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As told by Gavin himself. I added my own commentary after the video. The line break isn’t very clear.

I had to wake up at 4:00 and be very quiet. We drove to the church and then we drove to Camp Wente. It took a few hours to drive there. We got up and we had our first flag ceremony. Then the first day was just learning first aid over and over again. Then my friend was scared of wasps. Especially at night. He claimed he had anxiety stuff. He woke up in the middle of the night a lot calling for his dad to help him. I tried to calm him down.

The next day we started learning stuff that had to do with the badge and then the third day we started getting homework. One night I stayed up until like 11:00 working on my environmental science homework so I could turn it in early.

There was always time after lunch to be at camp and be with friends. We had like an hour or two to do that. One night I had fingerprinting with a counselor named Stass. A few hours later he came to our campsite to teach us salesmanship. It was great because he was able to apply it to missionary work and teaching as a missionary.

Then after that it was like 10:00 and we had like a time for sharing our testimonies. He shared his about coming to America and learning about the gospel. Then other people shared and it was a unique experience. I didn’t share my testimony. I didn’t really think I had much to share compared to everybody else. They talked about having single parents and stuff and learning the gospel later in life and stuff.

The last day of camp was mostly catching up on all the requirements we hadn’t done yet. I didn’t really have much to do. I ended up getting environmental science, wilderness survival, orienteering, weather, photography, fingerprinting, and salesmanship. I ended up getting an extra one. That’s pretty much it.

My mom is making me tell more stories! The bouldering was my first time rock climbing. When they finally heard that it was my first time they said I did good for my first time. I learned that it is important to spot people so they don’t fall and break their necks like I would have if someone wasn’t there to spot me.

The first time I fell I scraped my knee. It was the first time I ever needed first aid. The second time I just scraped my back but nothing bled. In the future I would like to try it again. Bouldering is where you go across instead of up the rock and you don’t go higher than six feet.

The food was great and the store was always crowded. I bought a t-shirt and couldn’t find it when I got home. It was packed with my laundry. My mom and dad tease me because it was too big. I got an adult large instead of an adult small! I also bought some candy. I still had Skittles when I got home. I bought a Diet Coke and a Sprite. My mom thinks that’s funny.

Gavin: The only reason I like Sprite is because you force me to drink it.
Me: You should check the menu to see if they have rootbeer or something.
Gavin: I like Sprite better than rootbeer. The only reason why I like Diet Coke is because you never let me have it!

Wilderness survival was cold. It rained and luckily I was armed with two trash bags. (He had a rain poncho that apparently he never used. It was still sealed in the original packaging.) Hey! I wouldn’t have a rain poncho in the wilderness. I would have sticks and trash bags. And big wooden poles that you can cut off trees and get big branches and stuff. There was a night activity going on at the same time and I could hear them playing Frozen.

There was something interesting about camp. There were inside jokes at the flag ceremonies. There were like two places. Scout craft and handicraft. Scout craft was a place of learning stuff like wilderness survival and camping and all the outdoor stuff. Handicraft was a place like learning instruments and wood carving and art and all that other hands on stuff. They were always hinting that they were at war in our classes and they always talked about it in the flag ceremonies. It was funny. On the final flag ceremony they talked about a peace treaty and some scouts didn’t like that. They were booing against it!

Alright, that’s all I have to say. Here is my photography project as a video. We were supposed to tell as story. We came up with a story about Rockie. My friend drew most of the pictures and came up with most of the story. I named the place and took the pictures.


Gavin was annoyed that I would type exactly what he said! He’s a funny kid. And of course I had to throw in some of our conversations as we were having them while trying to type this post. I love it.

One story that needs to be told is about the spider he came home with. Heath wisely told Gavin to take all his equipment out to the gazebo. Gavin was clearing things out and putting stuff away. We looked for several minutes for his camp shirt he bought. Gavin didn’t think it was with his laundry since he didn’t wear it. We could not find it anywhere. It was either with the laundry or he had left it at camp. I hoped it was with the laundry.

It turns out the only thing he forgot at camp was his scout shirt and neckerchief. A leader in the other ward brought it to church and gave it to Heath. I’m glad we have everything. Forgetting stuff is easy to do but considering how he came home early, things could have been much worse.

A traveling tip we have learned is space saver bags. It’s nice to pack clothes in those bags and suck out all the air. It makes things fit much easier. Then while you’re traveling you use the bags as laundry bags. Since access to a vacuum is usually unlikely, you sit on the bag to let out the extra air. It works great. Try it!

So we taught Gavin about the space saver bags and gave him some advice on how to keep his stuff organized. It sounds like Scout Camp has more tent checks than Girls Camp ever did. Organization is key. Anyway, Gavin came home with one full space saver bag and one kind of full bag. That one only had his beach towel and swimming suit. He claimed he didn’t use either but I washed everything anyway.

Scout-Camp-2015-041The full bag had a stowaway. Sealed inside with all the dirt caked laundry was a rather large spider. Contrary to popular belief, or even anything Heath may have said, I was not scared. Why would I be scared of something that clearly could not get out of a clear plastic bag? Gwen was upset about it. I just knew that thing would have to be carefully dealt with. We would need to be smart about how we opened that bag of laundry.

Heath had the idea to put the bag in the freezer. Slow the spider down a little with a little chill out session in our chest freezer. I was all for it.

Scout-Camp-2015-042

I mean, look how big that sucker was! I joke that spiders are as big as my head. This was a spider unlike any I had ever seen before. Gavin is still a boy but you can see how big that thing was in comparison to his hand.

Heath put the entire bag in the chest freezer and we went about our day. I don’t think he meant to keep the spider in the freezer for so long but he kind of forgot about it. Hours later he pulled the bag out and dumped the contents on the back patio. Heath ran his foot over the spider and the whole thing shattered into a million little spider bits on the concrete. Heath felt bad. It felt like a cruel way to kill a spider.

However we have never seen a huge yet slender brown spider like that ever before. All day Heath kept thinking brown recluse. The thought crossed my mind as well. Neither of us talked about our suspicions until after the spider was shattered. We don’t know what it was. Quite possibly it was a brown recluse. And if so, that is the scariest spider I can think of. I have seen firsthand the incredible damage that one spider can cause in a human being.

I have probably written this story before but it’s worth saying again. It had such a profound effect on me. A girl in my 7th grade Utah Studies class was bitten by a brown recluse on her ankle. It happened a weekend or two after school started. That girl was on crutches until at least Christmas. Months and months of surgery and rehabilitation. She had several skin graft surgeries. Even then she still had a deep hole in her ankle. All from one spider bite.

Arachnophobia is an irrational fear of spiders and I have it. I am irrationally afraid of tiny little creatures. But I have also seen the effects of poisonous spiders, which feeds my fear. All I know is I am so glad that Gavin was not bitten by anything at camp and I am so glad that spider was destroyed.

I had it in mind that we would open the bag in the same place but just be ready to stomp on the spider when it fell out. Chances are my plan would have resulted in that thing running into the grass to wait until it could crawl into my house later and eat my children.

While my mom was visiting I told her a spider story from when I was at Diabetic Camp. She was visibly disturbed by it. I don’t know how I could have never told her this story before.

My first experience at Camp Utada was when I met all my cabin mates and counselors in our cabin. We were all spreading sleeping bags on our beds and unpacking for the week. I was sitting on my bed feeling extremely nervous about being away from home for the first time. I was 10. Suddenly I felt something tickling my arm. I looked down and saw this small, fat, black, fuzzy legged spider crawl across my arm.

Fear of what others may think is a powerful thing. I did not want my first impression to come off as me being a baby. I did not scream. I did not cry. I never mentioned it. I very calmly brushed the spider off and prayed like crazy that night that the spider would not come back! As far as I know it did not.

The good news besides the spider puree on our back patio, was that we found Gavin’s camp shirt. It meant a lot to him and I’m glad he really had it with him all along.

Gavin’s first week of scout camp was a success. I’m actually looking forward to his next court of honor. I believe he not only earned seven merit badges but he also made two rank advancements.

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