Monday, July 13, 2009


I mentioned that we would be going on a backpacking trip, and the weather actually cooperated on this one. The most annoying weather-related incident was finding out as I filled out the tour permit that I needed to have some new hazardous weather training. Other than that, the weather was just about perfect. It was warm but overcast. We hiked four miles in, our destination a high mountain lake. I hadn't been backpacking with this group of Scouts, and I was pleasantly surprised at how prepared they were. Several of them learned important things about what to bring or not when backpacking but it wasn't too painful.

We actually had all our boys but three attend. We're an average size LDS troop, with nine boys. It's just enough that we could probably split into two patrols but that we don't have to. Three of the six boys who chose to come skipped baseball games to be there. One of the boys who chose not to come chose to play in his game. His dad is the coach and called me to tell me how broken up his son was that he couldn't come camp with us. I don't know if he really was sad or not, but life is all about choices, and I'll never get on anyone for choosing something good, given two good things to choose from.

The problem I do have is with the other two boys who didn't come. They claimed they had to do something for lacrosse, even though the lacrosse season ended several months ago. They actually wanted to stay for a neighborhood ping pong tournament. You know what, that's cool, too. The ping pong tournament is a big tradition run by one of their families. So go to the tournament. It's not like I don't know it's happening. But no, they lied, thinking that I would understand their missing the backpack trip for lacrosse but that I wouldn't understand if it was ping pong.

I've already told both of them multiple times that coming to activities or not is their choice. I don't get upset if they're not there. Yes, we miss them, but we can also get along without them. One of them keeps trying to fire me up, telling me he's not going to our week-long camp. I already have his deposit and physical, so I know he's going. But even if he wasn't, it doesn't rip me apart if he chooses to go to football practice instead.

They missed out on a great backpacking trip, not me. I was there, lying in my one man tent, miles from civilization, sipping ice cold water from a glacier-fed spring, staring up through the mesh roof at the stars above, wondering when the boys who were there would stop reading 'yo mama' slams off their iPod Touches and go to sleep already.

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