January 14, 2011

Opportunities That Normal Boys Only Dream About

My boys are camping with Boy Scouts this weekend; my two older boys, that is.

Once a year, Sikorsky aircraft allows various Troops from around the county to come in and camp. It's very orderly, with the lawn gridded off for each Troop. There are tours, games, learning events, sometimes badges earned (engineering etc), and all sorts of great things going on for the boys.

Sikorsky is located in... well... the middle of nowhere. It's The Swamp as we call it. If you were to be in one of their choppers and look down upon the earth, you would see marshlands... with a smattering of wild boars and gators. (Our boys are safe. There aren't any gators where they're camping.) I already know what's on their agenda for tomorrow and I'm so excited, I'm beside myself.

In essence... I'm envious.

We pulled in first and slowly a stream of other troops with their trailers came in behind us. Car after car full of excited Boy Scouts. Our boys jumped out and immediately started unloading the trailer, scoping the lay of their land, and setting up camp. Within 30 minutes, every tent was pitched, all the coolers had been put in the designated spots and their equipment was stowed.

No help from adults. It is a boy run Troop and other than parents there to oversee, they're there only to help if asked and to prevent fights... because hey, they're boys, and that will happen. Adults ensure safety. Boys rely on each other.

Sure enough, the tent poles were broken on one of my boys' tents (they don't tent together, they have their own friends) and there was a small gathering of boys trying to figure out how they'd get the tent up. I walked away and when I came back, they'd solved their problem.

I got a quick tour of the place. It was dark so there wasn't much to see. It had been a long time since I'd been out that way. There was a Black Hawk hanging out of hangar. I knew that in one of the lock down areas had to be their new little X2, that if you haven't seen the vid of its run, is very very cool.

And that, my friends, would be my dream job, to work at Sikorsky.

Now... you know... the rest of the story.

My kids are going to have a blast. This weekend... it's good to be them.

And what a great company. I'm so impressed with all that they do for our boys. I'm so... impressed.

Posted by Boudicca at January 14, 2011 10:07 PM

Wow - very cool. I hope they have a terrific weekend.

Posted by: Teresa at January 14, 2011 10:56 PM

Me too. I told them, "Pack warm clothes..." Afterall, its getting down to 54 deg tonight. Bwhahahahaha!

Posted by: Bou at January 14, 2011 11:25 PM

... how cool to see those helicopters!....

Posted by: Eric at January 15, 2011 09:02 AM

Hope they have a great weekend. My guys, husband & son, are truck camping in the desert. Luxury compared to the old tent days. They'll watch the 'Blues' practice their 2011 air show while jeeping over rocks.

I look forward to hearing about their adventures.

Posted by: cin at January 15, 2011 11:58 AM

I would hope they do something similiar for the Girl Scouts.

I would have wet my pants as a Girl Scout if I ever had an opportunity like that, hell I would wet my pants now if I had an opportunity like that.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at January 15, 2011 01:19 PM

Eric- I know! I wanted a tour just as a parent, but I wasn't allowed to stay!

Cin- Holy crap, how fun is that? THEY are going to have a BLAST.

QW- Oh yeah, I forgot to put there IS a GS Troop there! Actually a couple troops, I think. I heard there would be 30 girls there. The boys... ears perked. Well, the HS boys. The younger kids, it meant nothing. The younger kids kept poking, prodding and kicking each other. The older boys... there was a definitive hush that occurred. Heh.

The Sikorsky/Pratt/UTC group out there is VERY good about giving back to the community.

Posted by: Bou at January 15, 2011 04:13 PM

My mom's best friend is a honcho at Sikorsky. I am an excellent hint-dropper, if you want me to put out feelers for you. BTW, your boys solving their own tent problem blows my mind: my boys can hardly dress themselves and never have a clue as how to find their own shoes. Perhaps I should drop them off in the Swamp for a quick lesson in self-sufficiency. I've been enjoying your posts, Bou!

Posted by: Leigh at January 16, 2011 08:42 AM

"boy run" is how a Boy Scout Troop should be run. The adults are there to prevent anyone from getting hurt. I could tell you stories of dumb things the adults let us do (learning lessons).

Meanwhile, here's a great camp your kids will want to go to, at my alma mater (explosives camp):

Posted by: Carl Brannen at January 16, 2011 10:21 PM

When I was a scout leader, there were two Navy Captains in our Troop, and we got to go down to Norfolk and we got a full tour of the USS George Bush, just after it had performed its sea trials and before it had its full contingent aboard, we had pretty much free range of the ship(no cameras were permited). We also spent many weekends at Patuxent Naval Air Station, often getting a look at whatever they were testing at the time. As to boy run - That is the point of the Scouting program - to teach the Boys not only how to be responsable, but the reason you need to be. As an adult leader it is hard to ask a Patrol Leader "dont you think you need some gound beef for dinner" and have them respond "NO. We are having Manwich!" and not make any other comments. But, I do not think that is a mistake any of them will make again. Now they not only understand that they have to make a menu - but why its a good idea to read a recipie.

Posted by: Web at January 17, 2011 02:05 PM

You'd be amazed how many Troops are not boy run. Some are almost military. When my boys see Troops like that they tell me they'd drop out. What are they really learning???

Posted by: Bou at January 18, 2011 09:32 PM