Last weekend Bunny and I went to Camporee with our area’s Brownies. It was our third mother-daughter camping trip, and at this point, gathering our supplies came quickly. The only toughie was that our lanterns always seem to go missing because they’re too much fun to leave alone the rest of the year when we’re not camping. I’m certain half the hidden corners of our home have lanterns stashed away, because the number we can put hands on at any given point varies widely—except for the verboten emergency ones kept on a shelf in the garage.
We arrived Friday, checked in, set up, and headed to the mess hall to make our placemats. Since Bunny has not only camped here with me, but also gone to overnight camp at this GS camp, she felt very at home.
Her placemat this year was of a horse stable by the pond, with a palm tree where a sock monkey lives. She loves horses and sock monkeys, what can I say?
Our school’s troops—all three of ‘em—were assigned to Flicker campsite this time. It is right near the electrified bathroom, a good thing according to Bunny. It did make it easier to navigate at night, having a beacon. I kind of think the “Johnny Bathrooms” are cute, but they’re SO dark at night…
I’m on the lighter side of camping packing, so we set up quickly. I have to admit, the people who need to haul wagons full of stuff to camp out for 2 nights (with meals provided at the mess hall, even!) crack me up. Paul and I camped for over a month one summer, all over the summer, and even then we didn’t have as much stuff as some people brought with them for less than 48 hours. Diff’rent strokes, I guess. The important thing is, even the moms who make my eyes widen a little at their fussiness and general un-roughing-it-ness, DID take their girls out to the woods. :) It’s not a competition. We all love our girls.
I’m not going to say I got the best night’s sleep of my life on Friday, but it was not because I was uncomfortable. The cots are not bad, and, again, a lot more comfy than the ground, which I have slept on PLENTY. However, someone I know, whose name rhymes with funny, drank too much water and cocoa before bed and asked me to take her to the bathroom a couple of times. Oh well! At least it was pretty close, and it wasn’t the worst night’s sleep I ever had, either.
The next morning, the woods were gorgeous.
After breakfast, there was a sing-along, which, to Bunny, is just about the worst thing ever. I suggested a few times we go and see how it was, but she wanted to explore a little. She didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to get me to say yes.
Later in the day, Bun and her pal, Frieda, caught lizards and frogs here.
Bunny and a few of her buddies made this ‘fort’ in the woods near our tents… and she wanted to add to it. Impressive, no? ;)
We had four structured activities during the day, the first being a hike to Fern Canyon, which we’d done the prior year, too. Legend has it that fairies live here, and the girls always make and add to fairy houses. Bunny showed me where she’d built hers the summer before.
Later we did a different hike, practiced making emergency shelters, made leaf rubbings… but the girls were obsessed with these blue-bellied lizards.
All during Saturday and Sunday morning voices would all out, “Banana Slug!” and all the kids within earshot would scurry over to say ewww and yuck! I kept thinking they’d get used to the things, and eventually pass one without comment, but NOPE. Every. Single. Time.
Ew! That one is so skinny and long!
And on, and on, and on. Later in the day, it progressed to… kissing the slugs. Yep, just like true NorCal girls, most of them kissed slugs, egging each other on, and then daring each other to kiss them for as long as they could stand. I kissed it for 25 seconds! (Yuck.) These slugs have probably never been so happy to see people leave as they were when we packed up to go. You know, as much as slugs can be happy… :)
Saturday after dinner was skits, and this year Bunny agreed to participate! She was the ‘arms’ in that skit where two people stand so that the one in back’s arms appear to belong to the kid in front, and those crrr-azy arms just can’t behave while the person goes about washing their face, brushing their teeth, and, eating a snack. They brought down the house – it really is as funny as I recall from my camp days, when I also got to be the naughty arms messing up someone else’s face.
Bunny can become pretty anxious when many eyes are on her, so this was a major accomplishment for her, and I was relieved to see her proud of and happy with it.
After, yours truly made a nice fire, and everyone gathered ‘round to relax and watch the girls consume their weight in marshmallows and s’mores. I don’t pack so lightly that there’s not room for some s’mores makings.
The girls had a blast running around with their flashlights into the edge of the woods, playing their own games, and generally enjoying that outside after dark after normal bedtime fun that kids need from time to time.
The next morning, we broke camp early and had our own little tradition – breakfast in Santa Cruz at Cafe Brasil. I think Bunny was over loud mess halls and camp food, and we love ‘lady meals’ alone. It was a great way to end our mother daughter time before heading back to ‘the brothers’ and the everyday.
It’s so nice to get to spend this time with my Bunny as she grows and changes. Next year she’ll be a junior scout, and a full decade old. How’s that for crazy?!?