Am I Really Giving My Box of Samoas to a Gaggle of Daddy Long Legs?

Snoopy Marshmallow

Childhood entails so many beautiful rites of passage. School, your first crush, losing your first tooth, catching rolly pollys, playing in the mud, and of course Girl Scout sleep away camp (insert Cub Scout/Boy Scout if you have a mini man).

When I was a child, I too was a Girls Scout; preceded by Brownie and Pixie (now called Daisy). I loved it. We sang Christmas Carols to convalescent home elders, grew bean sprouts in a cup, sang songs (oh you know the ones), and sold cookies, lots and lots of cookies.

Then of course, we went to camp.

Camp was the beginning of the end for me. In the fourth grade I attended Girl Scout sleep away horse camp. That was a hard earned badge. I was cool with being away from my family for a week, I was cool with learning to saddle and bridle a horse, I was even cool with scooping the horse doo doo. What I was not cool with was sleeping in a bare bones structure, taking your life into your own hands when going to the showers, and bugs.

Effing nature.

Me before dinner.

Me before dinner.

Now I have a little peanut of my own, who is enjoying the Brownies. It fills me with pride to watch her participate in the same types of activities I did as a Girl Scout.

Until we had to go to camp.

I cannot tell you people the amount of anxiety I experienced leading up to the big day. I was worried about the bugs, someone getting hurt, and being in the middle of nowhere.

All of my fears came true.

The wasps were angry and on a mission. The daddy long legs decided my arm was an excellent place to just chill. And the amount of Band-Aids handed out that weekend could have swathed King Tut…twice.

What I did not expect was all the crying. Mostly done by me. Just kidding, not really. I cried on the inside. So many little girls crying. Crying for their parents, crying because so and so was not playing with them, crying because they were hungry (that got the most tears), or their legs hurt, or their arm hurt, or the hair follicles in their ears hurt. So. Much. Crying.

What I looked like during dinner.

What I looked like during dinner.

At one point I looked over to my friend, another brave mama chaperoning with me, and said the words, “I wish I was a dude. I’m guessing the Cub Scouts don’t cry about sand in their shoes.” Then we went on to fantasize about all the beer and chips and dip we could consume if we had a tricked out RV. This only brought on more tears, from me.

While some of my worries were confirmed, what I did not expect were all the positives. The friendships formed, the camaraderie of the older Girl Scouts with our younger girls, and the general awe I developed for the amazing troop leaders who made this shin dig happen.

There were magical moments that lit up the adventure as well: S’mores by the fire; the flag retiring ceremony; finding the “beach” by the lake and creating castles, cheers, and shell habitats; sticks, sticks, and more sticks; night time skits and songs; and swapping trinkets.

While this old hag of a Girl Scout kissed the ground when I walked through the door of my home, I was happy to see my little Brownie grinning and shouting, “That was the best camping trip ever!”

And isn’t that what being a scout is all about. Togetherness? Fellowship? Learning and growing? All of the above were accomplished.

But next time I am bring my bug zapper … and a case of wine.

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Am I Really This Excited About Sunburns and Mosquito Bites?

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It’s already happening. All I want to do is sit around and well….sit. I want to drink a cold margarita on a hot day and get a tan. When three o’clock hits, I have to slap myself so I don’t ditch everything and go read a book on the couch. Or better yet, take a nap. And dear God, the new movie releases? Somebody hold me. They look so fantastic I might move into our local AMC Theater. That and they have a full bar.

Oh yeah, it’s summertime.

Doing nothing is not in my nature. The thought of sitting and relaxing seems like some type of CIA torture tactic.  I have recently come off a number of months of non-stop movement. They have included three moves (one out of state), a few personal tragedies, re-entering the workforce, changing schools, taking a class, volunteering, and well, just living.

I am not sharing this so someone will send me a Cookie Bouquet for my efforts (but I do love a large cookie). Every one of us has a lot on our plates nowadays. I only mention the above near-coke induced type of stress to illustrate why my body is naturally craving a sit-on-the-front-porch-and-drink-sweet-tea-all-afternoon relaxation.

Most people feel some form of the summer lazies around this time of year. The weather is warm and the sun strong, naturally sapping our energy. Cookouts become abundant, aiding to the sitting and eating way of life. Longer daylight hours allow us to enjoy the outdoors and lounge around.

I say bring it on.

We spend so much of our lives running around. Sometimes I go so fast that a week goes by and I can’t even recall what happened. I want to put that crazy b*tch in a box and enjoy the season.

Since summer is naturally a sensory time, below are some of the things I look forward to experiencing. Good and bad:

  • Licking the melting Popsicle juice running down my arm.
  • Smelling like bug spray and citronella everywhere I go.
  • Hair always in ponytail formation, or frizz so intense resembling the “before” in a Garnier commercial.
  • At the beach – every PB&J sandwich and food item tasting like sand.
  • Burning my rear end when sitting down in my car.
  • Taking my burnt bum to the movies every week.
  • Sand everywhere. Even in my wallet come late October.
  • Running away from bees looking like a cartoon character.
  • Listening to my daughter complain about the heat. Then watching her walk achingly slow to the car while my flesh starts to spontaneously combust.
  • My feet sliding around in my flip flops due to overactive sweating.
  • Reading all the Facebook posts about how hot it is, accompanied by pictures of the dashboard temperature gauge.
  • Watching the fireflies and fireworks.
  • Screaming like all those no-name actors from Nightmare on Elm Street when I find a gecko in the house. Then trying to catch it. Then giving up. Then finding it in the washer (why do they go in there???).
  • COLD BEER.

So start your slow down now. Sit on your porch, grab a cold one, and just look at the happenings outside.

Then go spray yourself with OFF, Silkwood style, because the bugs are insane this year.