Scout Camp Just Ain't What it Used to Be

Yesterday morning, I filled my car with little boys. Not unusual, except that these boys did not all belong to me. They were decked out in blue shirts with patches on the pockets, sack lunches stowed in the cooler in back.

My partner in crime was, Jenn, who is one of the scout leaders in our ward. (Also mother to one of the boys.) We chatted as we drove up the canyon. (I swear, my van knows the way and could drive there on its own- which would be really cool.)  We also laughed as we eavesdropped on the boys as they discussed various topics- swimming, summer, and minecraft. (No talk about girls, they're only 10.)

Once at camp we joined the hundred or so other boys and their leaders. I looked around and sighed. Here, I am in my element. I'm not currently a scout leader, but have been. Dirt and I are on a first name basis.  I'm used to boys and the noise level they produce.
And, the women? Well, these are 'my people'. They make me feel comfortable. Mostly older, their scout shirts un-tucked to cover a bulge or two. Hair pulled back, maybe a hat to cover it after the required early-rise. Capri jeans and tennis shoes that are worn and comfy. They smile at me and I smile back. We'll follow our boys around, grateful for the teenage staffers who are doing all the work.

Then, I saw them. Two leaders standing by a group of boys. They were young. Their hair was coiffed. They wore skinny jeans. And, is that lipstick? Did they not get the memo?  OK, there is no memo. There are no rules about scout camp. But, really? I'm surprised they didn't have on heels.

Lucky for me, we were in different groups and I didn't have to traipse around all day, wondering if they would notice my unshaved legs. Good thing I didn't have to worry about sucking in my stomach at each station.  Lucky, I had other 'aged' women in my group. Not a speck of mascara among us.

Maybe I should have wished to have those 'young skinny-jeaners' in my group. Perhaps they would have loved the opportunity to spend the day with someone like me. Maybe my wisdom and life-experience are something they would admire.  Maybe they would see my natural look, my relaxed demeanor because I'm not worrying about whether or not I have lipstick on my teeth, or sand on my white pants- and realize they want to be more like me. 

Or, maybe not.


  1. This is so interesting. For the short time my older boys were in Scouts, I felt nothing but out of place, for so many reasons. Wrong hair. Wrong clothes. Wrong age. Wrong culture. I never considered what it might feel like from the other end.

  2. You could have taught them a few things, lol. I am still laughing at "Did they not get the memo?"

  3. Or maybe they might have taught you something as well. It works both ways. I hope people don't hesitate to talk to me just because I do my hair and wear makeup. I'm a kind, nature-loving, get down and dirty, jump in the creek kind of gal. If you're judging me by my manicure, you're missing out. Then again, I won't hesitate to talk to you either. I just like to talk. :)

  4. I love these comments! I think I fit in the frumpy side with Julie and I probably have judged women because they look and dress better than me. Hopefully now I won't do that anymore. And hopefully those women also enjoyed being scout leaders as much as I did. =)

  5. Maybe it was their first time ever at scout camp and they just didn't know what to expect. I'm guessing that they discovered pretty quick that wearing skinny jeans while chasing around a bunch of boys all day outside in the heat is uncomfortable and hot. Maybe next time they'll decide to wear something different. I've never been to scout camp so for me, the experience would be hugely out of my comfort zone. And though I would definitely choose to wear something loose and comfortable...mostly for the heat factor (summer heat and I are not friends) I would very likely do my hair and put on my make-up just for my own sense of self confidence since in every other way I'd feel like a duck out of water! (Coming from a family of all girls growing up, scouting is like a whole different language to me....)

  6. Some might call the older mom uniform frumpy (and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong), but I prefer "functional." ;)


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