May 27, 2011

Girl Scout Survivor Weekend

That title doesn't give you any clues as to what was going to happen, does it?

The night before any Girl Scout trip, I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Checking and double checking permission slips, preparing my binder of leader goodies (health forms, transportation cards, accident forms, itinerary, etc).

Do I have the directions? A camp staff contact in case something goes haywire on the way to camp? Cell phone charger, warm clothes, pen, book, warm coat. Jeez.

We depart from our meeting place at 7:15am. (This was especially great since I didn't go to bed until 12:30 the night before and then was up at 6:00am).

I had one other parent with me, so 2 cars, 8 girls and a carload full of crap. I mean gear.

We had 103 miles to travel. Giggling girls in the back seat, singing along with the radio, taking J-14 and BOP magazine quizzes. Oi.

We arrive at camp, pull up in the wrong part, get out, figure out where we are supposed to be, back in the car, only to unload and do it all over again!

We finally get the whole group together. There are 4 other troops participating in this challenge weekend as well. Girls from 11-14 years old. We all don life jackets, pull the canoes off the shelf in the boathouse, pack a sack lunch, and row across the lake. Now, I am not a huge boater. In fact, I really don't like boats at all. Living in the Pacific NW, I do get on a ferry from time to time, and those are ok. Anything much smaller and anxiety rears its ugly head.

So, I opt out of a canoe, and instead take up an oar and row a Viking boat. Not much better than a canoe, but definitely less tippy. The lessor of the two evils.

Once we arrive on the other side of the lake, on our "deserted island", we haul all the canoes out of the water, split in to groups, learn about emergency shelter building, compass usage and navigation, and of course, knot tying.

My gaggle of girls, unbeknownst to me, are starting to fray around the seams. It is now late in the afternoon, they are hungry, tired and some are suffering from PMS. (BTW, so am I. Boy how I love to camp with Auntie Flow...........). Some granola bars are shoved down their throats as they are instructed to make their own shelter for the nights, using only tarps and rope.

Then, WW3 ensues. There are 5 crates dropped off. They are full of different supplies for each group to make dinner with. You can barter, trade or share your supplies in order to have a fantastic meal. Well, that is all great in principle but really? We got stuck with the shitty crate. The "ha ha, let's see what you can do with this" crate. And boy did the girls have ideas.

The problem? 8 girls, 8 different ideas. 8 different ways to trade food, make a deal or barter what we had. Add to this mix having to cook over the fire, having the ONLY crate of food without meat in it, and overtired girls. Guess what you get? An awful dinner.

While my girls were attempting to come up with a plan, the other mom and I were laughing hysterically. We have been given a set of pup tents to sleep in. They are all nicely bundled in their stuff sacks, and as we take them out, we notice the 2 poles required to put them together are missing. So we get the camp director to swap those out for some other tents.

Well, we get one all put together. The whole time that our great tent debacle is happening, the girls have been building their shelter, arguing about what goes where, and having major disagreements about the food and preparing the food, and the other mom and I are in a fit of giggles.

I mean the deep belly laugh, eyes watering, legs crossed to avoid piddle in the skivvies, bent over at the waist cause your stomach muscles are screaming kind of laugh. We are moving on to constructing our second tent. Wouldn't you know, one of the two poles snaps in half! More hysterical laughter ensues. A roll of duct tape later and my tent finally stands on its own.

The girls come over to us and actually ask if we are drunk, we are laughing that hysterically. No sleep, lots of walking and physical labor, and lack of food apparently makes me loopy. To the point people think I am intoxicated. Good times.

Things finally would down for the night, the girls sing some songs around the campfire and we shove them off to their homemade tent, and we settle down for the night. We awake Sunday morning much more refreshed.

We break down camp, row back across the lake, haul all of our gear to the car, and drive home. I squinted the entire way because my sunglasses fell on the floor of the front passenger seat and I couldn't reach them as I was driving 67 miles per hour.

Here is what I learned:

The show Survivor, not for me. I can camp with the best of the them. I can go without a shower, I can get dirty, and I can build a shelter and a fire. What I can not do? Use a biffy (bathroom in forest for you) for more than one day, deal with ladies on the rag, and go through another dinner like that.

My new diet? Courtesy of Girl Scout Survivor weekend: 1/2 orange and some pretzel sticks for lunch, 5 cucumber slices and 1/2 a hot dog for dinner, and a banana for breakfast Sunday morning. It's no wonder I lost 2 pounds at camp.

Pictures to come later. When I regain the ability to think outside of this weekend, when I move all my stuff!

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