Camping and Events

Rain Rain GO AWAY!!!!

What a glorious day right? Looks like we’re walking to some exotic beach in the Caribbean doesn’t it?

Aren’t you jealous? (you will be when you read this during a Chicago winter!).

I’ll bet you are also asking yourself why you didn’t decide to come with us on this campout, right?

Ok I can probably answer that.

But that’s not how this day started! Our trip to the Indiana dunes was an exercise in futility from conception.

Initially the thought of going to the Indiana Dunes came from my own experience going there with Mr. Weiss and Troop 275 back in 1976 or 77. We made our merry way there alright, but back then you usually did not have to make reservations to camp in most places. Se we were quite surprised that the rangers wanted to know what name our reservation was made under? HUH, reservation? Ten to twelve scouts waiting in a hot car ready to hang out at the beach and now ………well you get the picture. Luckily right at the same time an Angel of a man (a local farmer) overheard our dilemma and offered us the use of his farm field to camp in – which was only a couple miles away.

With that in mind we decided to plan a bit more in advance than 1976. However, the IDunes are a VERY popular place and they have very few campsites. It also turns out that there is a “State Park” with in the Federal one which also has campsites – many more. However, 2 months in advance and this was ALSO booked. Whew, wish I had that farmers name and number!

After a bit of searching and calls, it turns out that there are several reasonably priced private campsites not too far from the Dunes, and one of them had a Pool, fishing pond and lots of RV’s!

As you probably know, the boys are happy if they can have nothing more than a tent, a campfire and some s’mores. So this was more than enough!

Interesting fire ring right?

So, knowing how bad weather can be a real joy killer for some of the boys, and knowing that a storm was coming, we prayed for it to pass over quickly – after we were asleep. However, the forecast called for rain not only that night but the next day as well. I don’t think we have had too many campouts where it rained all day and we had nowhere to go indoors. This wasn’t looking too good.

We were able to get breakfast together before the storms:

 Pancakes and bacon…yum!

But my dear readers, a storm was on the horizon. Our plan was to hike for a while and then hit the beach and it appeared that the storm had other ideas for us.

So while we had plenty of clear skies while cooking, Mother nature had other plans for our day time activities – and she let us know right as we were about to leave for a hike. Rain wouldn’t normally be  a problem for us on a hike, but since it looked as if the storm would pass, we thought we might be able to kill some time in the State park animal center. This was a great idea – thanks GM – and the boys loved it. There were all kinds of animals and reptiles that we were able to view



and even touch!


There was much to learn and see.

However the storm was only getting worse.  At one point the boys thought they might be able to go out to see the pond however the storm was so bad that they only got a few hundred feet before their bravado was soaked. This was really kind of depressing as no one really wanted to go hike in the rain and if it didn’t stop  there would be a lot of bored scouts sitting around.

So we decided to try to eat lunch under an outdoor shelter. We killed some time there, and right as we finished it looked like It would clear up.

It sure did. And with our swimsuits on, we witnessed an amazing transformation of the day. As we hiked through the lush forest we came upon an idyllic spot that made you think you were in Paradise.

I can’t remember a camp out that ever looked so inviting!

The water was a bit cool but remember this is Lake Michigan and this was still August. This is about as warm as it gets all year. And that certainly did not stop the boys from jumping right it.



And then, almost on cue, they decided – after they were bored with swimming, that they would try their hands at “rolling down the sand dune”.  Go figure!

Yes this is the hill they wanted to roll down. How do you tell a 12-year-old they can’t do something stupid like that? (ok I know the answer). And in all actuality, the hill was HUGE – it looks tiny in the above picture.

Wanna roll down this?


The boys did. OVER AND OVER AND OVER………

It’s a strange desire I must admit, but the thrill apparently doesn’t go away…. When the  bone banging and headaches got too intense from this, they decided to enjoy the therapeutic delights of “sand burying”…


Another odd activity choice.

I will say it would certainly make my job a lot easier if this is what they wanted to do all the time. Not so sure about the sanitation or hygiene, but it would reduce stress all over!

Before we knew it, it was time for dinner and all the fun at the beach had to come to an end.

They did manage to get back to the campsite and enjoy the pool for a little while – not something we normally do either, but enjoyable nonetheless.

So we then had our usual campfire and cobbler where by Mr. G was once again accused of being the cobbler thief during our game of “Mafia/Killer”. That game never seems to get old. The cobbler was delicious this time as well – cherry.

Next day, since we were so close to Niles, the boys could sleep in late, make breakfast and still be home early. The weather was good as well and so no need to hurry. After a quick police line we were on our way.

Don’t you wish they could be that neat and tidy at home??? (We’re trying Mom and Dad!)

For the most part, even with the bad weather, we had a great time and all of them wanted to come back the next year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on October 30, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
Follow STORIES of TROOP 175 on
Bryan on Scouting

The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Scoutmaster Minute

Helping to Deliver the Promise


All The Wrong News That's Unfit to Print is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Bryan on Scouting

The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Scoutmaster Minute

Helping to Deliver the Promise


All The Wrong News That's Unfit to Print is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: