Outward Bound!

Posted by Danny

DJ is on an Outward Bound trip in the North Carolina mountains.  Yep, three nights in the woods with only a tarp over your head.  The packing list included bandanas – for wiping.  She was told after you use them you tie them on your backpack so it will dry before the next time you need to go.  I imagine she won’t need to wipe much.  If she’s like me in a situation like that, her colon will go on strike.

She also has to sit in the forest for four hours, alone – no book, no iPod, no nothing.  Just trees, rocks, dirt and her brain.  Four hours is a long time by yourself in the woods.  Maybe her guardian angel will be looking after her.

I wish I enjoyed nature more than I do.  I long to be excited about doing something that requires me to have a pair of those pants than unzip at the knees.  What are those for?  I guess you’d use them if you were hiking and suddenly came upon a creek.  “Whew.  Good thing I can unzip the bottom of my pants.  I’ll just put those boogers in my backpack and they won’t get wet.  Damn, I forgot my water shoes.”  Nah – not me.  I either wear pants or shorts – nothing in between!  And I only want one zipper in my pants – way above the knees.

My level of hiking only requires flip-flops and a pair of gym shorts with a draw string.

The girls and I used to camp with our YMCA Indian Princess tribe.  These other dads would get all pumped about sleeping in the woods. 

“I’ll bring a Coleman stove,” one would offer.

“I’ve got an axe for wood,” another would pitch in.

“I’ll bring my truck, and we can throw our tents in there.”

“Danny, what can you bring?”

“My daughter, flip-flops and gym shorts.”

I had nothing.  You could not find a working flashlight in my house if your life depended on it.  

The only thing I contributed to the Y Princess campouts were scary stories.  On time when DJ was in first grade, we stayed in a cabin at Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, NC.  The bathroom was an outhouse about 25 yards from the cabin. 

About 10 pm, one of the dads started rounding up the girls for their last pee break before bedtime.  So, I snuck to the privy, and shut the door.  After tucking toilet paper in the back of my pants, around my neck and into my socks, I quietly waited for the crew.  As I heard them approach, I ran screaming out of the outhouse – “The Potty Monster, The Potty Monster!  He’s in the toilet!  He’s coming this way – run children, run!”

Most of them did pee, but it was in their pants.

To this day DJ’s 9th grade friends who were on that trip ask me if I’ve had a visit from the Potty Monster lately.

I assured DJ he would not be on their trip.  Apparently there are no potty’s there for him to spring out of!

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