Friday, June 17, 2016

It's official......I love Girl Scout camp

As a kid, I went to Girl Scout camp once.  I think I spent about 98.3% of my time in the nurse's station.  I had terrible allergies then and, knowing what I know now, I expect I had a considerable amount of anxiety that made me feel sicker than I actually was.   The only good thing to come out of my experience was Camp Chili (one can chili with beans, Fritos corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese=little slice o'heaven).

This summer is N's 5th year doing Girl Scout day camp, and it is also my 5th year of volunteering at camp, although it is my 1st year volunteering at camp all week.  Prior to this summer, I've worked in the kitchen twice, helped with fishing once and hung out for a couple days with a unit of girls.

Both G and M got to go to Girl Scout camp, too, which is a benefit of volunteering.  I get to help with Girl Scouts, and my boys get to experience camping with me nearby in case of emergency (or minor emergency, like "I miss mom.")

I was worried about how they would do, especially G who, as a general rule, avoids the outside and hates any kind of physical activity. He, however, did beautifully.  He caught a fish.  He made friends.  He wants to go back next year.  M had a good time, too, although it wore his little 6-year-old butt out!

N complained on Monday, saying she didn't want to be there and this was her last year of day camp.  By Thursday, though, she said she wants to come back next year when she will be an aide.  She doesn't love the early morning wakeup, but she really enjoys camp.

I am not a camper or a fisher or a creek walker or person who enjoys roughing it (although my personal appearance gives the impression that I do but that is because I am 1. lazy and 2. without shame), but I did love this week of camp.  

I loved it because I learned a lot, as I have every year that I've been.  I loved it because my own kids had fun.  I loved it because I felt a camaraderie with other women who were exposing girls to the outdoors, to being bold in the face of darkness, spiders in latrines and lost underwear.  It forced me to be brave and to try new things because I had 15 little girls watching me and waiting for me to set an example.

It was sometimes hard and sometimes hot and sometimes annoying, but there were also moments of great hilarity, like when our unit leader asked the girls if they knew the song "I've Got Something in My Pocket" (Brownie Smile Song).  One of the girls yelled out, "You mean 'I'm gonna pop some tags.  Only got $20 in my pocket.'"

Or the day after sleepover when one of the aides and I ate our lunches off of plastic bags because we either didn't have (me) or didn't feel like retrieving (her) mess kits.  It isn't funny to write it here, but we thought it was hilarious that we were so tired we were reduced to eating off of bags.

It was a great experience with my kids and one I hope to repeat again next summer!

                         This is my group creek walking today.  I'm in front with the purple shirt.  

And here is N with her friends doing the canoe tip-test

Performing flag ceremony

and having fun doing the Teams Course.

And then the boys....who got to roast marshmallows

and use knives

and catch fish

and make friends


Jennifer said...

I wholeheartedly agree! I think I love GS camp even more than my kids do! I'm just praying my daughter who want to go back for many years to come.

frostgalsmom said...

This is absolutely what it is all about. Being courageous and strong, especially when you know the girls are watching your every move. So. Much. Truth.
The countless hours of preparation and I'm so happy to see that it all worked fabulously! ! I love camp and am so glad you were a part of it!! Thank You!!:)
♡ heather