Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about James and his Scout cooking contest. I was anxious to hear from him after dinner but figured I wouldn't.
About 8 pm the phone range. Could it be him? No, but it was one of the Scout leaders informing us that James was sick. Could they give him some cold medicine? James came on the line and said he was feeling pretty badly and would like to come home. It's a 90-minute drive to camp... could he tough it out there for the night? Yeah, he could.
The only thing we heard in that conversation about the contest was: the food wasn't ready for the judges at the appointed moment. Bummer.
He arrived home around noon: filthy, exhausted, maybe getting sick (other family members have been sick this week), but happy. His patrol got 3rd place. Out of just 4, so... not great. But he was satisfied. The stew was good, he said, once it was cooked. The mango soda was an instant hit. So was his couscous dessert, despite it being a little strange to most people. The chapatis were not so great. He'd perfected them at home but cooking on a fire is different than on an electric stove. He thinks they just couldn't get the griddle hot enough.
This past week was hardly stellar for our academic achievements. But boy did he learn a lot about meal planning, shopping, and cooking. Hm, supervising 5 boys can be hard work too, so probably some management skills got in there too. And yesterday the boys were working hard from sunup till well after sundown.
I will be counting it as a school day. I think I could count it as two!