There was fire. There were a bunch of guys yelling at each other. There was… coffee?
Our final challenge for this weekend’s campout was to boil water in a cup and make coffee for our leader. As with a great number of things, this turned out to be slightly easier said than done. It was soon discovered that we had to use paper cups, and while that did turn out to be possible, getting it to boil without melting said cup was rather difficult… to say the least. There were about 80 campers in all, running around nine fires, all trying to melt string and get their separate fires going. It was chaotic. Open flames kept spreading and people nearly managed to burn themselves in the mad dash. The rather oppressive heat of the sun didn’t help much either. I did hear one fellow roaring about it being a million degrees, and while being an exaggeration, it was a relatively fair complaint to make.
Moving away from that little scene, the weekend and week were all very jam-packed with craziness. Recently, I’d been planning for carpooling plans to this dance up in Dayton. In the long run, it will be worth it, but good grief, I find my head spinning. What with contact details and tossing around of crazy ideas as well as revisions and revisions. Ah well, we’ll work it out in the end. And there’s packing and cleaning. Packing for said campout of this weekend, cleaning a somewhat clean room, relaxing, back to schoolwork. It’s not too hectic I suppose. I bet others have a lot more thrust upon them in even shorter periods of time, and blimey, do I feel for them.
So I got out in the form of camping, and if there’s one thing I did learn, it’s that I prefer to lead and direct as a backstage worker. Yes, being First Officer and leading an entire troop has its perks, but I feel like I am a lot more productive and relaxed when working out of the spotlight. Maybe that’ll help me in my future job searches, possibly. I also find myself working better with things than people, perhaps attributed to some lacking social skills, or maybe it’s simply my better area. Whatever the case, directing people, telling them what to do all the time, having them come to me for what needs to be done… all that and more just doesn’t come naturally. It’s encouraging to hear people say that I’ve done well, but in a great number of cases, I’d just like to assist a senior ranking officer, as opposed to being said senior officer.
Through the weekend, my six-man team braved several challenges and daringly faced the er… terror of learning knots and lashings? Hmm… I’m not sure about that one. Knots and lashings are actually rather enjoyable in my eyes, but well, to each his own I suppose. Back at that fire challenge though, we managed to unleash our controlled pyromania in a safe environment, and gleefully watched as our excellently built fire consumed all the wood and even the standing stakes nearby. It was a bad day to be the wood that we gathered.
Finally, to end that Saturday night, we retired several flags. Time consuming though it is to some, it’s another fantastic way of getting in touch with our history, and at the same time honoring those who have served and continue to serve our country. Now, before anyone out there gets the wrong impression, retiring a flag is vastly different from burning a flag. Retiring is a ceremonious and honorable way of taking care of a flag that is past its time of proudly flying. Both do involve fire, but there is different intent regarding retiring, as opposed to the other. Every flag that was retired that night received a final salute from our gathering of Trailmen. Both Veterans and Trailmen stepped forward to carry each individual flag in its final ceremony, and with the retirement of the last flag, we were dismissed into the night.