. He said the memory when he was 12 wasn’t a good one because he was worn out afterward and got fired from his morning paper route the next day.
I remembered the bad memory campout from my boy scout days.
I was probably eleven or twelve, and it may have been my first campout.
(I am realizing now that my memories of that time are more like snapshots than video streams. More about that later.)
I know that I was excited. Maybe a bit nervous, but not scared. I have no idea where we went, what preparation was involved, who I hung around with, or details about the campout.
What I do remember is, during the night the temperature dropped to 18 degrees, and I could not get warm in my sleeping bag, and when it was time to get up, I was miserably cold.
When the scoutmaster found me, my teeth chattering uncontrollably, and crying, he let me sit in his truck with the heater on until I warmed up.
I remember the older boys weren’t acting like anything was wrong at all, laughing, doing camp things around the fire.
The morning air warmed into the 30’s and it didn’t seem so miserable to me.
The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared.” I wasn’t.
Wendy asked me, “Didn’t anybody tell you how to dress for the cold? Did nobody watch the weather?”
I really don’t know. I don’t remember.
But, this is what I learned.
Layers. Wear layers.
I am 70 now. Still working. When I get up in the morning, I know what the weather prediction is for the day.
I put on layers. Even on weekends.
“How many shirts are you wearing?” Wendy will ask me.
“Well, a teeshirt, long underwear, and this shirt. I will probably take a jacket.”
“Big baby,” she says, lovingly shaking her head.