Saturday morning after a quick breakfast of Slim Jims and cereal bars I started packing up my gear as one of the boys brings me a sandwich sized ziplock bag.
“Here are your trail snacks for today Mrs. Anderson.”
He walks away as I look at the bag wondering how the breaks would work. After deciding that we would surely stop and eat our snacks, I put it on top of everything so I could get to it easily. A few minutes later, we took off heading further into Mayaca State Park. Chris and I had been assured that the pace would be comfortable for us, the scouts always put the slowest person at point, but I felt like I was jogging to keep up. Chris stopped and pulled out his GPS to find out we were moving at four miles an hour. We looked at each other and decided we were in for a long hard day if this was the slowest kid. I quickly took Chris’s advice of setting my goal on the next tree line and mentally hunkered down for each section of the day.
Unfortunately, there were no breaks for snacks and I was determined not to be the weak one in the group, so I kept the pace with the group and said nothing. About 11:00 I started wobbling all over the place and when Chris stopped me to see if I was okay, I simply sat down, light headed.
"Why don't we just sit here for a little bit. Where are your snacks?"
He helped me out of my straps as he and the other adult took his pack off and sat down with me.
"What about the boys?" I asked, almost panicked because I knew groups should never split up. "Don't we need to tell them to stop?"
He looked up the trail and yelled a few times. There was no answer.
"It'll be fine," he said calmly, "a good test to see how aware they are of the group and if they follow procedures. Why are all your snacks in your backpack? We covered all of this in the meetings."
"I wasn't at those meetings."
"Oh yeah, you weren't supposed to be coming with us. Keep your snacks in your cargo pockets. That way you can eat without having to stop."
We sat in the cool shade and I continued eating my snacks as two of the boys came running back towards us. Sure enough, we had been missed in a reasonable amount of time and the two of them had dropped their packs and ran back up the trail to find us.
"Is she okay?"
Irritated, Chris looked up at them and replied, "Yes, WE are fine, thank you."
"Oh, we weren't worried about you Mr. Anderson. The scoutmaster told us we had better take good care of Mrs. Anderson."
"Again, WE are fine." Chris looked at me, 'Are you ready to head on? We should be stopping for lunch soon."