A blog by Jacob
I’m a scout leader for a group of 11-year-old scouts. Since we are going camping this weekend, tonight we were checking packs to make sure the scouts had all the proper gear.
We decided to make it into a game. We (the leaders) would call out some important piece of gear such as flashlight. The first scout to get us the gear would get a point.
It was a pretty fun way to do pack checks, but it required us to pay a little more attention to the scouts. If particular scouts didn’t even flinch when we were calling something important, then we needed to be able to notice and talk to the scout.
To top it all off, at the end of the checks, we announce a flash flood, which meant bonus points to the scouts who could get everything all packed up the fastest.
In an attempt to write a blog post in the month of June, 2010, I thought I would tell you briefly about my new assignment at church. I am now an 11-year-old scout leader, with about 5 scouts in the 11-year-old scout patrol.
This is a really fun assignment, because 11-year-olds are pretty fun to deal with. They like to be funny. They get excited about simple things. Mostly, they are pretty eager to learn without having the attitude of a teenager.
Recently, Sandy and I have been doing a little bit of couponing. We’re not aiming at taking 80% off our monthly grocery bill, or to get all sorts of random products for free. It is more like a game that we like winning. It is kind of a thrill to get products for free or to see “You Saved 85% Off Your Order Today!” printed on the bottom of the receipt. We are getting kind of good at finding coupons on the Internet to print or combining coupons we find with sales we find in stores.
One of our favorite stores to shop at is King Soopers, which is a Kroger store. King Soopers generally has reasonable prices on products, and they will often have some good sales. Additionally, they will double coupons up to 50 cents, and coupons between 50 cents and a dollar they will increase to a dollar. They also accept eCoupons from shortcuts.com or CellFire, which are loaded onto the King Sooper loyalty card and applied automatically when checking out.
One of my favorite King Soopers promotions is $5 off 10 qualifying items. I think they choose a couple of items on each aisle of the store that quality, causing you to walk up and down all the aisles searching out 10 items which qualify. This promotion is currently underway at our King Soopers, and when you combine the promotion with coupons, we’ve found some good deals. For example, our 10 items might be:
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I spent about a year of my life in a region of Romania known as Transylvania. It is actually quite a romantic, European country and mountain range, nothing like the creepy vampire spooks that are too often portrayed. Take for example, this Transylvanian castle which I visited. Castle Bran doesn’t have any bats or ghosts, although it might have a romantic well (and a secret passageway).
Last Friday, Sandy and I went camping at State Forest Park, which is Northwest of Rocky Mountain National Park. Rather than writing another nice story about our adventure, I though I would list some of the things we learned. Some things we learned through successes, and other we learned through failures.
It is nice to have a waterproofed tent. (Success)
One camping chair doesn’t get you any place to sit unless you want to sit alone. Bring another chair! (Failure)
Pancakes don’t work so well on an un-greased pan. Bring butter! (Failure)
Cheap frying pans don’t cook pancakes evenly. (Failure)
Bring a good camping cup (mixed)
Precook the vegetables in a tin-foil meal if you want them to be soft. (mixed)
Wrap the tin-foil meal in multiple layers of foil. (mixed)
Multiple smaller foil meals cook faster than one large one. (half-way)
Include enough meat in the foil meal. (Failure)
Campfire smoke is smelly. Don’t bring anything you don’t want to have to wash upon returning home. (mixed)
Attempts to use many blankets instead of a sleeping pad may be ok for sleeping on, but if they all smell like smoke when you are done, then you have a lot to wash! (Successful sleep, failure with washing)
Camping a week after labor day is less crowded. (Success)
Camping a week after labor day is colder than camping in the middle of the summer.
Camping at about 10,000 feet is cold. (mixed)
Bring at least one large container of water beyond drinking water. (Success)
Keep your water bottle inside the tent in case you get thirsty in the middle of the night. (Failure)
Although it sounds like it rained off and on all night long, it doesn’t mean that the ground will be wet when you wake up.
An axe or hatchet may help in finding free firewood. (Failure)
Firewood is cheaper at the Fort Collins grocery store than it is if you buy it from the park visitors center. (Success)
The park visitors center closes at 5pm. (Failure)
If you arrive after 5pm, you can still put money in the slot to pay for your camping spot. (Success)
Reservations can be made online for the same price, but not the night before. (Failure)
Arriving at a campground without a reservation lets you pick your favorite available site. (Success)
Be sure you know how to get to the right campground. (Failure)
The State Forest campground called “The Crags” is actually a nice tent-only campground. (Success)
Bring extra batteries for the camera. (Failure)
Bring an extra camera. (Success)
Bring warm pajamas. (Failure)
Bring pajamas. (Failure)
Don’t leave the lights, dome light, or radio on in your car. (Neighbor’s failure)
Slow roasted marshmallows are delicious. (Success)
Bring enough marshmallows. (Failure)
This last weekend, Sandy and I, along with our friend Lori, went up to Rocky Mountain National Park to do some hiking.
We arrived in the park about 1 pm, and ate some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the parking lot before beginning our journey. We started at the Fern Lake Trailhead, which is just off of Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. [wp_geo_map]
The beginning of the trail followed Big Thompson river for about a mile.
Eventually our trail started following Fern Creek, which feeds into the Big Thompson. At one point, we were so confused because we could hear rivers on both sides of the trail. About 2.7 miles into the hike, we arrived at Fern Falls, supposedly named after Fern Creek, which I hear is named after a woman and not all the ferns that we saw along the trail.
The total trip took about 4 hours, 6.7 miles, and we had climbed (and then decended) about 1000 to 1300 feet in elevation.