Every February, me and my boys look forward to one event the school undertakes. The reason it's just me and the boys who are excited over this event is because it's an exclusively "men only" activity. It's an activity that is full of games, adventure, endurance and survival tests, explorations, skills and team building and, most importantly, lots of fun! Yes, this is the activity we call "Father and Son Camp."
The activity is anchored on scouting principles and so is replete with knot tying, water and land games, nature tripping (sometimes having to take a bath in improvised toilets and yes, that also may include "kybo", the scout's term for egesting body wastes), and many more that can be participated in by both the father and the son. Understandably, the biggest benefit of all is the bonding that happens between father and son/s and the camaraderie that is built between the campers. You see, we always divide the participants into different patrols. The patrols are very impressive this year. They now have incorporated galleries showcasing trophies and medals garnered from past years, tools, a segregated waste disposal, an altar, and a clinic.
This year, we went to Blueroze Farms and wildlife in Lodlod, Lipa City. It's a big coconut plantation with lots of space, a swimming pool, a maze and assorted animals like ostriches, wild boars, different species of fowls, turtles, an eagle, and a tweny or thirty foot python. We thought we would be in for a spectacle when the caretaker threw a live chicken on the python but the python didn't eat the whole time we watching. I swear I must've waited for hours with my heart pounding like crazy everytime the snake moved but it didn't happen. I even went back in the middle of the night but prey and hunter were both sleeping. The following day, I came back but the chicken was already gone.
This camping was a revelation to me. The good news is that I get to bond with my children for free because I am a member of the staff who assists the legendary founder of the FS camp, Mr. Moses Lozada, the thing is we couldn't join any of the games. The revelation is that I got to see how close the brothers are. While I can see that my two girls are very very close, I haven't the idea that these two would be just as close. Whereever Mickey went, Coby would tag behind. I even caught up with them where Coby sat silently alongside his brother who was drawing a composition in his sketch pad, making suggestions here and there. That made me borrow another sketchpad (he brought two) and sit down with them and practice sketching, too.
Another revelation is how Mickey is turning out to be responsible. He took the lead in putting up and striking down the igloo tent (thanks to my compare, Redjie Jimenez who owns it) and fixing our things inside. As always, lessons in life is learned in all the experiences we encounter and I'm glad I had done this again with my two boys.