Monday, June 9, 2008

Our Girl Scout camping adventure

As many of you know, my six year old daughter and I went camping this weekend at a Mother/Daughter event through Girl Scouts. Here's a little photo chronicle of the trip...

Friday night we arrived way early because I was the OPF (Outdoor Program Facilitator) for our troop house. I met "my" First-Aider and one of her friends, both of whom rocked and made the weekend 1000 times better than it would have been had they not been there. I was supposed to build a fire for our house that night, but it kept storming, then stopping, then starting again. So no fire...

Several of the people staying in our house (36 in all) arrived really late, which threw our schedule off a lot. One mom came in late and had a huge fit over the bunks that were left for her and her girls. I hadn't even met her yet and she was in my face, screaming, saying someone had to move or she would be too hot, that we had to give her our fan (as OPF I was allowed to bring one to set up in the main room, but this mom was so late all the beds in the main room were taken and she was in a seperate room), that she was never coming to camp again (like I should care?!) etc. So the first night was very unplesant, stuck in the cabin as we were.

I'll just stop to say a little something about being "in charge" here. I kind of liked it because I got to make the rules and set the tone of the experience. So no stewing privately because I didn't like how others were behaving, I got to tell them exactly what to do and when to do it (talking about things like light's out, cleaning etc). On the other hand I had to deal with all the shitty problem people and ended up doing way more than my fair share of work. It was pretty exhausting.

Saturday morning we walked the 1 mile or so down to the dining hall for breakfast. Almost the entire day was spent here. This is a picture of Saskia with some of her new friends before breakfast.

After breakfast was scrapbooking, which Saskia really is in to, a good choice for her.

During this time the girls got to go out in small groups for a 45 minute long planetarium thing (they had one of those portable ones). The theme for the weekend was two-fold, partly "tea party" and partly space and stars, another good fit for my little astronomer.

After that Saskia and I went on a 30 minute hike and visited the camp store. Then came lunch, followed by Try-It work. She earned the "Space Explorer" Try-It this weekend. At this point mom was so sick of crafts, but there were more to come! Try-It work was followed by a teapot painting party. Actually they were teapot shaped coasters. Then we had a tea party, here's my munchkin enjoying her petits fours:

Then, finally at 3:00 (what do you mean it's only 3:00!!!! It feels like I've been up for 15 hours at least) we went boating. We didn't know it until we docked, but we rowed a field mouse all around the lake. It jumped out of it's hiding place when we hit the dock and ran up the boat, under all the girl's feet, causing them to scream and jump and nearly tip us over. It's amazing that no one fell in. We tried to convince them it was cool, after all how many girls can say they've given a mouse a boat ride?

Here's a really horrible picture of me with my girlie and a cute one of her rowing the boat:

After boating was dinner, then the Ford Amateur Astronomy Club came out and gave us a presentation about the Solar System, planets, constallations and the like. They brought 5 massive telescopes (which I forgot to take a picture of, bummer) for the girls to star gaze. We were supposed to be able to see Saturn and Jupiter, but the clouds were way to thick, no one could see anything. I did find out there is a free planetarium in the town next to ours though, so I promised to take my daughter there soon.

Minus the star-gazing we spent the rest of the evening around the campfire.

We sang lots of songs that I remembered from my days in Campfire as a girl, it was very sentimental I admit I nearly cried. I'm a dork, I know.

We were back at the cabin around 10pm and started cleaning and packing for the next day. Interestingly 6 of the moms in our house bailed, some with legit reasons others not. So the last 7 moms were left to do all the cleaning (Girl Scouts always leave a place cleaner than they found it!). In the end it was probably good that some of them left, as one was the b**** from Friday night and her bff and I found out Sunday morning that the rumor in their troop was that they were bringing alcohol to the event, which is strictly forbidden. They did pack in a huge cooler so I bet the rumors were true. Just what I would have needed after that long day, drunken loud-mouths to kick out.

Sunday we had to finish cleaning, had breakfast, loaded the car and checked out.

All in all it was an awesome weekend, despite the responsibilities and the few difficult people I encountered. Saskia and I had some great bonding time. I am so greatful to the moms of these 3 girls, they and their daughters were so welcoming and kind to us and included us in their group without a second thought. That's what Girl Scouts is supposed to be! I'm also thankful to the awesome volunteers, especially the older girls who did a great job entertaining and working with our little ones. I hope to have such grounded teens!

It was a trip to remember forever. Laughing

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