Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sleep out!

This is the full report on my first girl scouts campout. Although the forecast was for a low of 36 and overcast we had about fifteen kids or more for the weenie roast portion of the evening. I was a bit floored by the turnout. It was cold but not terrible and I thought it was a unique way to spend the night before Halloween.

After eating the girls ran around in the dark playing flashlight tag. Approximately every two minutes one would stagger back to the adults complaining of a bump or scrape. Running full tilt into your friends in the dark hurts. They were also at the stirred up and tired stage by this time.

I went out in the dark and made a circuit looking for trash while girls staked out their sleeping bag spots.  I was lucky enough to see the clouds being blown away. The glowing edge of cloud cover was pulling back off to the northwest. It was moving fast like a banner rolled up by the off-stage techies. The nearly full moon shone and it was a very beautiful open sky after the low grey we had had. I called everyone to come see the stars. The thirteen year old leader-in-training immediately organized a moonlight hike, most of the girls were excited to go.There was one girl who went to sleep at about this time (9:30p?) and was the last to wake up. Champion sleeper.

The other adults were busy blowing up air mattresses. (Why? An 8 year old can sleep on a hard floor in a sleeping bag in my opinion). We slept in a big cabin that had propane heat and solar lights – not nearly the cold yurt I had expected. So I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for the co-leader who got a headache from the propane smell (granted it was stinky) and then was cold and wanted the heaters back on and couldn’t sleep. She said she had hippie parents and did enough camping for one lifetime in her childhood.

We had four kids who didn’t want to sleep over. Three were picked up by parents and the fourth’s mom said nope so she had to be cajoled into staying. I’m glad that wasn’t my job. At any rate she did fine and went to sleep without much bleating. I was surprised at how many kids got homesick. I wondered whether Katy would feel like that if I wasn’t there. But she didn’t cling at all or hardly interact with me except to ask for the flashlight thirty times.

They all slept better than I expected. I was awake for a bit trying to locate a whimpering kid. Finally realized it was the leader’s kid and she was shushing her. Katy reported later that I snored, I wonder if the other adults were cursing me under their breath. I come from two fine resonant snorers and am certain that my destiny is to become louder and louder.

To one mom I confessed to a girl scout cookie anxiety dream and also said that it bugs me to watch girls do chores – that I just want to do it for them. In retrospect I think I came off as control freaky. This goes right against my own impression of myself. But maybe my need for control is growing. Mwahahahaha! Watch out.

Packing up and cleaning up the next morning took an age. I finally asked whether the leader needed me to stay for another thirty minutes and she understood that this was my request to go away and released me. It was an awful lot of work for one overnight.  The leader, bless her, talked about wanting to do more camping with the girls. She does think it would be good to try for two nights out to improve the fun vs. work ratio. I am glad to have experienced this. But I might go ahead skip the next one. I don’t think Katy would miss me much. She had a great time. She ran around with various friends, loved being outside and out in the dark, never got homesick or worried about anything and slept like a rock. Yay.


Bee said...

You are a good person to do this. Truly, this kind of thing is my idea of hell!

(From my vantage point of being the mother of teens, the girls sound so sweet and uncomplicated, though.)

Nimble said...

I agree Bee, they are uncomplicated at 8ish. They amused themselves cracking open osage oranges (hedge apples) and playing Uno.

I was bracing for a cold night with sleepless kids but it was easier than that. Since we have a Brownies leader who is so generous with her time and efforts I felt I only did the minimum. I wonder what it feels like to be her?

The Subtle Rudder said...

"This goes right against my own impression of myself."

I keep running up against this lately, which is aggravating and confusing and wears me out just thinking about having to think about the essentials of who I am YET AGAIN. And then I comfort myself with Whitman: I am large, I contain multitudes...