I hurried through the unpacking and cleaning out process quickly because Craig was right behind me arranging yet another load of camping gear on the other side of the garage. Scout Camp requires a whole different set of gear apparently, so he didn't re-use anything the girls had brought home. We all tried really hard not to mingle the incoming stuff with the outgoing stuff.
Craig is quite meticulous about his checklists and preparation for Scout Camp. This is his third year so he has it down to a very orderly and error-free science. He's been in Scout Master mode since the middle of last week when he returned from his business trip and could officially start packing, stop shaving, and let the pre-camping beard-growing begin. (I asked him why on earth he would want to have a full beard in 100 degree Texas weather, but he says that it's less surface area to have to spray sunscreen on...oh, the intricate workings of the mind of a Scout Master...)
We got very little sleep last night knowing that we would have an EARLY morning today. (Why does that always happen? Whenever I have to wake up earlier than usual, I spend the entire night checking the clock and counting down the number of hours still left to sleep.)
We both got up at 4:00am. Craig jumped in the shower and loaded the last of his gear into the Jeep, and I threw 24 breakfast sandwiches into the oven to heat for the boys' breakfast. (That's sounds like I'm so awesome, doesn't it? Well, I didn't actually MAKE the sandwiches. I only heated them. And it's a TWO HOUR drive. I may not be a Scout Master, but I know that when boys' tummies have been awake longer than an hour, they're gonna be looking around for food!.) The night before, the girls helped me decorate little lunch bags with the boys' and drivers' names on them so that everyone could fill them this morning with a little snack for the road. I packed the early morning picnic into the back of the van and met everyone right as they arrived at the church at 4:45am. And since I was there, I just happened to bring my camera along to catch a BEFORE shot of the group as they embarked on their week long adventure.
Aren't they perfect? (I can say that because I don't have to spend a week camping with them.) I love these boys so much. I love them because they are good boys and they work hard and listen to Craig and all of that. But I love the collective group of them for what they are doing to my husband. He has become more organized and meticulous in the three years he's spent in this calling, but he's also become more compassionate and kind than I've ever known him to be. He works as hard on their Sunday lessons at church as he does on making their camping experiences great. He has taught them not only to pack efficiently and "leave no trace" at a campsite, but also to recognize the Spirit, be examples of righteousness, and not be afraid to proclaim the gospel in their daily lives. He's genuinely interested in helping these boys not just become Eagle Scouts, but to eventually become great men. And in the process of doing that, he is becoming a greater man right along with them. It is an inspiring thing to witness.
I'm grateful for this opportunity that Craig has to spend a week bonding with these boys and a few of their dads, and I look forward to all the stories he'll bring home with him on Saturday.
P.S. Just so you don't get a false impression about my amazingness, I want you to know that when I got home at 5:15am, I jumped right back into bed and slept until 10:00am. And then I read a book until people started looking for me around 11:00am. I'm not always productive and in motion.