Happy Saturday! Today, we went to Girl Scout camp! Traditionally, we would have slept over two nights. However, that was banned in 2020 (thanks COVID-19)! Instead, we spent 12 hours at Camp Inawendiwin (Note: I'll spell this 17 different ways in this blog and I don't care).
I am a Girl Scout camp veteran. I was a Girl Scout from first grade to sixth grade. I was Lily's troop leader back in the old neighborhood and now I am Chloe's leader here in the newish-hood. I love Girl Scouts; mostly because everything is thematic and I love a good theme! Every badge includes a handful of thematic activities and crafts. There is always an opportunity for a thematic snack and of course, I do actually enjoy being in the woods. Usually with wine, but I'll take a dozen spirited girls any day! Plus, the other two leaders are pretty rad too.
But, let me tell you, Girl Scout Camp in 2021 is a whole other experience. Of course, there are things that never change, but there are certainly some major changes in the camping experience! Here's what to expect at Girl Scout Camp in 2021:
Obviously you will be masked. It will not matter that the CDC issues a vague, Captain Obvious update to their mask mandate. Like every other public place, you will be masked (In the woods for the entire freaking time.). Plan on having a mask tan! And remember your hat--keeps the ticks away (supposedly, see below) and helps prevent unsightly COVID eye wrinkles. I did take an unmasked (GASP) and un-hatted picture with the other two leaders--because we are never in pictures and we are vaccinated! (I don't know why I am rambling on about something as normal as this, but see #2, I am an Adult of the Pandemic!)
2. You are camping with Children of the Pandemic.
Look, you will be with children you have endured a global pandemic and basically been separated from civilized society for a very long time. The older girls may remember a time when camping was an unmasked event. The younger girls may talk about dark things like zombies and viruses like they are discussing Shopkins (do they still make these?). Everyone will have a "favorite" stick. No matter what their age, they will practice mask shaming and also simultaneously be concerned about mask shame. If anyone sneezes, they will announce "JUST ALLERGIES NOT COVID."
Also remember, you are an Adult of the Pandemic, so you are also forever changed and newly obsessed with sanitizing Zip Line helmets and hand sanitizing. You will mask shame, while dreaming of "mask breaks." You might eat trail mix all day in order to have a mask break. Don't over think it. Just spray the industrial sanitizer and eat your Chex mix to your heart's content. It's okay. we are all a disaster.
3. You will be surprised more children do not get burned.
In my Girl Scout campfire history, I've only witnessed two burn events. One was like a whole thing with clothes and hair lit up (1987-ish.) and another was today on a pie iron. Both times, I was unsurprised about the burning and also very surprised that half the troop did not catch on fire. I mean, we are watching them, but they all move a lot.
I guess it is hard to catch on fire, after all?
4. You will receive the following text upon arriving home: "FYI, just had a tick crawling on my hair strands. Caught it before it hit my scalp.
Apparently, ticks ARE NOT COMPLIANT ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING. You will wish your hair caught on fire. And you will itch. And you will never be able to be sure you are not covered in ticks again.
5. You will say "YOU ARE IN NATURE" at least 417 times.
While the Children of the Pandemic are hearty, they are indoor hearty. Most do not like to see spiders nearby and several will complain about dirt. The only thing you can say in retort is "YOU ARE IN NATURE." Then, you will find yourself annoyed because there is sand in your boot. You will tell yourself "YOU ARE IN NATURE." And this sentence is usually ineffective, hence the reason you have to say 417 times. Next time, I am wearing a mask with this printed on it and writing it on my hand for personal reference!
6. Someone (well, everyone) will get their pants and undergarments wet.
This is a given when water is around children who are not in bathing suits and have not packed a change of clothes. If you do pack a change of clothes, they will ABSOLUTELY need a second change of clothes. And, you guessed it, they will also need a third. Just bring a large wheelie suitcase with a selection of seasonal clothing!
7. You will eat a white bread, American cheese and yellow mustard sandwich like you are consuming a perfectly cooked filet mignon.
Girl Scout Camp makes you hungry. It also makes you love white bread. I don't know why. But trauma does weird things to people. Definitely pack two loaves of bread.
8. After 12 hours, 18,000 steps and several moments when you almost declare, "I AM NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN," your daughter will say "Thanks, Mommy. That was the best day ever."
And you'll hear about how much fun all the girls had! And of course, you'll forget about the 14 outfit changes and the irrational complaints about too many leaves in the woods and the empty calories of your white bread sandwich because every single moment was worth it. You get to be part of memories that last a lifetime--memories these sweet girls will someday share with the Girl Scout troops they lead. And there is nothing sweeter than that, friends!
See you soon Camp Indaeiwenawfga (Or whatever it is!)