I want to start out by saying that I am about to pick on the men who planned the Scouting trip. HEAVILY.
I think they are great, though, and I am truly appreciative that they take their time and efforts and invest them in all of these young men. It's the first Pack (soon to be joining the Troop) we've been in that has this many men involved and I'm VERY thankful for that.
Having said that, their lack of planning leaves me with some great stories to tell!
This trip was set up so that we'd be leaving in the morning (goal was to start driving at 8:00 am) and driving for several hours. Then we'd stop for breakfast somewhere along the way. Then we'd go to the buffalo place then we'd continue on to the park where we were staying. At the park we'd be cooking dinner the first night and breakfast and lunch the next day. We would stop again on the way back and pick up something for dinner if it ran that late. Each person was to bring $10 to pay for their part of the cooked food and drinks along with money for the fast food lunch (first day) and possible dinner (second day).
We got the Scouts all loaded up along with all of their gear. We had 10 vehicles going and they all had 4 or 5 people in them. I never got a total count, but it was between 40 and 50 people, just based on the vehicle count alone.
Wagons Ho!! We pull out and the man in front hauls butt like demons are after him! I'm the only woman driving and I'm about 4 cars back. I've got my GPS and I'm not about to get a ticket for this trip trying to keep up with him, so I hang back. Two cars try to keep up with him and they are off. A few stick with us and after just a few minutes I look in the mirror and three cars are GONE. *Poof* Turns out they didn't fill up with gas BEFORE the trip! Like you didn't know we were going to be driving for several hours? One of them had a GPS, so we figure we'll all catch up with each other when we stop for lunch.
Well, hubby gets a call that the lead vehicles are stopping at a certain exit. It's 10:00 so I'm thinking someone needs to use the restroom.
Nope. We're stopping for lunch. At Burger King.
Burger King starts serving lunch at 10:30.
We've got 30 minutes to kill before anyone can even order food. Someone suggests going farther down the road and stopping again, after 10:30. You know, when we might actually start to be the slightest bit hungry.
Nope. We stopped here because it's the last exit that has a Starbucks before we get to our destination and two of the people are apparently Starbucks fanatics. I drink coffee maybe twice a year. I don't see the draw, obviously.
So the boys burn off energy on the playground thing and at 10:30 they line up to order. We got some small burgers to take in the car because we weren't hungry yet and figured we'd eat along the way. After Speed Demon and his crew scarf down their food they announce it's time to go and get in their vehicle and TAKE OFF. Literally, they are pulling out of the parking lot as others are still trying to cram in their last few bites (because, you know, someone had to be at the end of the 40-50 people ordering food so got theirs quite a bit later) and load up in the vehicles.
The Speed Demons had to stop again for a potty break (the rest of us made everyone go before we left Burger King since they were leaving without us, anyway) so we all arrived at the buffalo place about the same time.
I've told you about the buffalo thing already, so we'll skip ahead.
We leave the buffalo ranch and head for the park. Now, we passed signs for the park on the way to the buffalo place, so we know we are close. We leave the ranch and head back the way we came (heading back towards the directional signs) and this time we are following a different guy. He's been to the park before. I have the park plugged into my GPS, too, just in case.
We leave the ranch and head back the way we came. Then. He turns around and heads the opposite direction. ?????? We're all supposed to stick with him, so we do. He's been there before, maybe he knows a shortcut or knows one entrance is closed at this time of year or something. We end up sort of circling the edge of a small town and getting on a county road. My GPS (and my common sense and sense of direction) are all saying we need to turn right and head that way to get back to the area where the directional signs are.
Yet he keeps going straight. We pass one road, two roads, three roads, four...
At that point I told hubby to call him and see when he's going to turn. He tells hubby he 'missed the last road' but is turning on the next one and he doesn't know why his GPS was leading him that way. Us, either, lol. He makes the turn and we all follow. We start seeing the directional signs again. Park straight ahead 2.5 miles. Suddenly his left blinker is on.
He turns left on a road that has a big advertising sign "Blank (same name as park) Golf Course." I think he saw the name part and turned, not realizing what the rest of the sign said. I decide to heck with it and I keep going the way the signs and the GPS tell us to. This confuses folks...lol. Some follow him, some follow me. We end up at the entrance to the park and we pull over on the shoulder before the entrance so that when he gets there he can go first because the reservations are in his name and he's been there before so he should know where we go to get the keys.
Well, when the rest of the people catch up, he's some how last in line and he pulls up and gets in line with the rest of us on the shoulder.
So we go to the gate, pay our entrance fee and ask the nice lady how to get to where we are supposed to be staying. She gives us directions and off we go. Apparently the next few cars behind us do the same thing as when we go in we are all sticking together following her directions with no one holding back looking confused or anything.
He goes to get the keys only it turns out that they now escort you out and open things up for you. You do a joint damage inspection and make sure the lights are working, etc.
We ended up with the use of several really nice buildings. We were under the impression that it was one big lodge building and everyone was sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags in the big room with a fireplace but it ended up to be that the building with the fireplace room was the kitchen/dining building and then there were bunkhouse buildings and a bathroom building and several small cabins (but we didn't use those).
There were four women on the trip and this is where we slept.
This is where the Scouts slept. Well, in this building and another one just like it. There were too many for just one building. All three had bunk beds. All of us over the age of 14 were thrilled because the thought of sleeping on the cold concrete floors in sleeping bags wasn't all that appealing to us.
It gets time to start cooking dinner. The food building has a WONDERFUL commercial kitchen. Big, six burner gas stove, double door commercial ovens, a big griddle, six big sinks, stainless steel everything everywhere. I didn't take pictures of it, but imagine a well laid out commercial kitchen that you'd love to cook in and you have it.
You know what happened, right?
Yeah, us women took over the kitchen so we could play with all the cool stuff! lol.
They tell us they'd planned on tacos, both crunchy and hard, for dinner. They had plenty of meat and big cans of refried beans, enough crunchy taco shells for days, huge bags of shredded cheese, two containers of salsa, a few packages of flour tortillas and
*one* head of lettuce
We (ladies) laughed so hard we cried. One lonely head of lettuce for like 45 people! It still makes me laugh thinking about it. We cut it up extra fine and asked everyone to go easy on the lettuce, but it was still gone in no time, of course.
While we are cooking, one of the guys comes in and says "I don't think we have enough paper plates."
"We were going to use paper plates because it's easy clean up, but seeing everyone here, I don't think we have enough for dinner."
Yep, it's that didn't count everyone up again thing.
The best part
The make tears roll down your face from laughing part
WE ARE SUPPOSED TO EAT THREE MEALS!!!!
They don't have enough plates for everyone for even ONE meal! I tell you, the ladies were CRACKING UP!
Man planning! We'll just eat breakfast out of our hands! You hold my food then I'll hold yours, OK?!?
The kitchen had us saved, though, because it was fully stocked so we used their plates and made the men wash the dishes. :) There were enough taco shells and shredded cheese left over to fill a boat, I think.
Check out the view we had while cooking.
The next morning the men did breakfast and they made french toast. Only they didn't want to deal with kids getting syrup on everything - so they didn't bring any. They brought squeeze butter and squeeze jelly, figuring it was 'close enough.' The kids liked it.
I'm sure that lunch was an adventure, too, but due to a change in the weather and a cancellation of a planned event at the education center, several of us decided to head back early (those of us that were signed up for that event as the alternate event was fully booked) so I wasn't there to tell you how lunch went.
It's a beautiful park and the kids and adults alike had a great time. I think the ones who had the best time, though, were the ladies! lol