Hogwarts Halloween Weekend

This weekend I took my Girl Scout troop to Camp Timber Ridge for a Halloween/Harry Potter themed camping trip.

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We arrived Friday night and drug all our stuff to the cabins. Our troop had two cabins (each cabin held 8 beds) with Tina in one with 5 of the girls and me in the other with the other 5 girls (Juliana, Nova, McKenzie, Mallory, and Mary Jane). The girls carved pumpkins and Nova’s mom had sent some decorations with her and Nova decorated our cabins. We all went up to the dining hall and got sorted by troop into our houses by the Sorting Hat (a witch’s hat that someone was making “talk” via a microphone system). We got House Gryffindor which made all the girls really excited since it is the one Harry Potter is in. I wanted to be in House Slytherin because they are the bad guys 😛 Then we went trick or treating in our costumes (I was dressed up like Professor McGonagall and everyone kept admiring my costume). When we got back to the cabin from the trick or treating, the girls set up “shops” with their candy and they could view each other’s candies and offer trades. Plus they made donations of anything they didn’t want to me.

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Saturday morning we got up and drug ourselves to breakfast ( I say drug because getting these girls to get up at 730am was a challenge.) After breakfast we had out first class – Divinations. Here we swirled tea leaves in a cup of water to see what shapes it made and then translated the shapes into a glimpse of the future. There was palm reading and arithmancy (your horoscope predicted through the letters in your name). Next came Potions class where the girls made red slime from Dragon’s Blood and Basilisk Venom. We had to confiscate the slime since it was a gooey mess. Then they made a sleeping death drought by mixing lizard guts, brains, and other miscellaneous animal parts into a beverage.  (It was really various fruit juices they were mixing and the results were unique and some quite yummy). We also got a drink of Butterbeer – a Hogwarts favorite drink (butterscotch + something like ginger ale or something).

After lunch we had Hogwarts Cooking School where the girls made candies and and some oreo/chocolate pudding dessert. Then we went to Diagon Alley to get our wands. They had a bunch of craft tables here to make jewelry and button pins and things but I stayed at the wand decorating table the whole time. They actually ended up looking like fairy wands rather than wizard wants, but it was fun.

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We had a break in our classes and the girls finished carving their pumpkins while I lay in bed and read my book. Our last class of the day was flying lessons. This involved two girls strapping into a harness around their waists and the harnesses were attached to a long rope on a pulley. All the other girls grabbed the rope and pulled it down the hill, pulling the two girls all the way up to the top of a tree! Then the rope holders let go, dropping the girls attached and they went flying down on the end of the rope which then swung them back and forth. It looked really scary but they all loved it. Unfortunately it took a really long time and we ended up late for dinner and had to miss submitting our pumpkins into the carving contest.

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After dinner there was a talent show. My girls had decided not to do it so we hadn’t prepared anything, but at the last minute they all decided to go up there and sing the Gryffindor song that Madison had made up and they had been singing around camp all weekend. Then Cayleigh made up a little improv skit about werewolves that was quite funny (albeit a tad morbid). Some of the other trips had prepared skits ahead of time and they were *really* funny. I was impressed with everyone. We also got to make s’mores during the talent show.

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Next we headed up to the carnival. This mostly consisted of bean bag toss games with candy prizes. My girls had more fun manning the booths than actually playing the games.

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The final event of the night was a hayride to the haunted house. 4 girls wanted to go in and 6 didn’t, so I took the 6 that didn’t want to go in the haunted house back to the cabins to go to bed while Tina took the other 4 through.

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Sunday morning we just had breakfast and then packed up to go home. All the girls did really well on the trip (at least my cabin did and Tina didn’t mention any problems in hers). McKenzie who always freaks out about sleeping in a strange place didn’t cry this time, and didn’t even have to call her mom on the second night – she was totally fine. Mallory claimed she wanted to go home Saturday morning after having only spent the night and not really done anything yet, but I wouldn’t let her (long story, but she was fine and didn’t need to go home). Mary Jane was her usual troublesome self and there were a couple of times I considered throwing her in the lake, but she always makes up for her wild ways by then going and doing something really sweet.

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It was a really great weekend and I’m glad we did it. We actually have *another* camping trip in three weeks (I didn’t realize when I signed up how close together they were). So now that I know what to expect, I think the next one will be even better!

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