It was a success (for the most part)! And I’m glad we got to do a “practice” run with only 5 girls/parents (one girl was a last minute cancel). My now official assistant leader (AL) and I pulled it off with help from other parents. I don’t know how I would run this troop without the level of involvement the parents have.
If I had to sum up our trip in five words, they would be:
Hot – Oh boy was it hot outside – in the 90s with very high humidity. We lucked out that 1) our campsites were right next to the drinking fountain/spigot, and 2) we had no neighbors to share it with. One of the moms called a family member to bring a hose and sprinkler, which we then hooked up to the spigot. The girls spent a good chunk of their downtime playing in the water. Yes, they went through a lot of water, but they had fun, kept cool, and didn’t whine.
Hike – Yesterday we went on our beaver lodge hunting hike with the Parks dept. They came to our campsite and talked about beavers for about 15 minutes. The girls were able to hold and touch a pelt. Then we piled into two vehicles and drove to the trail head. We saw a bunch of strange mushrooms on the trailside, a blue heron, got a brief history lesson about how the British used one of the inlets we walked past to hide during a daytime stop en route to try to take Fort Niagara away from the French….and we saw the beaver lodge. By “we” I mean the girls and not me since I brought up the back and didn’t get a chance to see it before our guides turned us around.
Back at the trailhead, we went down a different path to the lake shore. The girls spent about 15-20 minutes wading in and throwing rocks. Good times were had by all except when we were bitten by flies.
Bird – One of the highlights of our trip, and sure to be one of the things that will be brought up ad nauseam for the remainder of the girls’ time in scouts is the bird in the tent.
Chopping – In addition to planning out our meals, I wanted the girls to prep them as well. Bean was gifted some vinyl knives for her birthday, so I brought them along. It’s a bit more tricky to cut fruit and vegetable with them, but the girls managed. And they managed better once I showed them how to properly cut – sawing doesn’t work. They cut cantaloupe, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, and bananas.
Thunderstorms – Our camping trip went out with a bang, so to speak. Around dinnertime on Friday, families started calling/texting to tell us a nasty storm system was on its way. We watched the doppler and figured it was something we could ride out if we put the girls in a van to watch movies, and removed all items that would be damaged by wind and rain. Everyone was inside various vehicles by the time storm #1 hit. It lasted about an hour and a half, and because the doppler showed no further precipitation, we decided to get the fire going again and finish out the night.
About 45 minutes later, nature called us out on that by unleashing a torrent of rain. Phones were whipped out once again to check the doppler, which showed a long line of storms, mostly red, right over us. Because it looked like that storm would last most of the night, we decided to abandon the tents and call it a night. Even though all of us live within a 10 mile radius of the campsite, it was fairly scary getting home. Visibility was almost nil.
The storms lasted until around 2:30am…or that’s when Bug finally stopped screeching and clinging to me every time there was a clap of thunder. Bean, surprisingly, slept through the whole thing.
We went back to our site the following morning to breakdown the tents and to cook breakfast. All of the tents were still standing, though several had partially collapsed. Only one had a small lake inside (the waterproof covering was blown off).