This weekend I took the Girl Scouts on another camping trip. This one was called Adventure Girls weekend and it had all the ‘adventurous’ types of camp activities. We were in a large cabin that had a kitchen and a bedroom + bathroom on each side. We had one side (12 beds in each room) and another troop had the other side. The other troop had brought campfire equipment, so when we arrived late Friday night, all the girls went out to the little fire ring behind our cabin and made s’mores and hot chocolate.
The next morning we all got up early and headed to breakfast. The camps all have dining halls that serve food like at a school cafeteria so we don’t have to worry about making food or anything. After breakfast, our first event was archery. For all the events we did, there was only ever like one or two girls in the troop that had ever done the activity ever before, so everything we did was a new experience for everyone. This camp was a *lot* less crowded than the last camp, so all the girls got more time to do all the events. They did well at the archery. Each girl hit the target at least once. I tried it, too. It was harder than I thought it would be to pull the bow taut, but I got all 5 of my arrows into the target. I didn’t get a bullseye, but I came close! One of my girls did get one!
After archery we went canoeing. I had Autumn and Grace in my boat. Both were really scared that we were going to tip over, but I kept paddling us out into the lake. They were freaked out that we were going out into the center of the lake away from shore, so I told them, “Let’s pretend we were shipwrecked on a deserted island, and after a long time we were able to build this canoe out of twigs and now we are trying to make it to land. And oh no, there is a shark chasing us! What is the shark’s name?” and they came up with Sharky Harrison, so we were paddling away from Sharky Harrison. Then we saw a canoe up ahead that had 3 of our other girls in it, and so we became the Sharky Harrison chasing after their canoe. By now the girls completely forgot that they were scared and were paddling as hard as they could to chase down the other canoe going “Duh-dun, duh-dun” (Jaws music).
After lunch and “turtle time” which is nap/ lie around the cabin break time, we had Spa Time. The councilors had set up stations in the main room of our cabin where the girls got to paint their nails funky colors (mine are blue), put on clay face masks, make bath salts and make colored soaps.
Next we hiked out to the rock climbing wall. I wasn’t able to do this one with them both because of a hurt knee and I don’t think I have the upper arm strength to pull myself up it. The girls were scared of it at first, but each turn that they took they went a little bit higher until two of them even made it all the way to the top 50 feet in the air! It looked really hard, especially since some of the hand holds spin on you making it hard to grab on.
Next came the best part – horseback riding!! Only one of the girls had ever really even been on a horse before, so they were all pretty nervous and McKenzie got so scared that she started to cry. But the staff were so amazing and they agreed to lead the horses on foot for the girls that were scared. My horse was Champ and he was probably the best horse I’ve ever ridden. The horses were not what I call “follow the leader” horses that start and stop as a group and don’t obey rider commands. I hate horses like that. These horses both knew when to start and stop as a group so they didn’t require much direction from the girls that didn’t know what they were doing, but they *did* take directions well for people like me that wanted to be in control. It was sooo much fun to go riding, even if it was just walking around since my girls had no riding experience. First we walked around the ring practicing starting and stopping. Then when they got the hang of that we practiced turning. Then they took us on a “trail ride” where we just walked around the paths of the camp. The girls loved it! As with everything else, by the end of the activity all the girls were having fun and forgot that they were afraid.
The day ended with dinner followed by another campfire (this time with the whole camp) for s’mores and singing scout songs. It was such an incredible trip and I am so so proud of my girls for trying all of the activities even though they were scared.