Well not quite but it’s been quite a momentous weekend for B, my 8 year old.
Late Friday afternoon I drove him the approx 45 miles to a camp site north of where we live, for his first ever Cub Camp. This is how he looked just before we set off:
Luckily I knew the way as I have taken the older kids there several times. B and M couldn’t believe the stunning scenery or that there were deer grazing a stone’s throw from the road.
I was trying very hard to be cool about it all as B has never spent a night away from home. Not once, not one teeny sleepover in his whole life. He has plenty of friends but as they are all so local it had never occurred to us to arrange a sleepover, especially as we don’t have the room to reciprocate. With both sets of grandparents living hundreds of miles away too, this was indeed a Big Step. B was nervous, and very excited, but excitement seemed to be winning, so after making sure he had all his kit we said a fairly quick goodbye (I didn’t disgrace myself or embarrass him by clutching him to my bosom) we set off back home.
I was feeling less worried than I might have been due to the fact that M is a Beaver and was due to be visiting the camp the next day. However, M had her Highland Dancing exam in the morning and it couldn’t be moved so we had arranged to join the rest of the Beavers when we could. It was about half past midday when we finally arrived.
I didn’t even see B for ages – and when I did he was friendly and happy enough to see me, but really not in the slightest bit bothered that I was there. Which was good – I would have hated him to have been tearful or clingy – but I wouldn’t have minded him being a teensy bit more loving.
As it was I was greatly preoccupied with making sure that M didn’t get into mischief. She is extremely attracted to water, like so many children are, and especially children on the spectrum, so when they were all allowed down the beach area I had my eyes permanently on her (as well as everyone else) in case she wandered too far. She was mostly content to paddle up to her knees, and spent ages digging large holes in the sand. This is where we were:
It was a happy and hot B we said goodbye to at the end of the day, and I was relaxed knowing that he had settled into the camp routine well and was coping brilliantly.
On my return this afternoon to pick him up he was noticeably sun-kissed. I know they had all been plastered in sun-cream but a stint on the loch this morning in canoes had obviously made an impact on his face, and he was very, very weary. I think they know what time to end these camps in order for small people to be physically able to go back to school the next day! This was B when I picked him up:
And bless him, this was him 10 miles down the road!
Like all good Scouts he made sure (as I insisted) that his kit bag was emptied when he got home and everything tidied away, and then he had a bath. Oh boy did he have a bath! The disgusting wee brat had worn the same t-shirt, jumper and socks all weekend. Bleurgh. Mind you, I am just grateful he changed his undies and brushed his teeth – he is only 8 I suppose.
He was very proud of himself; he’d made some new friends, and learned some new techniques, and most importantly, broken his duck in the sleepover stakes. I am so proud of him too – next time there’s a camp I don’t think either of us will be nervous.