We had a great weekend camping with our Guides this year. It was a little controversial this year, because one of our Guiders wanted to go the place we went last year, which I'll admit was gorgeous and beautiful, but they charged us $12 per person per night, and we didn't even use the cabins! Because spring camp is for tenting. They had buildings and a kitchen with an industrial dishwasher, which again, nice, but not what we need for spring camping.
I suggested a provincial campground, because it would be cheaper and the girls would get a real camping experience. The other Guider kept asking what we'd do if it rained, and the other Guiders (three others) just said we'd get wet! And when we called the campground, it was a couple of weeks before they officially opened so we could camp for free. That's a savings of almost $700! Apparently, I wanted to go "wilderness" camping, but we had running water, a dining shelter, and outhouses--not exactly roughing it!
We invited the other Guide group from our district, because they only had one leader who was able to go camping, and the Pathfinder group, because their leaders hadn't planned a camp yet. We had 10 Guides from our unit, 9 Guides from the other unit, plus 3 Pathfinders, so a great number for a good camp.
Of course, by Friday morning before we were to leave for camp, the weather forecast was calling for thunder showers on Saturday night and rain all day Sunday. We had a flurry of emails between four Guiders, trying to decide what to do. We eventually decided to have pickup on Saturday after supper, instead of Sunday before lunch. That way, we could get the tents put away before the rain came!
We arrived Friday after supper and the girls all helped put up the tents. We had campfire with cup of soup and crackers for mug up. We woke up on Saturday morning to sun and clear skies. We had a great breakfast, because we added the food from Sunday's breakfast that we were going to miss, so we had eggs in a bag, toast, pop tarts, fruit, and yogurt tubes. After everything was washed up, we sent the girls off on a digital scavenger hunt (take pictures but don't take anything else). We had originally planned it as a group hike, but then decided the girls could go off on their own (in groups of 4 or 5, under strict orders not to leave anyone by herself). I was a little ticked off at the Pathfinder leader, because when our girls went off to do the Scavenger hunt , they didn't want to so they didn't have to, but their leader hadn't planned any other activities for them to do either. We're getting new Pathfinder leaders next year, and they'll expect more from the girls!
For lunch, we had the girls build small fires in groups of 3 or 4, and then they cooked hot dogs over their own fires! Some of them needed some help, but they were quite proud of themselves at accomplishing it and then cooking their own food! Around noon, the clouds rolled in and we got a little worried that we wouldn't get the tents put away in time, though we had taken down the leader tents while the girls were on hunt. We were rolling up the last tent when the first rain drops fell, so we were quite happy that we wouldn't have any tent to dry out later in the week.
For the rest of our day, it poured rain! We had a dining shelter, so some people were hanging out in there. Half the girls were sitting by the creek in their rain gear, singing songs and making up new words. The other half found an alcove of trees beside the dining shelter that shielded them from the rain and they read and chatted together. Then we got our big campfire started, because we were making tinfoil dinners for supper. Some of the girls helped us get it going, and as we sat around it, we had an impromptu campfire singalong. More and more girls pulled up chairs around the fire until almost everyone was out, singing. I started singing songs from when I was a Pathfinder, like Puff the Magic Dragon, The Unicorn Song, One Tin Soldier. Then one of the girls told me I was being too depressing, so I sang Boom Boom Ain't It Great to Be Crazy!
We had great embers and we got all the tin foil dinners in the spread out fire. We ate, cleaned up, and had our closing, where we talked about our two apples and an onion (good things and bad things about camp). Of course, the girls were all, "I have 5 apples and 3 onions!" and we let them list whatever they wanted, as long as they had more apples than onions. Their favourite things were sleeping in tents and the food; most onions were the rain! We earned a piece of the Yukon Climate Change patch. We ordered all 4 pieces, so we'll probably work on them next year too. I love challenges!
Parents arrived and took their wet girls home. It was a great end to a great year that we had with the girls. I know I should take a break, but I'm already thinking of things we can do next year!