Girl Scouts & Camping
Take a trip down memory lane with me when Girl Scouts and camping were all I did in the summer.
It's not yet officially summer but feels like it in Texas. We've entered the season of 90+ degree days that won't dip down again until September or October. One thing I loved about summer when I was younger was doing different things like going camping or traveling for trips. The best season to camp here is in the fall because the weather is more forgiving.
We actually camped year round in Girl Scouts which I somehow managed to be a member of from Daisys to Seniors. It was always fun to hang out with the same group of people even though the members evolved over the years.
Selling cookies started as being fun when I was younger, mostly for the prizes, and became a bore. I didn't have the desire or personality to sell anything even cookies that are only available once a year that everyone wants. I was more excited by the weekends where we would drive out of the metroplex for miles until nothing was familiar. Then we would see our campsite glowing at dusk.
It was a kind of freedom from the tedium of school and homework. It was a time to explore the relative unknown unless we camped here frequently. We weren't roughing it in the truest since of the word. We didn't pitch tents and we had working bathrooms and sometimes showers. But we stayed in cabins and slept in sleeping bags relatively protected from bugs.
I learned the hard way that neglecting bug spray means I will get eaten alive even if no one else does. I remember counting all of the pink itchy puffs on mostly my legs in the anti itch oatmeal bath when we got home. We had fun even with the group tasks we were responsible for working together cooking or cleaning. I remembered learning such life hacks as how to cook an egg in a plastic bag with boiling water. Even though cooking didn't seem fun doing it in a different setting made it interesting.
The self imposed technology breaks which were mostly from computers instead of cell phones also kept you invested in what was happening here as opposed to out there. Campfires were fun to congregate around for telling stories and singing songs. It never felt weird to go to sleep early when you were enveloped in darkness.
I also attended and then assisted in leading and teaching during day camps. Every day we went through the same routine. Foul smelling sulfur tapped around the ankles on top of socks to combat chiggers, bandanas or hats on to keep ticks from falling and feasting in our nests of hair, additional charms or badges of honor earned from other camps swinging from your hat and water bottles half frozen so that your water would be relatively cool as it melted all day. Throughout the days we would sing songs, learn outdoor skills, play games and make crafts. We also raised the flag every day so we learned proper flag ceremony and etiquette.
I once taught the fine art of folding Starburst wrappers so that you could link them together and form a bracelet or if you were really ambitious or hungry a necklace. Some of my instructions got lost in translation so I had to modify or demonstrate the steps to a rabid and wide eyed younger audience.
I wasn't sure if I liked camping when I was in the thick of it, doing the work and the chores with vast stretches of time unplanned and unencumbered. But then when I returned home I would miss it just like I missed home when I was camping. I always enjoyed the differences between the two even if I didn't realize it in the moment.
I think I liked camping even for the weekend or a couple hours a day at day camp because of the escapism. Now I'm living in a log cabin aka my new house that reminds me of Morrison Lodge which was our closest campsite nestled in North Richland Hills. It's one large cabin with lots of open space and trees even though neighbors are hiding on the other side. It was still a remote and calming retreat from the real world just like a good house should be.