Monday, December 03, 2007

On the Camping Trip: Part One

When I was a little girl I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in Girl Scouts.

No offense to the Scouts, but I thought it rather silly to learn how to start a fire, cook on it, and then sleep outside in the woods with all the creepy crawly things just to get a badge that would go on a vest that I would not be caught dead wearing out in public.

But, that's just me.

Now, I did like to play outside and get dirty, but once nightfall came, this girl wanted to go inside and get the pine sap off the bottom of her feet before climbing into her warm, pink canopy bed in her Scooby Doo pajamas.

Before I get any emails from you Die Hard Girl Scout Fanatics, please know that I realize now that I was misinformed. Girl Scouts can be fun.

But I still feel the same about the vest.

Our daughter decided at the start of the school year that she wanted to be a Girl Scout. My husband was thrilled. Me... ehhh... notsomuch, but I did not want to discourage her from trying something new. She signed up and we have been doing stuff for badges ever since.

Including camping.

In the woods. With creepy, crawly things.

Dads were allowed to go camping with us as long as they slept in a separate part of the camp. When we heard this, my daughter was tickled to death. I was ecstatic. I knew that, no matter what, we would survive. We live with Survivor Man. (Okay. I am giving him a little extra credit here. But, hey. I'm partial. He is MY Survivor Man.)

As we headed to the camp Saturday morning, I said a prayer that all the girls would be safe, no one would get lost or hurt and that everyone would have a good time.

I kept thinking that we would be in the woods yelling, "Cinnndyyy! Bobbbyyy!" with really sappy music playing in the background while some girl from our troop sat down with an Indian boy and waited for us to find her. Then some clumsy mom would get in poison ivy and, although I had come prepared with Caladryl lotion, I was not looking forward to applying it to anyone, including myself.

Clearly, I have learned all there is to know about camping from The Brady Bunch.

When we arrived just outside the campground, the mom in the van ahead of us pulled over. She called me on my cell phone to tell me we were to wait for the rest of the caravan. (Yes, I had my cell phone on a camping trip. Wouldn't you?)

So we waited. And we looked around.

I looked over to my left and there was a car without wheels turned over on its side. All we could see was the underside of the car. To my right, there were items most commonly found in landfills or on Sanford And Son. Lamont would have made some serious cash on this stuff.

Strutting around the old tires and rusty tools were a rooster and his hen. The girls got all excited and said,"Awww, he's so cute." I let them know we were not to open the doors or the windows and that roosters were not cute. They are mean and hateful.

Just like that pit bull in the back.

I started to call the other mom to warn her not to get out of the vehicle, but hubs said he could tell that the pit bull was chained and other that the fact that the rooster and hen were checking out our Camry, we were perfectly safe.

The rest of our caravan finally joined us and we entered the campground. One of the park rangers instructed hubs where he would sleep later that night and we were off to our neck of the woods.

At one point on our journey, a little girl said,"Are we supposed to be here?"

She was so right. Someone should give her a badge.

I will share the day's events with you later, but I have to tell you about that night. When it came time to turn in for the night, hubs was off to his campsite. All of the moms in our group felt sorry for him saying, "Ahhh. Poor guy. He is going to be all alone at that camping area where they don't even have electricity."

I assured all of them that he would be perfectly fine. I knew that he would be all warm and cozy in his sleeping bag. I also knew that he liked the challenge of roughing it.

Hubs was actually looking forward to it because he has no problem starting a fire, cooking over it, then sleeping in the woods with creepy crawly things. In fact, he really wanted to make a shelter with twigs and straw, even though that didn't work out very well for the Three Little Pigs.

So when he drove away into the dark, cold night, I had no sympathy for him whatsoever.

(I am callous and cruel and, as it turns out, cold, too.)

When it came time for us to turn in, I ended up sharing a cot with my daughter. There was another cot open, but I was concerned that my daughter would wake up in a strange place and be afraid or cold. We each had our own sleeping bags and we settled in.

Throughout the night, I kept telling daughter to keep her cap on to keep her head warm.

"I am warm, Mommy. I just want to wear my gloves."

"No, you have to wear the cap that Daddy gave you. You could get sick."

"But I don't like it."

"I don't care. Wear it anyway."

All the while, I was pretty warm. All except for my face. I had the hood of my sweatshirt pulled over my head, but my face stayed cold all night. I could have covered my face with something but I felt that breathing was more important than comfort.

When we met hubs at the campfire the next morning, he had already started a buzz. It seems that when he went to his campsite (you know, the one without electricity where he would be all alone and cold and blah blah blah), he managed to meet the head park ranger who showed him a lodge where he could sleep.

They had quite the conversation about camping and the like and the park ranger told hubs that he didn't have to sleep in one of the tents outside. No. He was welcome to sleep in the lodge and start a fire.

Hubs said,"Are you sure?"

"Why yes."said the Ranger.

And then he gave hubs his own lighter.

By the time another dad arrived at the lodge, hubs had the fire going and the place was all warm and toasty. All they needed was the marshmallows.

Um, yeah. He had it sooo tough.

There I was with Cindy Brady, eating beans from a flashlight while he was off at the Huxtables' eating Cliff's famous chili.

Somebody please give me a badge.


Roxanne said...

My husband is an Eagle scout. He regularly camps with his two Eagle scout friends where there are NO bathrooms. I refused to go camping with children until our youngest was old enough to skip a nap. My FAVORITE camping trip of all was there one where we found out the waterproofing on our tent worked due to the THUN-DER-STORM that struck at 11:00 at night.

Jennifer said...

My Girl scout experience happened when I was 7. I stepped into an ant pile and had bites up to my knees. I also got sick from the marshmallows. Nevermind that I had eaten about 14 of them. And I stepped in deer-doo-doo. After my scarring experience, I decided girl scouts was not the place for me and haven't camped ever since. But, I should have gotten an ant bite, barfing and doo-doo badge for all that I endured. Just to show I was a survivor.

Loved your story!

Elizabeth said...

Delurking to say you crack me up! Some great posts lately. Thanks for the smiles.

Linda said...

Oh that is too funny!

Jeanne robinson said...

You are a trip!! never knew you had such a sense of humor. We did have a good time did we? The Lord took good care of us. God Bless, Jeanne