Monday, August 8, 2011

My Long Weekend at Camp

Our Girl Scout troop (through the cookie money and some parental cash) earned a trip to our council's Girl Scout camp. The camp ran from Thursday night through Sunday morning. It was pretty amazing.

We all met up and began our drive in the mid-afternoon on Thursday, because with traffic it can take up to four hours to drive the ~100 miles to camp. We got within 25 miles of camp when the highway we needed to travel was closed in both directions due to a terrible car accident. When I say highway, I mean single lane each way podunk country highway. We got directions for a detour that in retrospect, we probably would have been better off avoiding and just waiting until they opened the road again. This detour took us around an hour and I estimate covered about an additional 40 miles. And until I got past halfway through the detour, Nigel (I named our GPS) kept telling me to make a u-turn every few minutes. There were also brush fires in the area, and our detour looked like it was heading right to the fire, until it veered off at the end. Nothing like the fear of getting lost added to the fear of being burned to a crisp. We finally got back to the original highway and made it to camp on time for evening program.

Friday morning we woke up and had breakfast, then headed to our first morning program area...Lake Play!!! They brought out kayaks and windsurf boards (without the sail) and the girls (and adults) could swim, kayak, or paddle the boards out onto the lake. I got my kayaking in for the year, since I was in the hospital for our troop's annual kayak event. From there we went on a hike to a rock formation that was used by the indigenous people of the area as a lookout and where the women ground their grain and acorns for food. There was a rock formation that people could scramble up without any equipment. Then it was time for lunch, which was served outdoors. After lunch we went to the stables for horseback riding and a bead craft. K rode a horse named Ponzo, who, according to K, really just wanted to graze the whole trail ride. I rode a horse named Omaha. Omaha was a dark chocolate brown horse with a black mane, and was a very gentle and patient animal. I had much difficulty mounting the horse and I had to get on the ramp, because I just do not have a lot of strength in my knees and hips. We went to the pool and swam after horseback riding, then ate dinner. Before dinner, our troop was assigned to be the color guard for the evening flag ceremony. K got to be the "caller", while our girls and some girls from another troop were the color guard and the 'singing bridge'. I am proud of our girls' respect and poise. Our troop opted out of evening program (choice between night swimming in lower camp - our cabins were in upper camp, and watching a movie in the dining hall). The girls played games in one cabin, while we adults hung out in the other cabin just chatting and laughing. There were two tarantulas in our camp that evening, and I got a couple of close up photos (that I will upload later). I have never seen a tarantula in nature before, only in cages. Later that evening, one of our girls had a moth fly into her ear (ewww) and would not come out, so I took her and another girl (for moral support) up to the health center where one of the camp staff (I am assuming she is an RN or LVN) was finally able to remove it. The moth was placed into a "lost tooth" box to be taken home to show her family. The same girl lost TWO baby teeth while we were at camp. Best camp story ever!

Saturday morning after breakfast we were scheduled for 'troop time/nature'. We opted in to the tour of the museum and papermaking craft, instead of staying up at the cabins. After that we were in the pool. They delivered our lunch to the pool for us to assemble. After that we were driven up to upper camp (because the hike to the rock climbing station would have taken up most of our time). The hike from upper camp to the rocks was robust (to put it mildly). I really should have stayed back and really almost did not make it all the way up there. Again, I did not try to climb (none of the adults did), but I truly bit off more than I could chew. From there we were rushed down to archery (back in lower camp - we were transported again) because we were over an hour late for that station. The girls each shot 2 quivers with 5 arrows each, then we needed to rush back up for dinner. After dinner we all headed back down to lower camp (!!!) for the campfire and skits. Our troop did the "Invisible Bench" skit. It was fun to watch all the skits and see the creativity.

This morning we had to pack up and leave (sad face). There was an optional pre-breakfast hike that our girls opted out of, so we took that time to have our girls pack their bags and roll up their sleeping bags. We had breakfast (our troop was assigned to be the "hoppers" for breakfast, as was another troop - the other troop showed up AFTER our troop had gotten the dining room all set up *grr*). After breakfast we had a closing ceremony, then a short "dance party" in the dining hall. Back to the cabins to load up, sweep out and clean BIFFs and go. The ride back was much easier without the detour.

I am very tired and yet unable to sleep.

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