Since we were only going for one night, one of our leaders has a HUGE backyard, and we decided to make that the location. It was a good spot as we were close enough to home should any of the girls have overnight issues and need to go home; but we still had the joys of nature to surround us.
The girls arrive at 1pm on the Saturday and we quickly got to work setting up camp. We have camped using the unit equipment in the past, but since we only had 3 girls, we only needed 2 tents in the past. We took the opportunity to set up all the unit tents and find out what tents worked and were still in good shape, what tents had broken or missing pieces and what tents needed to be retired.
In the 10 tents, we managed to find 5 that were useable. There are a couple with broken or missing poles, one has a torn zipper and others were missing the rain fly... kind of an important piece when the forecast is rain. One of the 5 tents we used actually had a gaping hole in the tent floor, but a green garbage bag and some tuck tape patched it right up and having been the lucky person to use the tent, in the rain, I can say my handy patch work held up nicely!
Once we finally got camp set up, it only took 2 hours given we had several first time campers, we had a light snack of apples and oranges and moved into craft. The girls scoured the grounds for leaves that had fallen and we then made fall luminaries using the leaves, empty and cleaned baby food jars, and a little white glue. We then popped a battery operated tea light into the jar for a beautiful little lantern. The girls, of course, then used them to create a haunted house in the tree fort later that evening.
For dinner that evening, we tried something new: tacos in a bag! Thank you Twitter for introducing me to this fabulous camp meal. The girls loved it and, frankly, so did I! So easy and delicious and very little clean up. The girls were divided by patrol into either meal prep or meal cleanup. The Swallow patrol was on prep and had to dice up onions, lettuce and tomatoes, and grate the cheese to top our tacos. It's always a pleasant surprise when girls know how to wield a knife when dicing food!
We then sat around the fire to eat our tacos and discuss some of the things that are important when camping...like Be Prepared kits, fire drill protocols and more. Then the girls shared silly stories that had us all laughing and trying not to choke on our food.
Once dinner was done, and clean up had been completed, we settled in front of the fire to ward off the dampness and participate in the campfire our lone Pathfinder worked so hard on. There were lots of giggles as we acted out silly stories and made goofy noises to go along with them. Of course, a campfire wouldn't be a campfire without singing and there was lots of that. Thank goodness Sunflower warned her neighbours we'd be there; we may have been a tad loud when singing Thunderation!
The girls were all asleep by 11pm. This is usually unheard of at camp, and I was surprised. I lay in my tent awake for quite a while, listening to first the raccoons chattering and then the rain. I wasn't cold despite the rain and cool temps; but I just couldn't get to sleep. Finally, I dozed and woke at 6:30 when my internal alarm clock when off. I remained in my tent until I heard the girls waking at 7:30, then we got the day going. Canary patrol was on breakfast prep for bacon, eggs and toast. We were eating by about 9 and I gotta tell ya, a hot breakfast on a wet morning is delicious!
After clean up, we set about striking camp and somehow, we managed to get all the tents dried for storage. We've compiled a list of things that need to be repaired or replaced before our next camp; but all in all, we had an awesome time! I can't wait to evaluate our camp this week at our meeting and find out what the girls thought about our first overnight excursion. The girls were already asking when our next camp will be. We have one booked for April; but, we might just need to schedule another one in between!