Am I Really Arm Wrestling a Badger for My Hair Dryer? And Other Camping Adventures – Part Deux

Having the time of his life.

Having the time of his life.

I cannot tell you how much I detest camping. It emotionally scars me for years. I don’t understand this voluntary “activity” whatsoever. Didn’t the early pioneers die from this type of life? Did they not do everything in their power to better our living conditions? If Laura Ingalls Wilder saw a bunch of Girl Scouts “roughing it,” she would look at them and say, “Wait a minute, you have homes with locks on your doors, no snakes in your bed, a bathroom inside your house, and you are sleeping in this tent – on purpose?!”[cue hysterical laughter]

When my daughter informed me she wanted to attend the two-day Brownie campout, I thought, good luck suckers…er…I mean…have fun sweetheart! When she said she wanted me to go with her, I needed a shot of bourbon and three therapy sessions.

Also, I don’t drink bourbon.

Who the hell are these people?

Who the hell are these people?

If you read my post last year about the campout, you would know I still have nightmares about the daddy long legs and the lack of refrigeration. Also the wasp attack, but that is a story for another time.

Why, dear God, why do people do this on purpose? To earn a badge? That is a lovely honor, but will my child also earn the badge for, My mom chaperoned the camp out and now she cries every time she hears the word corn?

I know!

I know!

To all you bold and brave outdoorsmen, let me illuminate why camping is not necessary for us lay people:

    1. Bugs. Gross, just gross. Call me a snob, but I don’t like to fraternize with insects. Plus, ABC Pest Control won’t service state parks. Standards people, standards.
    2. Cuisine. I am not a five-star chef, but even I know camp cooking is for the birds…and the squirrels…and the raccoons. You get where I am going with this.

      Remember this gem from Blazing Saddles? Beans.

      Remember this gem from Blazing Saddles? Beans.

    3. It’s Insulting. Our forefathers worked so hard for us to achieve climate control. Camping is just a slap in the face.
    4. The Weather. Good luck with that pup tent in a thunderstorm. Or a hurricane, or snowstorm. Or condor attack.
    5. Guess What? You can still have your “togetherness time” in a log cabin with running water. Shower, then go on a hike. Then shower again. Maybe play Yahtzee. INSIDE.
    6. The wildlife does NOT want you there. Contrary to popular belief, the bears don’t like us. Neither do the deer. I also have it on good authority that the squirrels will steal your wallet when not looking. Stay home people.

      Well Good Morning sunshine.

      Well Good Morning sunshine.

    7. The Park Rangers don’t want you there either. Let’s face it people, the Park Rangers are there for the – wait for it – park! They are not People Rangers. That would just be weird.

 

 

 

Let me clarify, my disdain for camping has nothing to do with nature. I love the outdoors. I like sitting outside and breathing the fresh air. I like boats, and sand, and trees. I like flowers, fish, and lady bugs.

I do not like sleeping on lumpy ground, cabins with no bathrooms, and earth in my hair. I am not a girly girl, but I am a lady damn it. At this age, I have earned the right to sleep in a bed.

I think Pecos Bill and the Saloon girls of the Wild West would agree with me.

Yes, there are. This includes camping.

Yes, there are. This includes camping.

 

Photos Courtesy of:

Family in a tent: www.adventure.howstuffworks.com

Old angry guy in a tent – www.textielmuseum.nl

Bear peaking in tent – www.redwineandapplesauce.com

Blazing Saddles – www.youtube.com – Blazing Saddles

A Million Ways to Die in the West – www.flixfry.com

Indian from A Million Ways to Die in the West – www.thedissolve.com

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.