This post will not be about my children. You should know I went to Camporee thinking it would be about them. As my Gran kindly taught me, my world revolves around me. So buckle up. This will be all about my Danger Ranger days in the woods with my two oldest daughters. Yes… I spent the night with my daughters and 8 other girls in the woods. There were 3 other adults there too but… remember, it’s all about me. I came home pretty stoked because I’m fairly certain I looked a bit like Lara Croft in my daughters’ eyes. Granted, it was an overweight, middle aged, housewife version, but hey! I’ll frankly take any version of Lara Croft that I can get. This is truly a feat considering I looked like a big old dork with my hat and aviator glasses.
Why didn’t anyone tell me? Seriously! This is information that I could have used leaving the house at 5 a.m. Better get back to Lara Croft before I die of embarrassment…
We picked up all the girls in all the car assignments, we were ready to roll in a 5 car caravan when I noticed the mom in the SUV beside me. It wasn’t starting. The sun was still not up… She turned her car off and left her lights on to wait in the parking lot. Someone had cables. There was no way I was finding mine with all the sleeping bags in the back of the mom mobile. The mom with the cables had no idea how to use them. Lucky for me… I’ve had my fair share of battery woes. I helped get it hooked up and the SUV turned over. I thought the battery might charge on the way but I was secretly worried that car wasn’t going to start… The girls were in awe that we fixed the car so we were off to a good start.
We arrived and hit the ground running. Well… the girls did. I found out when I got there that all the moms were supposed to work an area for a few hours. I got crafts… in the morning. Seriously? I’m not crafty, nor am I patient with tired little girls who refuse to use glue correctly. This meant I missed badges… building a fire, knots and canoeing. Once again, I survived. Whew… it was painful… particularly one Daisy troop that had arrived the night before. Pretty sure that troop leader is the only person who looked more tired than me. I helped make bracelets, dreamcatchers, purses and compasses in the span of about 3 hours. I left to find out that Hanan had a little Hanan meltdown in the canoes. Not good. I was pretty sure things were going down hill fast…
Lunch and then a hike through the Fairy forrest was next. We moved onto crafts. Again. Except the craft people had left. Guess who had to do the craft again?
Hanan has some of my more infamous looks nailed. I’m pretty sure that this is what my face looked like for much of the three plus hours I was stuck in that sticky glitter filled room. If I have to search for another bead EVER again it will be too soon. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever have the maternal patient instinct in my little finger that Arleigh already has. She would be a wonderful teacher.
We made it through the craft session. All fingers were accounted for. Hanan’s compass was somehow lost. No worries, she was frustrated it was just a toy and not one like Daddy’s. Someone remind me to add compass to the Christmas list.
Next up was the rock wall. It was a pretty cool set up. We had an hour. There were 10 girls. One of the first girls took 25 minutes. Our group started 45 minutes late. You do the math… By the time Arleigh and Hanan went, they were already a bit timid and feeling rushed… they got down early. I was pretty proud of them for just trying though.
When they were done, we grabbed our gear and started off toward archery. The maps were…short of making me want to cuss just thinking about it… not good. It was in fact amazing how bad they were when they wanted the girls to be able to navigate on their own. I asked people… no one including some of the people who were working there knew where the archery range was. I was getting frustrated. Hanan was getting hungry. It was also pretty close to dinner. Someone asked about what was for dinner…. Hanan said, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll eat it and be thankful because they made it with their heart.”
That was Hanan… the one who isn’t happy no matter what I fix for dinner. The one who has been sent to the doctor because she never eats. One of the other moms stopped to turn around. She asked what on earth I was doing to create that kid. Beats me. If I set a vegetable not the table, I’m pretty sure she isn’t thinking it comes from my heart from the way she acts. It was nice though to have that little moment after hearing about her little tirade at the friend that wasn’t pulling her wait in the canoe.
Oh yeah, back to archery… it was closed. Saying that Arleigh was devastated would be putting it mildly. Girl Scouts hasn’t been her bag of tea. She was sooooo looking forward to archery. I was a bit miffed. I got more and more miffed as we calmly tried to sort out the situation. Finally someone said, sure they could instruct them. So we head off. I’m so glad the instructor was with us because I’m not sure I would have found it.
The girls got to shoot a couple of rounds of a couple of arrows each. They were pretty excited. I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for one round of 6 just to let them shoot for a while and get a feel for it. They didn’t really know the difference. Then, I got to grab a could of arrows. There wasn’t much time left. I didn’t realize the clip was broken one of them. I got off two shots. Sadly, none hit the bullseye, but they both landed on the target. The smiles on the girls’ faces were worth the whole trip.
We arrived at a sparse dinner. Apparently everyone ate while we were shooting arrows. We had swaps… the girls traded crafts they had pre made. Then we headed over to the bonfire for songs and s’mores. Then… the beloved bed.
This was our home for the night. The tent next to mine had a large mouse nest. A LARGE and DISGUSTING mouse nest. Thankfully the mice chose to visit the tent across from it instead of the tent next to it. It also happened to be the tent of the mom that was most afraid of mice. There was a stare down. Jennifer finally yelled, “No!” like I yell at Tucker. Apparently the mice decided the tent without humans was the better place to be.
We had one incident with a nasty bug bite. Poor Graysie looked like a golf ball was lodged on her ankle for a bit. Then it got hard. Being the doctor that I am… NOT… I thought it looked like a fire ant. I called Ray. He was thinking the same thing I was but you don’t want to mess with someone else’s kid. The nurse just rubbed benadryl on it. This morning, Miss Graycie got an infection diagnosis. See girls… this is why I tell you not to scratch!
We left the camp with little drama from the campers. Surprisingly the drama was from the Mamas! The checkout system didn’t go as smooth as we would have liked, particularly when we were staring down 2+ hours in the car. We finally got the go ahead to leave and leave we did.
It was fun. The girls seemed to have fun. Canoeing was harder than they thought. The rock wall was also more difficult than it looked. They can now make their own fire and recognize poison ivy and poison oak… I think. A good time was had by all. Wait a minute… that wasn’t just about me at all was it? Oh well… they are still looking at me like I could rule the world… or at least hit a target with a broken arrow.