WE HAD BEAUTIFUL WEATHER!! That doesn’t happen very often for me on a campout. The weather was near perfect, the girls were fun, the hikes were refreshing… all in all a very good weekend.
We were in a building that is a split cabin – we were on side B. Of course, if the camps lady had actually had a clue when I talked to her earlier in the week when I asked about a dad coming along and where he would stay, we might have been in our own cabin. She said “everything is full.” Well… that was NOT true there were several cabins not occupied. Even the one smaller handicapped cabin, which I would have taken at the last minute since the number of girls I took camping was smaller than anticipated.
The neighbor group was fine. They were a brownie troop. They spent a lot of time in the cabin doing crafts. We do crafts too but when the weather is nice we get our butts out and enjoy it. Our only complaint about them was the squealing at 7am on Saturday morning. We weren’t expecting to get up that early. But we did … and had our bacon and french toast on the hobo stoves by 8:15. If you have never cooked on a hobo stove, you don’t know what you are missing. 🙂 I remember cooking on them at Camp Wanake when homes-in-the-woods were actually in pine trees, and when your bacon fell off, you just rinsed the pine needles off in the fire bucket and cooked it again. Well.. pretty much the same thing happened this weekend. A few pieces of bacon jumped into the dirt and I told them to put it back on and “cook it off.” They were good sports and they did!
After breakfast we worked on our jumpropes for a while. I think I have figured out what the problem is with it being tight on one end and loose on the other. I’m just not sure how to correct it. Regardless, we had a great time making them and every one was different. It took us almost all day to get everyone’s done in our spare time between hikes and meals.
We noticed the neighbor troop brought out wash basins and bags of dishes to the porch. My girls were curious. The conversation went something like this:
Girls: What are they doing?
Me: Washing their dishes. Each girl has to bring and wash her own dishes.
Me: Because that is what leaders are taught. We don’t do that though.
Girls: Yeah, I like only have to do dishes once per weekend.
Me: Exactly. Isn’t it better wash dishes like a family instead of doing your own for each meal?
Girls: (Mixed responses here range from: Yes… to… I don’t like doing dishes… etc.)
Me: I like that we camp more like a family.
We have even been congratulated by a site monitor (“camp coach” is the new term) for team work in doing dishes and other things. I own all the dishes we need for a troop campout. Why would I ask each girl to buy something that many of them cannot afford. Team work and a Kaper Chart are great. The girls know what to expect and they really do only have to wash dishes once per weekend.
The way other troops wash dishes:
The way we wash dishes:
We did our usual hike to the glacial rocks. And, as usual, we saw no other troops taking advantage of the great exploring opportunity. It is such a cool place to explore and climb and enjoy the wonder that is God’s creation and to marvel at the strength of glaciers to carry such large rocks.
One of my favorite things to do is to take a BEFORE photo:
And then an after photo of the girls on the rocks along the trail!
The rocks are massive and fun to climb and explore. Yes, we were being careful AND had a first aid kit along just in case.
What makes me sad is that this sign was found by my troop in May and we reported that it was down so that it could be returned to its proper location on the National Park fence behind the cave area. Was that done? Guess not. I reported it AGAIN. Will it be done? Probably not.
Something that we enjoy looking at and pondering is why the swimming pool (from when my mother was a camper here) was at the bottom of a huge hill down by the creek? Someone has taken the time to excavate a corner of the pool so you can see that it really was a swimming pool by the blue walls, not just from the square indent in the ground in the woods.
Then there was our hike to find the clay in the creek down the trail behind the pond. That was part of our “Dirt and Mud” badge. The Dirt and Mud badge was a “make your own” badge created by my #2 daughter’s troop several years ago when we camped in January to do our Frosty Fun badge but it was 60º and muddy. I had to order the badges in quantities of 50, so I ordered 50 and am now on my 3rd troop to do it. I might be left with a few but it is a cool and fun badge. Playing in the creek and with the clay/mud was fun. I had a hard time convincing them they only needed their cup full of clay. Some of them wanted to bring mounds and mounds of it back. I finally relented and they could bring back a cup that looked like a single scoop ice cream cone – NOT double or triple scoops! Then they got to create with it. We started them drying by the fire. They didn’t dry out completely at camp, so they took them home to dry there. The ones that came home with me are dry now.
We found this new friend, I think they named him Bobby Turtleton, at the pond. He came swimming right up to us on the dock. I’m sure he thought we would have some bread or something. I never even thought about taking some with us. He has to be quite old, based on the amount of seaweed growing on his shell.
As always, gathering around the fire at night is fun. The girls were playing a game. We made “cones of awesomeness” and enjoyed the fire for a while.
We then let the neighbor group use our fire to make s’mores while we went inside to finish some badge work, make some more jump ropes and get ready for bed.
Cleaning chores before leaving are not a big deal for my troop. They all know what to do and they take care of their assigned areas. My own daughter is always leading the way with the bathrooms. We offered to clean the whole of the latrine for the neighbor troop. They asked that they be taught. So my girls (4 of them) took some of their girls to the latrine in the morning and taught them how to clean it. Sweep down the walls, the floor, whatever you can reach with the broom. Wipe the toilet seats completely with a clorox wipe. Clean up any trash all around the building. When the site monitor came to check us out. She asked who taught the other troop to clean the latrine. My girls tentatively raised their hands. She said: “Good Job! That is the best I’ve seen a latrine cleaned in a long time!” WOO HOO!! I’ve got a great FAMILY of girls!
Next campout is in January – hopefully to do that Frosty Fun badge! Then we will camp in April as well. Fun things to look forward to!