The Armpit Dance

I have survived another Visitor Day at Scout Camp. I’ve washed off the grime, rehydrated and cooled down a bit. I am not an outdoorsy girl. I love to garden and a walk in the park is always fun. But I have a few requirements for a fabulous camping experience.

  1. Flushing toilets- this is just not negotiable. I live with a lot of boys, and I like that. But being at camp with hundreds of boys? And no flushing toilets? No thank you.
  2. Nice sheets – I love high quality sheets. They feel so crisp and clean. Nothing like it.
  3. A comfortable bed – preferably with memory foam. Throw in a few feather pillows. Ahhh

I could go on, but those are the real non-negotiables. The gotta haves. And that, my friends, is why I go visit my sons at Scout camp on Visitor Sunday. I spend my 6 hours there with them experiencing all I can in that time. And then I come home. To my flushing toilets, nice sheets and comfortable bed. I have done this for seven years now, and have a few more to go. It’s a good day, but its long, dirty, smelly and exhausting.

Which leads me to the Armpit Dance. This year Middle Son was chosen to be a Called Warrior in the Tribe of Mic-o-Say. I don’t fully understand all that means {I’m not a member of the club. The boys keep telling me I could be, if only I would spend a week at camp with them. Without flushing toilets, nice sheets or a comfortable bed. I’m ok not being in this club!} I do know that it is important to the boys and I will support them in that path. Today that meant participating in the Armpit Dance.

The members of the Tribe call it the Dance of Joy. I think that is a very deceptive name. Without going into too much detail about a club I am not a member of, let me explain. The Called Warriors practice all day Saturday for their performance on Visitor Sunday. All their family members gather in the council ring to watch. They march in to the cadence of the tomtom wearing their tribal attire which includes bells on their ankles, headband with one feather, a chocker and their loin cloth. Yes, I said loin cloth. They do a circle dance for the crowd. It’s pretty impressive how much they are able to learn in just a day.

We, as usual, are in a terrible heat wave here; the temp at the Scout Reservation was 98. And there was almost no breeze. After this dance the Called Warriors choose a female to dance the next dance with them. It’s tradition to pick your mom. If she is not available you have a few options like a sister or a friend. Once they have picked their dance partner the fun begins! Pairs march around the council ring hand in hand. Keep in mind your average Called Warrior is a 15 year old guy. And they’ve just done their first dance. And its 98 degrees out. Are you getting an image? Remember they don’t have shirts on, just loin cloths. So after marching around the circle hand in hand, the first couple forms an arch for the others to go thru. Each couple goes under the arch and then joins the arch. Essentially you get to go under the arch, made by very hot 15 year olds, and their very hot moms. And it’s 98 degrees out. Are you getting my drift? {Pun intended!} The dance goes on and finishes with a war cry and lots of running backwards.

The good news is, I survived! And they actually didn’t smell a much as Oldest Son’s class. I’m honored to have danced with Middle Son. And I’m honored to be his Mom.

Scout camp is not my thing. I have no desire to stay there. It’s hot, smelly, and dirty. And I love going to visit! Maybe that’s because I only go once a year. Or maybe because it’s fun to see my guys in a different environment. How can I resist those smiles?


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Filed under Family, Parenting, Randomness

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