June 29, 2009

Scouts, Guns, Fire... His Heaven

The boys had a great time at Boy Scout camp. I was surprised. Last year, they had such a miserable time I had to practically talk them into staying in Scouting.

This year, they felt in control. As Mr. T said, "We learned how to cope." It didn't hurt that according to Ringo, the food was far better and the pool was nice... not over chlorinated and dirty.

They knew the ropes this year and could figure out what they wanted to do... understood the comings and goings, plus Mom showed up on Tuesday and Wednesday nights with dry ice and icey desserts for everyone.

One of the Scouts declared me their favorite Mom. Heh.

Anyway, when it came time to sign up for badges, my eldest signed up for Rifle. I counseled my second son on... not.

First, Mr. T is very competitive. I could see him competing with his older brother and quite frankly, neither of them needs to live in the other's shadow.

Second, you had to get three shots within a quarter sized round target at 50 feet, five times to get the badge. And being the perfectionist he is, if he failed, it was going to be disasterous.

So I got him to sign up for Pulp and Paper, where he learned all about... pulp and paper, and he made paper as well.

I told him he can sign up for rifle in a year or two when he's grown even more and matured even more.

He was cool. He loved Pulp and Paper.

Ringo loved Rifle.

The boys in his Troop were bragging to their Dads whenever their Dads showed up for something. "Look at Ringo's! First shot!"

It would seem, that my son went to the Rifle Range with his buddies and first go round, "BLAM BLAM BLAM!" five times, all touching each other in the center of each target.

He was done in as long as it takes to shoot 15 rounds.

His one buddy looked at him, according to Ringo and said, "Let me see that! I hate you! It's taken me FIVE targets and the ENTIRE HOUR to get what you got in five minutes."

That was my fear for Mr. T. That would have completely demoralized him to have his brother excel so much in something he could remotely struggle with.

Ringo's response to his buddy, 'Next time you're there and ANYONE doubts my marksmanship, you tell them otherwise."

I laughed when I heard this and said, "yeah, your marksmanship with a BB gun..."

There was silence in my car. He said, "Mom. I was using a .22"

I looked at him and said, "WHAT? You were using a REAL gun!"

He said, "Yeah, and... wow... guess what? On the shotgun range... I used... a REAL SHOTGUN! Imagine that!"

Smart a$$.

Seriously though, I had no idea. I'd only been on those ranges with cub scouts and they used BB guns.

Boy Scouts... it's the real deal.

What's killing me though is they had something called The Great American Shoot Out where all the Scout Masters and Senior Patrol Leaders (Ringo) of each Troop got together and had a contest... one that Ringo would have won easily... bringing great honor to himself and his Troop.

Did he go?


He didn't go because he and his Troop wanted to build this massive bon fire that night and he spent all day chopping wood in the ax yard.

My son is getting strong. He is not tall, we are not big people, but he is broad shouldered and the muscles in his neck are starting to form, as they are in his arms and shoulders. When I got there Tuesday night, he was standing in the ax yard, chopping log after log after log... splitting, chopping, sorting wood, finding the good pieces.

I stood there for an hour watching him... the intensity.

One of the fathers came up to me and said, "Bou, he has been doing that for two days. They want a fire, a big fire, and he's determined that they'll have one."

The smaller Scouts had taken their turns long ago, and had worn out, and he chopped all day long... taking his turns and then some... and after they engineered the wood in just the right way so it would get the right amount of air with kindling and little scraps to get it started... and they built... no kidding... I swear an 6-8 foot fire.

Their fire pit was huge, they had buckets of water, and they built this massive fire that I swear rivaled the fires that the BSA was putting on for ALL the Troops.

It was... amazing.

And he was proud... he sat there in his chair, looking like he needed a beer and a cigar, grinning as the fire roared.

I said to him, "Was it worth it having that big old fire over winning The Great American Shoot Out, because you know daggum well, you'd have won..."

He grinned and said, "Oh yeah, it was totally worth it..."

I birthed a sharp shooting pyromaniac.

Good Lord.

Oh and the real highlight was when we got home and Mr. T opened his foot locker and found carpenter ants had nested in it. No kidding nest complete with larvae.


His Dad cleaned it out with him. I did have to, however, get rid of the residual carpenter ants in my car.


Posted by Boudicca at June 29, 2009 09:05 PM

"And he was proud... he sat there in his chair, looking like he needed a beer and a cigar, grinning as the fire roared..."

That statement coupled with the ability to fire one bullet and hit your target is exactly what this Country is all about..

Great Job of Parenting..

Damn there is hope..


Posted by: P'cola Titan at June 29, 2009 09:25 PM

And to think all this from a city boy in Palm Beach County. Ha!!! I strongly suspect he will not settle here. He'll find some place he can do more of what he likes...

He has really taken to Scouting.

Posted by: Bou at June 29, 2009 09:55 PM

He knows what he wants and what's important to him. He will go far in life. LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at June 29, 2009 10:03 PM

Ha! Love that Ringo. He'd love it here, we are bred to be sharp-shooting pyromaniacs! ;)

Posted by: oddybobo at June 30, 2009 09:45 AM

I birthed a sharp shooting pyromaniac.

Too funny! But, it might come in handy. :)

Posted by: PeggyU at June 30, 2009 10:53 AM

I've done some rifle and shotgun with our Scouts on occasion. Nothing lights up an adolescent 14-year-old's face like watching his first clay disappear in a puff of dust after a direct hit with a shotgun. Even better were the younger ones that braved my 12-gauge pump and went around the next day at church sporting the bruise on their shoulder like a badge of honor. For the ones that came out best on the rifle and shotgun we gave them an extra treat - two full clips worth with an M-4 Bushmaster. Talk about wetting their pants with excitement.

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Ahh, to be a Young Man again...

Posted by: Elisson at July 1, 2009 05:22 AM

Do you think most kids wanna get into Scouting to learn their little oath and earn badges?

Nah, it's a parental-approved way to play with guns and fire, something all little boys love....

Posted by: George P at July 1, 2009 04:12 PM