We decided that a warm up winter camp was a good idea this year. Not only would this allow us to get in another camp out during the winter time when things are normally pretty quiet, but it would also allow the boys a chance to test their gear and knowledge against a lower altitude location before heading off into the mountains. The one public campground that stays open all winter long in the area is the Willow Park Campground. This time of year there is always room, and it has a heated bathroom that they keep really warm.
If you want to practice sleeping outside in the freezing cold, then it is a good place.
To make things more interesting we also invited along the 11 year-old scouts. So this was my first chance to go camping with Collin Brandow and Misha Case. It was also the first time that Ethan Moctezuma went camping with us. He’s a regular at scout activities, but until this weekend we had never been able to coax him into the wilderness. Hopefully he will come with us again.
The whole list of boys that went:
Misha Case, Sascha Case, Nikolaus Case, Jared Carroll, Ethan Moctezuma, Miles Petty, Collin Brandow, Jonas Brandow, Zachary Earl, Matt Drebot, Jared Howard.
Sam Howard, Kyle Warr, Jason Earl, Karl Petty (showed up in the morning).
Of those boys only Zachary, Matt, and Jared Howard got any real sleep. Collin said he slept warm (and bragged about wearing 5 pairs of cotton socks because he didn’t have wool ones). I don’t personally believe him, but I do give him credit for heart. Temperatures dipped into the single digits. Jared Carroll and Nikolaus Case ended up in the big van, which was not much of an improvement as it was freezing in there as well. They did find my extra sleeping bags though. Ethan got so cold that his lips froze together.
I forgot to bring a camera, but Karl got some pictures as we were taking down camp.