See these cute girls? Yeah…they’re exploring.
We were all lined up in front of our cabin waiting for the ‘ranger’ to check us out, and I asked my girls what their favorite part of camp was. The answer was unanimous. They all loved hiking along this teeny stream during an hour of free time on Saturday.
Isn’t that how things work out? All the leaders worked hard to plan different activities and classes for the girls and all they wanted to do was poke sticks in some water. Awesome. I was exactly the same as a kid. I could wander in the yard or a park all day doing the exact same thing. In fact there was a ditch across the street from my parents house that I frequented almost daily in the summer. Looking back, I realize just how gross that really was.
I know there was a point in my childhood that my mom had to put a limit on my rock/glass/seashell/crap off the road collection. I can’t help it, I take after my dad and he has collections of everything from National Geographic magazines, stamps, foreign currency and of course…rocks.
Now I limit myself to only keeping heart-shaped rocks. This was a tradition started by my grandmother and I want to keep it going with my kids. At her funeral the family put all of her rocks in a basket and displayed a note telling about Grandma’s love of nature. At the end it said to take a rock to remember her. I loved that there was something tangible for everyone to hold as they were leaving, I think that sometimes helps…sorry, getting sappy there for a minute.
Back to the camping part…
I think I mentioned before leaving for my trip I felt slightly more than an little unprepared right? Well, I am happy to say that I only forgot two items for camp: 1) matches…duh! 2) the meat I chopped and precooked and put in my freezer for our main dinner! Luckily there is a town that I am now in love with (Prescott, AZ) that is only about 10-15 minutes away from our camp, so I was able to fix the situation without anyone knowing anything was ever wrong. *phew*
Being in charge of the shopping, driving, cooking, etc. for this event was exactly what I needed right now. The last time I went into the wilderness was a backpacking trip with my family when I was 17 years old, so I haven’t had to do anything like this for 15 years. My husband and I have never camped. Ever. Like I said, we owned one sleeping bag. Period. I’m thinking that I need to go and get some gear because I now feel like I could handle planning a small trip like this and I wouldn’t be sweating it. (well maybe just a little)
I hooked up a propane stove and used it without blowing anything up! I also found out what a charcoal chimney does, and now I feel that they are a necessity to any sort of activity that includes the use of hot coals. Seriously, they are the coolest invention ever! I broke my own rule and let the girls have Smore’s twice, and no one was burned or poked with sharped objects in the process. (2 things I stressed about prior to camp)
Overall my girls were really easy to camp with and I only had one ‘messy’ one that I had to keep on about keeping her dirty socks off the cabin floor. Actually, I had a hard time getting her to keep her shoes on at all, but I can’t blame her, we live in the desert! Most of us live in flip flops 24/7 and it is really hard to break that habit! If I wasn’t the leader, I probably would have tried to get away with that some of the time myself! 🙂
Big M was on cloud nine during the entire camping trip and I think she talked a decibel louder as well. Everything was so novel to her, even washing the dishes and cleaning up camp, which was a nice surprise. I could tell that she was pleased that I was there but she definitely tried to show her independence as much as she could. This was helpful as I had a few girls that had a hard time finding clothes, socks, pjs etc. out of their bags by themselves. One even told me “this mom stuff is hard”. Yes, I have to agree with her!
The weekend went by much quicker than I thought it would and we were home before I knew it. I wasn’t sad to have the camp over, but I felt a new sense of independence within myself and I wanted to hold onto that feeling. We haven’t lived here very long and I have used that for an excuse hide in my safe little world instead of getting out of the house to get to know my new state.
Yesterday my husband took the day off and I decided that I would go out and do some exploring of my own. I got really lost. I ended up in some shady areas. I wasted a lot of gas, but I also found a nice quiet spot to read and I felt a little less lost than I have for a long time. (more pictures and stuff later)
I am feeling more confident to not only take on camp again next year, but also to take over as the troop leader as well. It’s going to be a busy year and I’m looking forward to the growth that will come with the responsibility and work. I’m mostly excited that I’m not afraid of the unknown anymore. Crazy, scary challenges coming my way? Bring them on. Things can only get better…
*thanks to Sperlygirl for the use of the rock photo!*