The morning came early…very early…as everyone crawled out of bed for the first time just after 3 AM. We needed everyone up to help pack the rest of the truck as much as possible before the rain hit. After rushing around for 30 minutes everyone crawled back into their tents just minutes before monsoon season began at Fort A.P. Hill.
It was a wet morning and thankfully we left up just enough tents to get us through the night. However we didn’t stay dry long because as soon as the bus arrived everyone had to battle the rain and small lakes scattered throughout the campsite to pack the rest of the remaining gear. Water was everywhere and to say that anyone was able to stay dry would be a total lie. At some places in our camp standing water was close to 6” deep and the once dry shoes, socks and other clothing items were soaked with the hard rain that seemed to never let up. Once everything was loaded up and ready to go we piled onto the bus dripping from head to toe, ready to leave and start our journey back home. The bus trip back to Washington D.C. allowed several to get a little more sleep, eat breakfast and try to dry off as much as possible before our day of sight seeing.
Our first stop landed us at Mount Vernon, were we spent a good part of the morning touring the home and the grounds of George Washington’s estate where he lived for 45 years. It was very interesting to hear and learn about our nation’s first president and how he lived during the formation of the United States of America. One little known fact however was that George Washington was actually a Mic-O-Say tribesman and has the claws to prove it! The house featured pieces from the time and was fully restored back to before Washington’s death making several of the artifacts over 200 years old.
After a quick lunch at Roy Rodgers we were on our way to the International Spy Museum were our boys got to see spy gadgets that have been used by spies throughout history. Cool items like the James Bond car, miniature microphones and transmitters, compact cameras, and weapons were common place throughout the museum. With pieces dating back several decades our young men got to see just how far technology has come in the spy world.
Our next appointment was scheduled at the Newseum; a museum about the news media’s history and its role not only in America but around the world as well. The museum featured the history of several major stories that hit world and American headlines with an emphasis on how the media covered each story. Displays at the Newseum depicted history throughout the years with a reporter insight that gave a first hand look into the role that the media has played in our society. Included were photos from iconic Sports Illustrated magazines, Nobel Prize winning photographs, the front page from most major world newspapers, September 11th display, Elvis Presley memorabilia, a news chopper, part of the Berlin Wall and much much more.
With most of our touring over with for the day we got back onto the bus and headed to an early evening meal at the Ronald Regan Building. Again much like the meals before the National Jamboree this was a ticketed meal where the boys had a selection in which they could choose what they would like to eat from a variety of restaurants. Shortly after our meal but before we departed we thought it would be a good idea to get one last picture of just the adults and our tour guide in order to mark a successful trip.
We arrived at our hotel a little earlier than planned in our itinerary but I can tell you it didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings to be able to jump into a hot shower and relax before our last day away from home. Although the Clarion wasn’t quite as fancy as the Hyatt, it seemed as though it was fit for a king compared to the accommodations that we had grown accustomed to at the Jamboree. Finding ways to keep entertained and make “good” use of their spare time at the hotel, the boys kept life interesting by assuring that there were no dull moments.