Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It was cold!

Yes - I went camping, volunteered and paid to go camping - in early March! Maybe I AM crazy! I LOVE camping, and spending the weekend outdoors. I considered myself a seasoned camper, as I have been camping many times in my life, as it was one of our family vacations during the summer as a kid, and I camped a lot when I was a Girl Scout too... When my husband and I were dating, we also went camping a lot with friends... but I had to get "Trained - in the Girl Scout Way" in order to take the girls camping. I'm really glad I did it - it was a wonderful refresher, since it's been several years since I had done any camping. I have a Daisy Girl Scout troop, and I would like to go camping late this summer or in the fall. I didn't know when else I would get the chance to complete the training since it's not offered a lot, and is often full. (Birthday party with the Birthday girl, Abrah at Chuck-E-Cheese)

It was really nice Saturday morning on my way to the Girl Scout camp - around 60 degrees at 9am... I thought - "this is going to be a breeze". Well - it was breezy! There was a cold front coming through that day, and we had lots of wind that day, but finally the sun came out of the clouds and it was nice for a few hours. Then it got cold. Really cold. The low Saturday night was forecast to be 28 degrees... I'm not sure what the actual low was though. When we got up to make breakfast Sunday around 7:30am, it was 33 degrees.

On Saturday we were trained on many things including selection of tent, and setting up different types of tents (cabin-style, dome-style, pup tent). We also learned a lesson about tent stakes - there are several styles out there. We learned that the little aluminum ones aren't worth crap if there's any wind - we had one of the large 8 person tents completely blow away down the field after we set it up. It was staked completely, but that tent pack came with the little aluminum stakes, and since the ground was a little damp, they slipped right out and the tent took off! It was really an amazing sight to see, a fairly large tent tipping, rolling, and flying across an open field! Luckily we were able to grab it before it was damaged. I will be investing in some heavy-duty claw-type stakes if my tent comes with the little aluminum ones.
We also learned about tying knots and when to use each one, including the tautline hitch, bowline, square, sheepshank, sheetbend, and clove hitch. I need to practice my knots! We also got to see and handle many different types of knives, and learned safety rules about passing and cleaning knives and how to sharpen them. As well as us learning these things, the trainers talked with us about how to teach our girls about these things.

Our meals were made using several different camp-cooking techniques which included using dutch ovens, propane camp stoves, and box ovens. We had some really great camp food including Pasta with meatballs (on the propane stove), pineapple upside down cake (in the dutch oven), garlic-herb rolls (in the box oven), and breakfast burritos (on the propane stoves). We were also taught several different campfire types, and when to use each type. We each had to build a small campfire showing one of the types, successfully light it, and then put it out the correct way. We didn't have a campfire that evening per se, it was too cold for us all to sit around, and we all wanted to go to bed and snuggle down into our sleeping bags. Luckily I had one rated to 15 degrees, it had a nice drawstring hood, and I had my flannel blanket in there, wearing long underwear, and I put a couple of those little 'hot hands' air activated heat patches by my feet. Now - I don't want to hear anything about cheating (I was just prepared!). I was nice and warm and slept well... that's what counted for me! It was supposed to be colder than freezing out there - I'm wasn't taking any chances! Anyway - Sunday morning we got up and made breakfast, had a Scout's Own ceremony, cleaned up, did our evaluations, packed up and left (almost 2 hours ahead of schedule!) Woo hoo!
The pix that are intermixed here (taken by my husband) are of my dear daughter having a blast at a friend's birthday party and ice skating with the Daisy troop while I was out at camp. She really did have a good time, and wants to go more often... of course!


driftwood said...

wow it sounds like you had a great time, and learnt lots!
well done for keeping warm too!!!

Rocketgirl said...

You are such a good mommy!! I'd have looked out the window and said "nope sweetie, not today! It's cold - let's sit in bed and eat Thin Mints!" That involves Girl Scouting, right?? Your little one is adorable!!