M is currently off at Survival Weekend with his Scout troop. For this event, the younger Scouts camp with adult leaders, but the older boys divide up into groups of 2 or 3 and are responsible for choosing their hiking route, setting up their own shelters, planning and preparing all their meals, etc. The groups compete with each other, and get bonus points for cooking better meals, building their own shelter rather than using tents, and having a nice-looking campsite.
M is paired with a good friend who loves to cook, so the friend sent M a list of what to bring. It included about 6 different food items, 4 different pieces of cooking equipment, and a few ropes. It also suggested bringing “amenities to make camp nice.”
When I was discussing it with E, I wondered if we might have any foam seat cushions, so they could sit on something other than dirt. Then E said, “I was thinking maybe ribbons or crepe paper to decorate with, but then I realized they might get teased about it.” We instantly dissolved into giggles at the vision of a campsite consisting of 2 tarps slung over trees, 2 large grubby teenagers, and rainbow crepe paper draped around. As much as our troop seems fully accepting of both gay Scouts and lesbian adults, that would probably be a bit much.
In terms of amenities, M ended up bringing an orange-and-white striped plastic tablecloth that I bought off the discount rack at the drugstore. It weighs about 4 ounces, and will at least keep them slightly drier and cleaner than sitting on the ground.