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Father’s Day & Memoirs

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on June 13, 2008

A piece from my life writing group that I wanted to share, and remember as it’s the first time I ever put this fond memory in writing:

The Best Father’s Day Gift


Three years ago, I volunteered to go along with about 20 boy scouts to their annual summer camp. A seasoned camper and a parent myself, I didn’t believe there would be too much they could throw in my face that I could not work with.


This is the Boy Scout organization, of which I have much praise for the way it teaches our youth to become tomorrows leaders. The leaders of our Troops are mostly men, but some brave women have a lot of valuable training to share as well. Still, dealing with small things like the uniform shirt (ugly, designed to fit men and terrible material for wearing in a week outdoors with 100 degree weather) – the uniform pants; again, designed for men and really look terrible on women, and the rules about ‘no touching’ – which means that lonely or injured boy that needs a hug can’t have one. (It’s to protect us leaders, you see, from being sued for abuse or molestation).


Then come the ticks, leeches and various outdoor obstacles. When the little boy was frantic about the tick on his ‘pee pee’ – well, I couldn’t help him. Had to take him to a medical office! (And I’m actually glad!).


That year, I worked on the gun range from sun up to sun down (14 hours or more each day!) helping the children hone their shooting skills and acquire their merit badges. Many other skills were worked on in camp and eagerly I assisted the two dozen scouts. At the very end of camp, it was going to be Father’s Day and at the final campfire, awards and honors were to be presented to and by the various scouts. It had been an extremely hard week for the scouts with the weather and the bugs, but we all managed to come through it with good stories to tell and great memories to keep.


The final camp fire was rousing, rewarding and created a bond none of the attendees would soon forget. It seems every person there was honored in some way – a difficult feat for over 300 people! All of the fathers too were honored and stood up to get their applause for their dedication to the boys and honored for just being a father. As we walked back to our tents after the camp fire, one of the boys spoke up in the crowd, and called for my attention, “Mrs E?” (yes I replied) “ I want you to know that out of all the fathers here at camp this week, you probably are the best father we have ever had and wanted to wish you your own Happy Father’s Day”. This was followed by a chorus of “Yea, Allrights, You said it’s” from the other boys in the group.


Never was I more honored than when I received that accolade. What is it they say about out of the mouth of babes?



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