GNEW!

Jul. 14th, 2014 09:05 am
danagryphon: (Gryph's Griffin)
So, when I became seneschal of Quintavia (for my non-SCA friends, the president of my local chapter), one of the dreams I had was that at camping events, members of the Shire attending would camp together as a group at an event. This past weekend, we came pretty darn close to accomplishing that. We had a camp of 17 people, three of which joined us from our neighboring group Bergental (including the Baron and Baroness, so we called the camp Bergentavia, lol). And It. Was. Awesome.

This was my first time being "campmaster" for a large-ish camp, being in charge of the meal plan, being the first to arrive on site midday Friday and reserving a space for the rest of the folks who trickled in (our last group arrived Saturday morning after a trip to an ER waylaid them Friday, and the last tent *just* fit in the last open space we'd saved for them). [livejournal.com profile] calygrey was my tentmate and traveling companion, and she was invaluable in figuring out the camp layout and how much space we needed. We convoyed up with [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69, who was our "pick up the things we forgot on her way back and forth from her hotel to the site" person.

The B&B of Bergental shared a carport shelter with us for our main dining hall/common area, but the other goal I have as seneschal is to bring the Shire's equipment for having their own encampment up to snuff. We just acquired a three-burner high-output camp stove from a returning member who had no use for it, and my next acquisition is going to be some serious sets of cooking pots and pans (we have a good number of serving pieces for indoor events with kitchens, but no actual cooking pieces), and a better large shelter. The Shire purchased a 10x20 popup type thing about 8 years ago (the last time we had a real Shire camp), but it has not held up well. It was nice in that it was not much bigger than two popups when stored, and very easy to transport. But we are going to try to do a fundraiser to purchase one of these carport things, because they are REALLY durable, and very easy to put up and take down. They are a little more bulky to store and transport, but we have plans for that as well.

Anyway, I think the camp experience was about 95% successful. I did learn a lot, have a list of things I need to bring/do differently next time, but the general consensus among the camp was that they would like to do it again next year! And that we need to sponsor a party like some of the other big camps there do. We sorta/kinda had a large-ish gathering Friday night with a big fire, a cooler full of jello shots, camp pies, and the B&B did a little bardic, but I'm sure they would have loved to do more. There is a Baconpalooza party Friday night, a pinata party Saturday night, and the thoughts among the camp was that we should have a "jello shots" party! Bwahahaha.

Oh, and we are now going to have about a half-dozen Quintavians in the Bergental camp at Pennsic. I may thing about bringing the Quintavia banner and ask if we can put it up somewhere in camp. Oh, speaking of banners, my new tent and my new banner made their debut at GNEW. We had a little snafu putting up the tent (and bent the pins on the upright supports for the ridge pole, so that will be getting fixed at Workshop Night this week), but I think I know what went wrong and it should go smoother at Pennsic. We put up [livejournal.com profile] white_and_nrdy's tent of the same design up without any problems just a couple of hours later. But the tent was faboo, and should be great for me and Spare Boy. I think I'm going to get two sets of plastic drawers, though, for us to use for dressers/beside tables/suitcases instead of the footlockers we used last year. And I want to put up some hook things in the frame to hang stuff like hats and quivers and maybe the lanterns.

Pennsic is going to be awesome.
danagryphon: (Sun & Moon)
My unbelievably busy scheduled continued this weekend. To recap the end of last week, Thursday evening, when I had to go to the business meeting for the Ayer Sportsman's Club so that we could talk to the right person about renting their site for the archery/tw event, and then go do the grocery shopping for the weekend cub scout campout, my train was an hour late getting home because the train in front of us broke down and we had to push it from Concord to South Acton. Luckily, [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 , who had come by to drop off the check for the deposit to the Ayer site, was prepared to stand in for me at their meeting, and ended up going with me for much needed moral support. But, we have a site! Yay!

I did stop at the grocery store on the way home after that and bought some of the food for the camping trip. Realized the next day that I forgot a whole bunch of stuff, so I had to do another trip Friday night, but that was ok. So after I got home Thursday and got the food stowed away, I had to run over to the house of our Pack Committee Chair to get the tour permit signed and faxed into Council. Unfortunately, on leaving her house, I didn't notice the layer of ice on her front stairs, and went bumpity bumpity down all 5 or 6 of them on my butt, wrenching my hips, back and neck when I hit the bottom hard. Ouch. Nothing broken, no serious injury, just lots of soreness.

So, when I woke up Friday morning and could barely make it down the stairs from the bedroom, I decided sitting for an hour each way on a commuter train, standing (probably) on the subway train for half an hour, not to mention all the walking in between, just wasn't going to be any fun at all, so I worked from home. We actually had two camping trips going on this weekend: B's Troop was tent camping for the whole weekend (which M was going to part of, but since neither of us could be there for the whole thing, we decided B would skip; and the Pack was camping Saturday to Sunday, in a cabin, which I was in charge of organizing and running; and they were in different locations).

When I knocked off for the evening on Friday, I took the kids out for pizza (M was off with the troop on their camping trip), and then we had to go to Toys R Us to get a gift for the bday party Eli was invited to this weekend (more on that in a minute), and then back to the grocery store to finish getting food for the camping trip. Then I had to actually pack stuff for me, E, and B, and get up early the next day to pack up the car with everything else.

So I was up at 7 on Saturday, to pack the car. We actually got out the door by around 9, which got us to the camp (just down the road in Bolton) by 9:30 (after stopping for coffee and a breakfast sandwich). I was very happy when another family arrived the same time we did, and the father was very helpful in getting my car unloaded into the cabin (the Element was stuffed, and it holds a LOT of stuff).

The camping trip went well, and we got packed up Sunday morning and home by around 10. Which gave me enough time to unpack the car, get everyone showered, and even get some of the cooking stuff cleaned up before we had to have lunch and then E and I had to head out for a birthday party. The party was at a lazer tag place down in Marlboro, and E had a blast. Unfortunately, we had to leave straight from there instead of going back to their house for cake, so that he could be at Nashoba for his 5:30 snowboard lesson. M was going to bring E home, since he finished his teaching at that same time E finished his lesson (convenient, that!). So I was free to stop at the grocery store (yet again!) on the way home and pick up cake and ice cream for M's bday (which is actually today, but the boys will be with Himself tonight). So when M got home, we surprised him with the cake and his gift.

However, since today is his actual bday, I'm going to take him out for dinner tonight, and then we will have a quiet, relaxing (maybe even a wee bit romantic) evening at home with just the two of us.

But man, am I dead on my ass tired today.
danagryphon: (Sun & Moon)
My unbelievably busy scheduled continued this weekend. To recap the end of last week, Thursday evening, when I had to go to the business meeting for the Ayer Sportsman's Club so that we could talk to the right person about renting their site for the archery/tw event, and then go do the grocery shopping for the weekend cub scout campout, my train was an hour late getting home because the train in front of us broke down and we had to push it from Concord to South Acton. Luckily, [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 , who had come by to drop off the check for the deposit to the Ayer site, was prepared to stand in for me at their meeting, and ended up going with me for much needed moral support. But, we have a site! Yay!

I did stop at the grocery store on the way home after that and bought some of the food for the camping trip. Realized the next day that I forgot a whole bunch of stuff, so I had to do another trip Friday night, but that was ok. So after I got home Thursday and got the food stowed away, I had to run over to the house of our Pack Committee Chair to get the tour permit signed and faxed into Council. Unfortunately, on leaving her house, I didn't notice the layer of ice on her front stairs, and went bumpity bumpity down all 5 or 6 of them on my butt, wrenching my hips, back and neck when I hit the bottom hard. Ouch. Nothing broken, no serious injury, just lots of soreness.

So, when I woke up Friday morning and could barely make it down the stairs from the bedroom, I decided sitting for an hour each way on a commuter train, standing (probably) on the subway train for half an hour, not to mention all the walking in between, just wasn't going to be any fun at all, so I worked from home. We actually had two camping trips going on this weekend: B's Troop was tent camping for the whole weekend (which M was going to part of, but since neither of us could be there for the whole thing, we decided B would skip; and the Pack was camping Saturday to Sunday, in a cabin, which I was in charge of organizing and running; and they were in different locations).

When I knocked off for the evening on Friday, I took the kids out for pizza (M was off with the troop on their camping trip), and then we had to go to Toys R Us to get a gift for the bday party Eli was invited to this weekend (more on that in a minute), and then back to the grocery store to finish getting food for the camping trip. Then I had to actually pack stuff for me, E, and B, and get up early the next day to pack up the car with everything else.

So I was up at 7 on Saturday, to pack the car. We actually got out the door by around 9, which got us to the camp (just down the road in Bolton) by 9:30 (after stopping for coffee and a breakfast sandwich). I was very happy when another family arrived the same time we did, and the father was very helpful in getting my car unloaded into the cabin (the Element was stuffed, and it holds a LOT of stuff).

The camping trip went well, and we got packed up Sunday morning and home by around 10. Which gave me enough time to unpack the car, get everyone showered, and even get some of the cooking stuff cleaned up before we had to have lunch and then E and I had to head out for a birthday party. The party was at a lazer tag place down in Marlboro, and E had a blast. Unfortunately, we had to leave straight from there instead of going back to their house for cake, so that he could be at Nashoba for his 5:30 snowboard lesson. M was going to bring E home, since he finished his teaching at that same time E finished his lesson (convenient, that!). So I was free to stop at the grocery store (yet again!) on the way home and pick up cake and ice cream for M's bday (which is actually today, but the boys will be with Himself tonight). So when M got home, we surprised him with the cake and his gift.

However, since today is his actual bday, I'm going to take him out for dinner tonight, and then we will have a quiet, relaxing (maybe even a wee bit romantic) evening at home with just the two of us.

But man, am I dead on my ass tired today.
danagryphon: (Rafting)
This weekend was the pack family camping trip. Since stepping down as Cubmaster, I took over the job of the guy who became Cubmaster, which is to be the Outdoor Activities Coordinator. So I get to organize all the pack's events outside of pack meetings.

The two summer events (this camping trip, and a bike hike back in July) have been a challenge, because I kind of assumed that a lot more groundwork had been laid on them than actually had. So I had to play catchup with them a bit. But they are done now, and I am starting with a clean slate for the new scouting year (at least until I cross over in February, but most of the events are done by then).

But between the week I spent most of with B at his summer camp, and this weekend trip, I could really use a break from camping. This weekend's event was beautiful, camping right next to the beach down near Scituate. But the area had no shade whatsoever, and the sun was just brutal.

We ended up not doing any of the summer camping SCA events that I had wanted to do, between not wanting to deal with the weather, and the snafu with my paycheck back in July. This summer, instead, has ended up being scouts and condo. We have gotten a lot done around the condo (and also just enjoyed some of the more summer-oriented aspects of our new home), and done a lot with scouts. Work has also been a challenge this summer, since I have just been getting slammed with project after projects for months now.

I also have gotten very little motorcycle riding done. And we haven't had the kayaks out at all. We did have the whitewater rafting trip in June, but that is the only time we've gotten out on the water at all.

Of course, for us, camping season doesn't ever really end, but the amount of equipment for troop camping is much less than for family camping, since it just involves a backpack and sleeping bag. We do have one more event where I'll have to pull out the whole shebang, which is the Webelos Woods overnighter at the end of September. But I've got over a month to recover and prepare!

I can't believe it is 11 months since we moved into the condo already.
danagryphon: (Rafting)
This weekend was the pack family camping trip. Since stepping down as Cubmaster, I took over the job of the guy who became Cubmaster, which is to be the Outdoor Activities Coordinator. So I get to organize all the pack's events outside of pack meetings.

The two summer events (this camping trip, and a bike hike back in July) have been a challenge, because I kind of assumed that a lot more groundwork had been laid on them than actually had. So I had to play catchup with them a bit. But they are done now, and I am starting with a clean slate for the new scouting year (at least until I cross over in February, but most of the events are done by then).

But between the week I spent most of with B at his summer camp, and this weekend trip, I could really use a break from camping. This weekend's event was beautiful, camping right next to the beach down near Scituate. But the area had no shade whatsoever, and the sun was just brutal.

We ended up not doing any of the summer camping SCA events that I had wanted to do, between not wanting to deal with the weather, and the snafu with my paycheck back in July. This summer, instead, has ended up being scouts and condo. We have gotten a lot done around the condo (and also just enjoyed some of the more summer-oriented aspects of our new home), and done a lot with scouts. Work has also been a challenge this summer, since I have just been getting slammed with project after projects for months now.

I also have gotten very little motorcycle riding done. And we haven't had the kayaks out at all. We did have the whitewater rafting trip in June, but that is the only time we've gotten out on the water at all.

Of course, for us, camping season doesn't ever really end, but the amount of equipment for troop camping is much less than for family camping, since it just involves a backpack and sleeping bag. We do have one more event where I'll have to pull out the whole shebang, which is the Webelos Woods overnighter at the end of September. But I've got over a month to recover and prepare!

I can't believe it is 11 months since we moved into the condo already.
danagryphon: (Rafting)
So it was an interesting weekend. Friday evening we got all set up, and the boys had a lot of fun building a campfire and making s'mores. I woke up Saturday way earlier than I wanted to (like 5:30) thanks to our "companion" boy scout troop staying in a nearby campsite who came by being very loud, very early. I'm sure the people who were staying in the campground who had no affiliation with them or the pack were even more thrilled by their antics.

The result was that we had plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and getting all set for the day on the river. M and I brought all our wetsuits, and loaned 5 of them to other folks from the pack, saving them the trouble and expense of having to rent from the rafting company. The rafting trip itself was awesomeness. Our raft had, besides M, E, and myself, another scout and his mother, as well as our guide. E had one episode of unintentional swimming, when we got spun and bounced around off a rock, which even sent the guide overboard (and I've never seen anyone scramble back into a boat so fast; he *didn't* have a wetsuit, and the water was about 45 degrees). But we got E back on board none the worse for his dip.

The trip through the roughest part of the river, called Zoar Gap, a section of class 3 white water, was no problem after that, but a load of fun. I'd love to go back and do that same run with just M and I in our kayaks. The river guides has designated spots where we were allowed to go *intentionally* swimming, and other spots were we were encouraged to have water fights between the boats; they even provided large buckets for us to dowse each other, as well as teaching the best methods of splashing with paddles.

In the pic, that's E in the blue helmet, M in front with the red helmet, and me in the other red helmet (we brought our own rather than use the yellow ones the rafting company used for everyone else).


While everyone else headed back to the campsite, M, E, and I made a short side trip to a trading post a few miles down the road we had seen on our way in Friday night. Well, it turns out to be fortuitous that we had done so. As we approached the turnoff from the main road to the campground, we saw the car of one of our companions up on a flatbed and a couple of police cars in attendance. Turns out the father had forgotten to renew his registration, and got pulled over for not having a sticker on his plate. They impounded the car, and I'm not sure how he and his son would have gotten back to the campground (the visual of an police car dropping them off was not gratifying). So we stopped, of course, and we able to give them a ride once the officers allowed them to go. I feel bad for the poor guy; it's bad enough to have something like that happen at all, but for it to happen 2 hours and 100 miles from home sucks even more. On the other hand, Dude! What were you thinking!

The other unfortunate part of the trip was that as we were finally making our way back to the campground, the rain started. And after a couple of false flirtations with being a passing shower, the rain set in for the rest of the night. We had a few mild leaks in the tent (I love the tent, but it was not designed to stand up to really bad weather), but we able to use towels to soak up the little puddles before anything essential got wet.

The other excitement was that I woke later Saturday night, around 2 a.m., to the sound of a bear foraging around in our campsite. We were the location of the kitchen set up, and even though we were meticulous about putting the food away in the cars at night (as asked by the rangers), the lingering smells were enough to attract a bear. But all he did was snuff around for a little, looking for food that he didn't find. Black bears, fortunately, are probably the most laid back of the bears, and will generally not go after people, just food. He wandered over to tent of another family in our group, and sniffed around it for a little while, then wandered off.

The parents decided to forgo a cooked breakfast Sunday morning in the rain, and just have the boys finish off the bagels and poptarts from the previous morning. We packed up our car and were on the road by 8:30, with the intention of stopping at the Dunkins in Greenfield (Quintavians, you know the one!), which was about 20 miles down the road. Ah, hot coffee.

We got home and unloaded the car, had a round of hot showers for everyone, and waited to hear if E's game would still be played or not. It had mostly stopped raining by around 11:30 when we got the call canceling because the field was really unplayable. So the game is rescheduled for tonight. Himself brought B over around lunchtime, and after lunch, we headed out to go see Up (in 3D). It was a good movie, although surprisingly sad. The 3D was used more to give a sense of vastness and height and grandeur than for cheap "in your face" effects.

Hopefully the weather will be good tonight for the game, and so that I can pull out the tent and the popups to dry. And of course, no point putting everything away since I'll just be back out next weekend for K&Q's on the Cape.
danagryphon: (Rafting)
So it was an interesting weekend. Friday evening we got all set up, and the boys had a lot of fun building a campfire and making s'mores. I woke up Saturday way earlier than I wanted to (like 5:30) thanks to our "companion" boy scout troop staying in a nearby campsite who came by being very loud, very early. I'm sure the people who were staying in the campground who had no affiliation with them or the pack were even more thrilled by their antics.

The result was that we had plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and getting all set for the day on the river. M and I brought all our wetsuits, and loaned 5 of them to other folks from the pack, saving them the trouble and expense of having to rent from the rafting company. The rafting trip itself was awesomeness. Our raft had, besides M, E, and myself, another scout and his mother, as well as our guide. E had one episode of unintentional swimming, when we got spun and bounced around off a rock, which even sent the guide overboard (and I've never seen anyone scramble back into a boat so fast; he *didn't* have a wetsuit, and the water was about 45 degrees). But we got E back on board none the worse for his dip.

The trip through the roughest part of the river, called Zoar Gap, a section of class 3 white water, was no problem after that, but a load of fun. I'd love to go back and do that same run with just M and I in our kayaks. The river guides has designated spots where we were allowed to go *intentionally* swimming, and other spots were we were encouraged to have water fights between the boats; they even provided large buckets for us to dowse each other, as well as teaching the best methods of splashing with paddles.

In the pic, that's E in the blue helmet, M in front with the red helmet, and me in the other red helmet (we brought our own rather than use the yellow ones the rafting company used for everyone else).


While everyone else headed back to the campsite, M, E, and I made a short side trip to a trading post a few miles down the road we had seen on our way in Friday night. Well, it turns out to be fortuitous that we had done so. As we approached the turnoff from the main road to the campground, we saw the car of one of our companions up on a flatbed and a couple of police cars in attendance. Turns out the father had forgotten to renew his registration, and got pulled over for not having a sticker on his plate. They impounded the car, and I'm not sure how he and his son would have gotten back to the campground (the visual of an police car dropping them off was not gratifying). So we stopped, of course, and we able to give them a ride once the officers allowed them to go. I feel bad for the poor guy; it's bad enough to have something like that happen at all, but for it to happen 2 hours and 100 miles from home sucks even more. On the other hand, Dude! What were you thinking!

The other unfortunate part of the trip was that as we were finally making our way back to the campground, the rain started. And after a couple of false flirtations with being a passing shower, the rain set in for the rest of the night. We had a few mild leaks in the tent (I love the tent, but it was not designed to stand up to really bad weather), but we able to use towels to soak up the little puddles before anything essential got wet.

The other excitement was that I woke later Saturday night, around 2 a.m., to the sound of a bear foraging around in our campsite. We were the location of the kitchen set up, and even though we were meticulous about putting the food away in the cars at night (as asked by the rangers), the lingering smells were enough to attract a bear. But all he did was snuff around for a little, looking for food that he didn't find. Black bears, fortunately, are probably the most laid back of the bears, and will generally not go after people, just food. He wandered over to tent of another family in our group, and sniffed around it for a little while, then wandered off.

The parents decided to forgo a cooked breakfast Sunday morning in the rain, and just have the boys finish off the bagels and poptarts from the previous morning. We packed up our car and were on the road by 8:30, with the intention of stopping at the Dunkins in Greenfield (Quintavians, you know the one!), which was about 20 miles down the road. Ah, hot coffee.

We got home and unloaded the car, had a round of hot showers for everyone, and waited to hear if E's game would still be played or not. It had mostly stopped raining by around 11:30 when we got the call canceling because the field was really unplayable. So the game is rescheduled for tonight. Himself brought B over around lunchtime, and after lunch, we headed out to go see Up (in 3D). It was a good movie, although surprisingly sad. The 3D was used more to give a sense of vastness and height and grandeur than for cheap "in your face" effects.

Hopefully the weather will be good tonight for the game, and so that I can pull out the tent and the popups to dry. And of course, no point putting everything away since I'll just be back out next weekend for K&Q's on the Cape.
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
Given the tendancy of camps that the SCA uses for events to not allow ground fires, I decided it was time for us to buy a fire pit. I've seen portable ones, but they were pretty expensive in the stores, so I looked online. I found this one at a place called Northern Tool for $45, plus $15 in shipping. It folds flat for storage, comes with a carrying bag, and is only 18 lbs. for shipping. Most of the ones I've seen in stores run more like $70, and closer to 30 lbs. (and $22+ in shipping if not in the store), so this one was a big win. The website said 5-7 business days for shipping, so we might have it in time for War of the Roses.

If not, I'm sure we will still get plenty of use out of it over the summer, since we have plans for at least 2 more camping events, besides Pennsic (I'll have to see if Li and Ygraine would be interested in having it around for Pennsic). Plus, it could also be used on our deck if we ever actually get the condo.
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
Given the tendancy of camps that the SCA uses for events to not allow ground fires, I decided it was time for us to buy a fire pit. I've seen portable ones, but they were pretty expensive in the stores, so I looked online. I found this one at a place called Northern Tool for $45, plus $15 in shipping. It folds flat for storage, comes with a carrying bag, and is only 18 lbs. for shipping. Most of the ones I've seen in stores run more like $70, and closer to 30 lbs. (and $22+ in shipping if not in the store), so this one was a big win. The website said 5-7 business days for shipping, so we might have it in time for War of the Roses.

If not, I'm sure we will still get plenty of use out of it over the summer, since we have plans for at least 2 more camping events, besides Pennsic (I'll have to see if Li and Ygraine would be interested in having it around for Pennsic). Plus, it could also be used on our deck if we ever actually get the condo.

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