Saturday, June 20, 2009

Big Blue & camp fires

They don't make 'em like this in Arizona.

Today, I had the day off. My brother took over planning and driving duties and took us all (me, my 3 kids, himself and his son) up to the Blue Hills where we climbed to the top of Big Blue, the highest free-standing point on the eastern shoreline, or something like that. It was a beautiful hike, and there's a cool old army fort and an awesome working weather observatory at the top.

This crystal globe focuses sunlight into a beam; the resulting burns are used to measure the total sunlight for the day.

At the bottom, we stopped in at the Trailside Museum, which is really charming, and was celebrating their 50th anniversary today with free admission. They have a great little collection of animals and excellent displays on the native animal life in the Blue Hills region.

After dinner, we headed to Plymouth to Camp Massasoit for a Cub Scout Campfire. My nephew's pack was having a family camping weekend, and they were holding a campfire; my brother had checked to be sure it was OK if we all came along. It was a blast. Various groups of kids from the different troops performed skits, and my nephew and my two boys did one, too, "The Duck." It went like this:

DS1 is standing towards one side of the stage. N approaches from the other side.
N (walking like a duck): Do you have any duck food?
DS1 (the storekeeper): No.
N leaves.
DS2 (the narrator): The next day...
N appears again, and walks over to DS1: Do you have any duck food?
DS1: (becoming angry) No, I told you yesterday we don't have any duck food. If you ask me again, I'll rip off your beak and nail it to the wall! (he was very dramatic)
N scurries away, frightened.
DS2: The next day...
N peaks around the corner of the stage, and sneaks up to DS1, who pretends not to notice him.
N: Do you have any nails?
DS1: No!
N: Oh, well, in that case, do you have any duck food?

This is the level of humor/entertainment that's typical of cub scout campfires. The camp staff did a great song with much enthusiasm -- there was a good deal of enthusiasm for everyone, appropriately. One family was honored for all the volunteer efforts they put in, and you could see how much everyone appreciated them.

After the official campfire, we retired to a smaller campfire with just my brother's (and his son's) troop (I may be confusing those terms) and the kids got to roast marshmallows and hot dogs over the fire, although where they found room for it all, I don't know. DS2 had a minor crisis with a marshmallow dropping off his toasting stick, but I retrieved it, brushed it off, and put it back in the fire to burn off any germs, and he was able to have his s'more after all. DD was thrilled to try JiffyPop, although popping it over the campfire without some kind of hand protection was a rather hazardous job. (DD was happy about the s'mores and the popcorn, otherwise she was rather mortified at having to attend a boy scout event, even though it was a family camping weekend and there were other girls there. She's at an age where she found the skits mostly embarrassing.)

Got home late, hustled the kids through their showers (church in the morning, no time then...) and got them to bed, and am now off to bed myself. It was a lovely day, and I hope the weather is this cooperative tomorrow.

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