Hi Michele ~
You had asked for a camp story of Maxi's adventures in the great wilds of Maine at summer camp, so....
Each week at camp, the children really look forward to the wonderful Hiking-Through-The-Deep-Woods-To-Sleep-In-Tents. No one can hardly stand the wait for this grand adventure. All week there is much chatter as imaginations run amok, dreaming about what the hike might be like into the "deep" woods (on well-traveled trails, I assure you!), what kind of night it might be, and the glamor of sleeping in real tents.
The day finally came for Maxi's cabin and partner cabin to set off. It was overcast and hot; the counselors thought about canceling but the kids would hear none of it. So, nine kids, one young teen who was taking his training, and three full-fledged counselors, loaded up their gear into packs and set out!
Maxi, who fancies himself a bit of a woodsman always goes prepared for any occasion. He had his cool whistle/compass/thermometer. He had his Mighty Camp Flashlight in bright yellow. But he did NOT have his rain poncho because he'd refused to pack it for camp this year.
So OFF they went into the deep woods, keeping an eye out for all manner of beasties -- real and imagined -- that might be lurking in the underbrush. They walked along, singing camp songs, going deeper and deeper into the forest (still on camp property!), trying not to scare each other or themselves, too badly. Boldly into the woods and the gathering darkness they went.
Finally, they reached their tent location... a small clearing with two wooden platforms to go under each big tent.
Tents UP! Gear IN! Then, wham! The threatening storm broke fast and furious overhead, catching everyone still playing games in the dark outside around the campfire.
Everybody was good and soaked by the time they got inside the tents. And the temperature dropped and the kids got really cold.
So someone decided what they really ought to do is march back to camp, get hot showers, change clothes, and THEN come back to sleep.
Waiting (and freezing) until the worst of the storm had passed and it had settled into a gentle rain, they gathered outside of the tents again.
Maxi was the only one who had brought a flashlight with him, so he was elected to lead the way. Maxi elected to be Leader in the dark. Maxi, a kid who would rather do anything but be in the dark.
So he set off, in front of the line, waving his flashlight ahead of him. I'm certain he was probably praying in his little heart the whole way back to camp because he so does NOT like anything the least bit 'pooky or 'cary, Mommy!
He trudged them all back to camp where they did get warm in the showers and into dry clothes. Then they all gathered up their extra blankets to bring back to the tents. Then it was discovered that none of the other kids had workable flashlights at all. Some had dead batteries, a few had gotten lost, and several had forgotten them at home. So again, Maxi's was the only flashlight to lead the way back out to the tents!
I tell you, he was grateful for his Mighty Camp Flashlight that night! (the thing is huge, weighs about a half-ton, takes three D batteries)
So he got to be Brave and Fearless Leader TWICE in one scary, wet night.
And oh, how proud he is of that. How proud.
He also informed me that next
year he IS bringing his poncho!