I have learned over the years since the Teen began going on scout campouts with his troop, that it is not a really good campout unless he can utter these words as soon as he walks in the door, "Mom, I almost died on my campout!" He doesn't really feel satisfied unless he has some sort of near death experience. Usually, he will come home with proof of his brush with death in the form of a goose egg on his forehead or scrapes down the side of his face. I used to get upset and tell him to be more careful, but I know now that's exactly the response he wants, so I just laugh and let him tell his harrowing stories.
Well, Saturday afternoon I expected more of the same when he walked through the door. But, instead of saying he almost died, he exclaimed instead, "Mom, Monson (names have been change to protect the innocent) almost died on our campout!" Well, that got my attention. I don't know what's worse, hearing about how your son almost died or hearing that his friend almost died and knowing whose stupid idea it was.
The teen quickly recounted what happened. It goes something like this. The scouts were looking for something to do in the morning, so they got a shovel and started walking out across the sand dunes. They were in the desert, by the way. One of them (my son) got the idea it would be fun to bury someone. Monson, being the youngest there, volunteered. They proceed to bury him up to his neck in sand, then stuck the shovel in the ground and left him there. They started walking back to camp. They were quite far away from him by the time they heard the ATV racing up and down the sand dunes. They turned around and to their horror saw that the ATV was headed toward Monson. They started running toward Monson yelling and screaming and waving their hands, but they were too far away so the ATV rider didn't hear them or see them. It came even closer to where Monson's head was sticking up out of the ground. By now, the Teen could tell Monson was yelling too and struggling to get out of there, but he couldn't. The ATV got closer and closer and looked like it was going to run right over the little head sticking out of the sand, but it didn't. The teen reached Monson first and unburied him quickly. Monson was panicked, but still smiling. Near death experience. Mission accomplished. I wonder if it was his first.
Did I mention that the Teen got an I Touch for Christmas from his very generous parents. Yeah, we got to see the whole thing on video. The best part was hearing that the Teen was actually very freaked out that his friend was possibly going to get his head squished.
After church on Sunday, his leader stopped me and asked me if I had heard what had happened.
I said, "Yeah. I saw it all on video. I hope you know now just how stupid they can be."
He said, "Yeah."
I think he already knew.