Goodbye Grumblings

Find the good

Good things I brought home from camp

What happens when Cub Scouts play with sticks

Late last month I spent the weekend camping and playing outside with a bunch of Cub Scouts and Scouters. It was hot, there was a fresh crop of mosquitoes, and the ground was as hard as usual — but I collected a whole knapsack full of good things to help combat Grumblings. I hope these trigger a smile or bring to mind happy memories.

  1. Imagination! The camp theme was training your dragon. The Cubs told me about dragons ranging from pocket-size to house-size. One young girl, maybe eight years old, was carrying a piece of twine with a log attached to it. I asked what she was doing, and she answered, “Making a toy for my dragon.”
  2. Spending time in the forest. Shady coolness, dappled sun, mossy rocks, wind in the trees.
  3. Watching Cubs work together, come up with ideas for shelters, and haul logs four times longer than themselves.
  4. The generosity and enthusiasm of adults who volunteered their time and kept the kids fed, hydrated and having fun all day long.
  5. A water fight. In September.
  6. Sounds of camp: wind in the trees, distant highway traffic, flocks of Canada geese calling overhead, trains in the distance, the chattering of kids, songs around the campfire.
  7. Kids catching small dark frogs, observing them in fascination and then releasing them carefully at the edge of the forest where they wouldn’t be stepped on.
  8. A night game: Throwing handfuls of glow sticks up into the darkness and seeing the dark field scattered with glowing hyphens of colour as kids crept around trying to gather them up from under the noses of adults wielding flashlights.
  9. The stars. Away from the city, they were bright enough that we could clearly see the Milky Way, and even I could make out constellations.
  10. Skits. Watching kids come up with a skit idea, practice it and perform it on their own. Even the classic Invisible Bench, which I remember from Brownies 40 years ago.
  11. An elaborate setup for lighting the campfire with a spiral of cotton wrapped around a log — which actually worked beautifully.
  12. The taste of camp food, cooked by someone else and seasoned to deliciousness by fresh air and activity.
  13. Walking around the quieting camp as pleasantly tired kids settle for the night, hearing the murmurs of adults sitting at small fires and relaxing companionably after a long day.
  14. Satisfaction, after everyone’s been picked up, everything’s packed up, and I’m heading home with an iced coffee in my hands and a shower in my near future.

Share your own memories in the comments or by sending me an email, at susan at


About GrumblingSusan

Word lover. Story addict. Daydreamer. Optimist. Ottawan. Treehugger. Scouter.

5 Replies

  1. Kathleen

    Yep, you’ve captured how the camp filled us up with wild imaginings as well as sights and sounds of beauty! I love reading your impressions, they bring it all back into focus.
    That seems about a million years ago now, on these dark, rainy November days and nights. But I’m finding they have their own gentle appeal, a reflective calm before the next round of activity.

    1. GrumblingSusan

      Thanks! With a windchill of -15 today, it’s pleasant to think back on the sound of leaves rustling and campfire crackling.

  2. Husband

    You’re welcome for the coffee run. 😉

    1. GrumblingSusan

      Providing coffee is an important marital duty, much like providing tea and backrubs. Always appreciated!

      1. Kath

        You guys are an inspiration.

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