Junior’s cub pack had planned a trip to a local park to roast hot dogs. This would be a big event due to the eagerness of the little boys having access to fire. For some reason, the allure of a campfire always drew the most scouts. My nervousness about this event was starting to bleed over to my cooking habits and I found myself preparing cold meals. This prompted groans from Steve and the kids.
I decided to share my apprehension with Steve, who suggested we call the leader and offer the use of our stone fire pit for the project. The boys would have access to a clean toilet also. This sounded like a winning idea and my heart leapt at my husband’s understanding of my anxiety. Usually I would expect him to just tell me that boys would be boys. The suggestion was accepted with gratitude and we prepared for the onslaught of 10 eager cubs. Steve went to the lumberyard and bought kindling and firewood. I stocked up on first aid supplies, a larger bucket for water and the rest of the food. The leader would supply the hotdogs, buns, and condiments. I coordinated with him on how to make “bug juice” but planned on some mac-n-cheese and baked beans on the side for the boys.
On the day of the roast, Steve and Stevie searched for long thin tree branches that were green enough not to burn. We broke out the outside chairs and Steve created a lovely teepee of kindling to teach the scouts how to build a fire. It must be some male gene technique since I had little understanding of the pyromaniac customs. The day was overcast but there was no rain and the boys listened intently to the fire making instructions. When the fire died down a little, they started the roasting. I watched from the back door as the distinct personalities of each of the boys was on display causing some of them to be admonished several times to stop playing with the fire (now I know where that saying came from) and others to be told to get closer if they wanted a hot dog that was actually cooked. Junior and Steve stood side by side roasting their dogs, sharing nods and smiles. It was such a touching sight; this male bonding thing was a good relationship builder. I want my son to respect his dad as well as grow up to be a good man like his father.
The food table outside on the patio was a tragic mess of squirts of mustard and ketchup, spilled fruit punch and from the looks of it the drink was attractive to fruit flies. There were small scoops of man-n-cheese and beans that fell off the serving spoons laying in some lumps. The leader thanked us profusely for a good time and asked if perhaps we would hold another event in the Spring. Junior answered for us that it would be our “duty” and we chuckled at his formal response.