Nevertheless, I agreed to go on the end-of-the-year Cub Scout camping trip to Joshua Tree. The desert. Warm at night (otherwise know as ninth-level-of-hell during the day). And I loved it.
California's June gloom makes for a very mild desert June. It was around 80 to 90 most of the time, with a warm breeze that embraced the campsite and made everything look crystal clear. Rocks and plants crisply outlined against the blue, cloud-dotted sky. Beautiful.
T2 "meditating" against the desert sky
We hiked, cooked food in foil pack in the hot coals, listened to birds and little plant dwelling critters, watched lizards dart back and forth across the scalding desert floor, stared at the night sky, toasted marshmallows, and ate s'mores.
Now I understand why my brother loves it so much. City kids like mine need exposure to nature. They need room to run, a place where they can be loud. When we're able to take the time to just be with each other, without some outside obligation, cell phone service, or TV. It was magical. See as evidenced by the faces above.
So more camping may be in my future. Hard ground and cold, sleepless nights aside, I owe it to them, to us, to make memories of their childhood with experiences they may want to pass down to their own families. How can I argue with these faces?
We drove home dirty and tired. I asked the twins how they liked it. "It was AWESOME!" they yelled, as "awesome" is the most descriptive word 7-year-olds know. But it was--awesome.