Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Whoo hoo! We're on the way! Hey, hey!!

Once again, intrepid Scouts and Scouters of our beloved Troop 451 are wending their weary way Northward, to St. Joseph Missouri and Camp Geiger.

We gathered at First United Methodist Church of Lewisville, our Charter Organization, starting at 9:30 pm. In a not-unprecedented eventuality, almost everyone arrived at the stated time. Past experience has conditioned us to expect that if we say we are leaving at 10:00 pm, some folks will show up somewhat thereafter. Thus, we fudged a bit for a planned 10:30 departure. Apologies to those good folks who arrived at the posted time.

Our transportation this year was arranged courtesy of Tempus Transportation, which is owned by Troop 451's own Morales family. And what transportation it is! We have been accustomed to comfortable, well-appointed buses and this year is no exception. If anything, it exceeds our high expectations and for this, we are grateful.

To start our journey through the dark middle of America, we are enjoying "X Men - Origins." An action-packed Hollywood extravaganza is just the thing to lull our eager Scouts to sleep. Well .  .  .  maybe not. In any event, the entertainment was well-received and helped the miles slip quickly past through Denton and Gainesville.

One side benefit from our video nanny is that the bus is, apart from the soundtrack, actually rather quiet. Some of the adults gratefully take advantage of this to catch a few much-needed winks. A week at Camp Geiger is an unparalleled delight but restful, it is not. If this year is to be no exception, we are in for a week of early rising and late retiring.

There is always so much going on each day that it is hard to pack it all into 24 hours. As my old boss Joe Goldstein used to say, "If you can't get it all done in 24 hours a day, work nights!"

We are now in Oklahoma. Only two more states to go!

Sleeping on a bus has always been challenging for some, your correspondent among them. Thus, this writer remained awake throughout most of the trip.

As always, educational viewing was on offer. Modern biology was explored in "X-Men: Origins" This nature documentary apparently focused on an especially malevolent mustelid. In truth, I was distracted by other matters and hardly followed the action-packed adventure. It is just possible I missed some significant detail regarding this film. In any event, it was evidently popular with its captive audience.

Later, we viewed an enlightening account of high-level, international espionage called "Johnny English: Reborn." The thrust of this film dealt with assassination and betrayal as out intrepid protagonist outwitted his nefarious foe.

Outside of Oklahoma City, we stopped for a stretch and to tend to other needs and desires. The well-appointed bus accommodated the most pressing concerns but it was probably the opportunity to restock their junk food supplies that mostly motivated our eager Scouts.

In truth, no truly untoward purchases were noted and we are grateful no unpleasant consequences followed. From bitter experience, we enforced a ban on "energy drinks" for almost every Scout. No one wants to spend the balance of an extended bus journey with the inside air perfumed by unavoidable emesis as had been known to happen, once upon a time.

After the stop, we resumed learning the fate of Sir English (he was re-knighted in the film) and the Scouts began to drift, here and there, into the arms of Morpheus. The gift young men have for catching a few winks under the most physically-trying conditions was much appreciated just then. It meant we much-harder-to-please adults might dare catch some Zs ourselves.

.As we passed through El Dorado, Kansas, circa 5:00 am, Sunday Morning, the sun started smearing up the Eastern sky directly ahead. Just when sleep seemed a potentially achievable goal, "Here Comes the Sun."

Onward we went through the diminishing darkness, mile after invariant mile passing by our windows. Finally, biological imperative trumped unfamiliar circumstances and your author slept.

Sometime after 6:00 am, our glowing white chariot pulled into the McDonald's parking lot in Platte City, Missouri, disgorging its groggy, yet hungry, passengers. Some adventuresome souls trekked to the Waffle House across the quiet road. Ere long, every hunger was sufficiently assuaged.

Then, it was back aboard for the remaining 30-or-so minutes to Camp Geiger.

For many of our Troop 451 Scouters, today was, in fact, a unique sort of Father's Day present: the opportunity to spend the occasion in the out-of-doors with one's son.

Much of note happens on this, the first day of the second session of the 2018 Camp Geiger season but the hour grows late and one's brain and fingers grow weary.

And so to cot.


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