Summer camp is coming already . . . can you smell it in the air?    With the bun warmed on the grill so it has the same char marks as the burger itself?  With an icy-cold root beer to wash it down.  Can you taste the root beer on the back of your tongue?

 Friday I ordered a 5-Gallon Root Beer brewing system.  As I’m writing this, I just realized I forgot to order bottles.  Shoot fire and save the matches!  Well, I’ve just priced three cases of bottles (per five-gallon batch).  I’ll call in the order Monday.

 Now, we have to talk about table manners.  Breakfast is informal.  Lunch is informal.  Dinner is a separate deal altogether  Dinner is formal..  Camp Dress shirts with patches and braids.  White tablecloths (really).  Multiple forks and spoons. And multiple glasses and cups.  We’re going for the gusto here.  It won’t be easy to execute, but we’re going for it.  With the Staff setting the standard, the guys’ll get with the program because it’s cool to be classy.  To be stylin’.

Dinner is for more than just refueling.  It’s knife, fork, and spoon (not “shovel”).  But it’s a time for real conversation and discussion as well.  It’s time for manly beauty.  –The girls will thrill to a guy who knows which fork to use at the restaurant with her parents after church on Sunday.  —  That is why we will have an emphasis on excellent manners . . . and a haiku contest at each dinner, with every camper contributing original poetry from memory.  The winner of each evening’s competition will be awarded a black lanyard to wear on his dinner dress shirt for literary excellence.  We’re still working out all the details, but you get the picture.

We’re gonna have a good time.

 After dinner, before lights-out, the absolutely best thing you can do around a campfire is read a book.  A really good book full of short stories.  Oh, the stories I have read . . . Civil War ghost stories, science fiction (?) short stories, stories of the battles of Julius Caesar or George Custer or Henry V at Agincourt.  Books of poetry now and then – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  Or Homer’s Odyssey.  Good bloody stuff.  Like Shakespeare.

 A couple of nights we’ll have a movie with the award of mission patches . . . Have you gone online to see the joint mission patch for the Russian/American joint mission aboard the Leonov to rescue Discovery in a decaying orbit around Jupiter in 2010?  We’re working on getting a sewing machine out there to put the patches on jackets right after each movie.  Or how about the squadron patch for The Last Starfighter?  
Go online and look them up; they’re really cool.

The guys are going to look like the Ruratanian Secret Police!

 We’ll talk about other awards another night.  But patches and cords are a heck of a lot more fun that grades.  I’m a teacher; I know.

Go check out our website at  Between there and here you’ll know a whole lot more about what we’re going to be doing.  This is not a camp for geeks, but it helps if you’re smart and like to work with your hands to bend the fabric of the Universe.


What the hands learn the mind cannot forget.