Every year, my former church does a father-son campout at Wishon Lake. It’s an awesome campsite, in close proximity to two lakes, lots of hiking trails and some rock-climbing sites. The site has several tent pad surrounding four or five fire pits. There’s a kitchen area in the middle, along with a pair of bathroom stalls, and several water spigots sprinkled throughout the camp.
I went once, six years ago, with my dad. Dad drove up for the weekend and we had a pretty good time together, but my dad doesn’t enjoy not being able to take showers, and we capsized a kayak, nearly drowning, so we decided not to repeat the ordeal. I’ve always been a little bummed not being “eligible” to attend, but I figured one day my turn would come again.
My friend Tiffany is a single mom to Kyle (9) and Josh (7). Last year Tiffany’s brother took the boys, but wasn’t in town this year, so I offered to take them. I’ve been Josh’s Sunday School teacher, and Kyle’s VBS leader, and have hung out with them on a few occasions since.
So this past weekend I took Kyle on the trip. Josh didn’t want to be away from Mom, but Kyle wanted to go. Both boys are a little hyperactive and have some behavior issues, so I wasn’t sure whether or not just having Kyle was a good thing or not. On one hand, there’s only one boy to keep track of, but on the other, there’s no sibling to entertain him on the drive (2 hours each way).
I picked up Kyle at 2:30 on Friday, and Tiffany walked me through his luggage so I would know where everything is. Before we loaded up the car, we let Mom get all her pictures in of her baby’s departure.
My friend Cory sent me a text as I was leaving to ask if dinner was provided on Friday. Her husband Bryan and their two boys Cole (9, Kyle’s best friend) and Quentin (7 on Saturday) were 30 minutes en route. Thankfully that prompted me to realize that it wasn’t, Bryan and I each stopped to pick up respective dinners for us and our kids.
The drive was uneventful. Kyle and I talked for about half of the drive. He filled me in on what he’d been doing for the summer, I explained a little about my job and what I’d been doing, and then he filled me in on everything he was planning to do this weekend (hanging out with Cole, going to their secret hideout, playing spoons and playing airsoft). He read for a little while, and without too many “are we there yets?” we arrived.
We ate dinner with the Bryan, Cole & Quentin and then set up our respective tents. Todd arrived shortly thereafter with Derek & Griffin (twins, 6). Bryan had brought a hammock, so we were not wanting for comfort.
Apparently Tiffany pulled Kyle’s airsoft gun out of his bag without him knowing it, because Kyle was nearly despondent over not having it, but he wasted no time in convincing another kid to lend him a spare gun. Kyle is nothing if not resourceful.
I took the time to catch up with the other dads. I miss this group of guys now that I’m no longer at CBC, but I’m grateful for opportunities like this to reconnect. I met Alex, a guy visiting from Brazil, who will be staying in my house while he takes English classes for the next month. CBC’s executive pastor Matt arranges these situations with a friend he met while doing a missions trip in Brazil years ago, so that Brazilian’s can come to America, take some English classes and do some touristy stuff while visiting. Matt arranges host families for these guys/girls, and asked me to host the guy who was visiting this time.
Later in the evening, Kyle organized a game of spoons with the other kids in our firepit area. I know he’s good at this game, but I’m reasonably sure he was cheating. But since all the other kids seemed to be cheating as well in one form or another, there was no money on the tree stump, and none of us dads wanted to bother to police every little detail, we let it go.
We sent the kids to bed around 9. I prayed with Kyle and then crawled back out to talk with the other dads. Two other families had set up tents in our area. I crashed for some short-lived sleep a little while later, and then was wide awake for most of the night. Ugh, oh well.