Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Car-free and Homeless at Jamboree

My 12 year old snapped this great photo during the finale.

Disclaimer: the following story didn't change the great time I had at the Centennial Boy Scout National Jamboree a couple weeks back. As mentioned previously, I was in Virginia at Fort A.P. Hill to sign posters of my July cover of Boys' Life Magazine. I stayed overnight with the scout troop my two boys were part of and thoroughly enjoyed the time with them. Well, the next morning, I went to put my gear back in the rental car and found it MISSING. OK, granted, I most likely did not follow procedure on staying overnight, figuring it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission which it indeed was. I found out that the cost of such forgiveness was $100. I spent about 2 1/2 hours locating the rental car and finding a way to retrieve it from the impound lot. My hosts at Boys' Life Magazine were very kind and covered the impound fee (thanks John!) and made sure I got to my car (thanks Kevin), so I am grateful for that. 

Dirt seats weren't too comfortable, but what a sight.

I attended the Arena Show Extravaganza that evening with my boys and about 70,000 other scouts and leaders in full uniform (what an impressive sight)

Switchfoot had the arena rockin'!

We laughed along with Dirty Jobs guy Mike Rowe and rocked out to Switchfoot capped with one of the best fireworks show I have ever seen. There was a candlelight ceremony in which everyone recited the Scout Law and pledged their duty. The sight of 70,000 young men and leaders that represent the best in our nation was quite a moving moment.

The candles were all blown out at the same time

After I hugged my boys goodbye, I dragged my tired carcass back to the Best Western hotel in Fredericksburg looking forward to a few hours sleep in a real bed before my 7:00 a.m. flight. With key raised to open the door I noticed someone IN MY ROOM WATCHING T.V.! Um, hello? MY ROOM! According to the desk staff, I had "checked out at 2:30 p.m." . I just had to laugh when they said the hotel was full. They apparently gave my room away when I didn't sleep there the middle night of my stay even though I had reserved it for three nights. Go figure. Long story short, I drove the hour plus to the Richmond airport, arrived at 2:30 am, got an hour and a half of sleep on the floor before the incessant "there is no parking along the drop off curb" announcements began to repeat every five minutes. Saving grace? I was only charged for a single night stay after making a stink and then slept like the dead when I got home to my own bed. Sometimes you just gotta laugh- and besides, I got a good story out of it all.

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