Camp Wisdom has to be one of the most fantastic places in all of Kid-dom.
My son is new to scouting, and I’m new to scouting as well. I had no idea what to expect when I signed my family up to camp at CUBOREE, except that it was going to be camping – which I enjoy. But going didn’t come without some sacrifice. My work commitments would be tugging at my phone all weekend; I’d be missing my middle daughter’s final game of the soccer season, and I’d be heading back to work on Monday without my normal weekend to get “caught up” on the previous week. But I was so glad to come out and spend the weekend with my son, my teenage daughter, and all the other scouts and families at Camp Wisdom.
The place can be a bit of a maze. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing – but when we’re used to GPS and Google Maps and turn-by-turn directions, heading down a gravel road with a blurry copy of a paper map is a little daunting. There are signs, but trying to correlate those with the camp map is not always easy. But with a little bit of patience we found our way there, and to our campsite at Indian Trail, and as the weekend went on we came to get a general feel for the layout of the camp and how to get from place to place.
Over the course of Saturday, we, the scouts and their families traipsed all over. There is so much outdoor fun for the scouts, and seeing them run, interact and be energetic boys was great to witness. There’s a BB gun range, archery, a castle, air rocket launching pad, a frontier fort, a cave, and a battle of sailing ships unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
If you’ve never been to Camp Wisdom, you perhaps cannot fully appreciate the pirate ship battle. Each 20 feet or so tall, these sailing ship look-alikes sit broadside one another, engaged in an eternal battle at sea. On their decks, slingshots aim to rain watery artillery at the other. Rope net ladders scale partially up the side to allow enemy boarders access to the decks within. Portholes where cannons might peek look out at the landscape below, allowing defenders to pelt would-be boarders. In the middle sits a bucket of water and hundreds of foam sponge balls. The object? Merely to fill your sponge balls with water and fling them at the other ship. Need more ammunition? Gather up some sponges and reload. As I sat gazing at this scene, I couldn’t help but grin. I think everyone dreams of being younger again but at that moment all I could think of was wishing I was 10 once more.
I definitely came overgeared for camp. I knew I would, but that was OK. I enjoy camping, especially out of our family hauler, so I have no need to have light or easy to carry gear. This year we barely used any of it, so I was only happy to drag it all out, and staying Friday night I got a chance to use much of it. But even if all I had was a tent and a sleeping bag and a sack lunch for Saturday, I could have camped comfortably with the Pack. Even if you don’t have any gear, I could have borrowed everything needed for Saturday night out at Camp Wisdom.
If you’re on the fence about coming out for the day or (even better) staying the night on any of the Pack campout events, I would encourage everyone to do it as often as you can. If the talk around camp is any indication, all of our boys know more about Minecraft than we ever will (and I’m an IT guy and a video game enthusiast myself, so that’s saying something). For about four hours, I didn’t hear a word breathed about Minecraft. Being out at camp reminded me what’s really important to me – and that’s giving my son and daughter some memories and values that will last. Memories that they will remember when they are raising their own children. Hopefully they will have the chance to take their boy to Camp Wisdom and pass on what they experienced.