I was a Boy Scout Den Leader of 11 Webelos I had had them since my son Andrew talked me into being a leader when he was in 1st grade. So-s anyway big camping trip full of competition for Saturday, we went with 2 other families from our Pack on Friday to set up…with special specs—tents straight line, fire buckets, kitchen, 1st aid station the works. It was a good day all went well. We got it set up, ate dinner and bedded down expecting showers during the night –very early morning…
(cue nice snuggly sleepy music)
All were sawing logs beings how we were in the woods ya know…Then suddenly I woke up about 11:30 the wind was sucking the tent walls in and out and made a terrible wheezing sound. I sat up to smoke a cigarette and keep watch. After about an hour it started pouring rain and the wind got worse, if there could be a worse than this was it. It rained harder and water started to come in the bottom of our-oh- so- secure tent and dripped in streams from above. Thunder crashed and shook the ground, no exaggeration it actually shook. Lightening glowed and zipped through the black, black night and I could see other people in their tents scurrying around when the night became as day with the strikes that seemed to be one on top of the next. I woke up the spouse (now the ex) about 12:30-1am. Told him I thought he otta go get the truck as the weather was pretty bad (ya think?) I was feeling pretty nervous about it now. I was hollering at the other two families that he was going for the truck. My son was still sleeping, which was a good thing, a very, very good thing. But really how ta heck can anyone sleep though that. Back story on him—just the previous summer he had been at his grandparents home and witnessed straight line winds of 90 mph, so he would get very freaked out over strong winds.
(cue creepy-the worst slasher music you can think of)
I put his shoes on him while he slept. The wind got worse; cripes who would’ve thought it could get worse. Yes, now it really was totally bad, between the crashing thunder I heard tree limbs snapping and what I could only imagine were tree tops toppling. Holy crap! There was no place to go…our tent had no basement and there was no storm cellar for miles. The spouse wasn’t back yet. What ta hell was taking so long, the truck wasn’t that damn far. I woke Andrew up so he would be awake when his dad finally decided to show up. It took all I had to keep Andrew from running out of the tent into the dark storming blackness in his panic. Bless his heart the fear was awful and broke my heart. I keep reassuring him that it would be okay all the while I prayed that I wasn’t a liar. I held him and rocked him. (He would not be happy that I told you about this part so keep it just between us-mm’k?)
Finally the spouse was back, he hollered at our other families and we all took off for the truck, eight of us ran for it and climbed into my quad-cab dodge. Soaked and scared as hell. While we were running a little tent in the section next to us took off rolling…parents were chasing it. What idiots, I thought just let it go…I found out the next day it had two cub scouts in it, they were fine, I sometimes wonder if they ever camped again; But this about my stormy camping… we along with several other vehicles were lined up on the somewhat solid road near the campsites. A brave soul went car to car telling us to stay put as the road out was flooded and how we were safer in the cars then in the blowed over wet tents. DUH ya think. All eight of us wet smelly people sat in my truck for about FOREVER it felt like but was only about 3 hours.
(cue the bright sunny day is breaking music)
About the time the sun was coming up we were able to pull out. The plan was to come back latter and clean up, the Webelos Do Your Best was cancelled., but I had a few other boys coming for the campout. I called and got a hold of one and asked them to call the others…”tell them not to come.” But two families riding together had already left. They were turned away when they arrived.
After a few hours of sleep my son and I headed back to clean up our stuff, the spouse slept. I wish I had pictures of the campsite it was pretty bad. Tents and camping gear strewn all over and yes the snapping I had heard were limbs, tree tops and even whole trees. As it turned out there had been an F5 tornado pass right by us. Thank God it wasn’t right on us. Should I mention, probably not but I will cause I’m the Queen of this Valley, that the spouse blamed me. Really I should have known there was going to be a tornado. Yeah member I said he is the Ex.
Sorry this post was so long, just be glad you weren’t there. You weren’t there ya?
(cue victory music)
There were no injuries, we all survived to have the Webelos Do Your Best competitions and MY boys, my Cub Scouts won a few (3), placed in a couple (2nd) and lost one. Now that was my fault as I didn’t teach them how to toss a small log tied to a rope over a branch. My boys, oh my boys may have lost that one but they didn’t quit till they got it over a branch. I was and am very proud of them for not giving up. Oh the big one, the really big win…Yeah I so have bragging rights, MY Cubs, MY BOYS beat all the big “Boy Scouts” at fire building. Oh yeah!
That’s all my dear Internets do you have a storm camping story?