Sunday, June 01, 2008

Our Last Camporee

Our girls had decided to host the Camporee this year, way back in February. It was good that Diana did the "thing," because it meant the girls were sure to come to each meeting, and so we had some very good planning sessions. Then everything else happened, and I had a hard time getting everything together and organizing in the last week, but hey - it was fun, and everyone who came had a great time.

I had to have Lee go to the group site by 2:00 to meet the BLM camp host and open up the camp. Diana & I got there around 5:00, with some other troops already coming in. I handed Connor over to Lee, and they left. Diana & I had to rush around a bit, find which site we wanted, help other troops get their sites, and then figure out the best places for the later troops which would come in the dark.

Amanda had to do closing at her new job, so she couldn't be there on Friday night, and Mary was en route from Seattle on a choir trip and arrived at 3:00am that night. So Saturday morning, they both showed up.

This has to have been the worst-prepared I've ever been for my troop. The Camporee part was fine - we had all the stuff for that (except evaluations, but we figured that out later). I totally forgot items we needed for our own troop for food - including the lasagne noodles for Diana's Dutch Oven cook-off entry! This was the first time I'd had to leave the camp and do more shopping - Oh well!

My second adult is Molly, Amanda's mom. She arrived Friday night as well, and since we didn't have the other girls, Diana ditched us old folks and spent Friday night with Debbie's troop - they are all at the same high school, but a year behind my girls.

Amanda & Mary came in around 9:15 on Saturday morning. They didn't have a lot of time to chit chat, because being the troop putting on the camp, they had work to do. At least they brought us Bagel Tree bagels (yummy!) Both girls were pretty tired & had brought along some AMP energy drinks. They probably shouldn't have given one to Diana - she goes a little whacko with a lot of caffeine. At least she was good to lead the games & activities for the younger girls at 10:00! Molly & I worked on our afternoon event and got that all mapped out.

Lunch was pretty quick. Amanda tried making mary-cakes, but they tasted weird, altho the method to cook them was pretty cool. We inverted the dutch oven, put coals on the bottom, and then put the inverted lid on that. Way cool griddle and it worked great!

One of our big events for this camp was a Obstacle Course/Relay Race. We divided all the girls into three teams, trying to mix them up as much as possible. We took them through the course and showed them the events, and then they had to split themselves up to those various stations for the relay.

First was the Ooblek - this is cornstarch & water, and we'd hidden colored tags at the bottom. They had to find their team color, pull it out, and then pass the baton. The ooblek gets hard if you try to force it, so you have to move slowly - hard to do when you're 'racing' someone.

Next was the Three-legged race, they turned the baton over to the apple bobbers (which a lot of these girls didn't know), then over to a math problem. Then you passed the baton over to the joust. The girls had to stand facing opposite directions on a log (our rolled-up mat), and try to whack each other off with pillows. We got the cute helms & sheilds at Dollar Tree.

Then next was eating a donut off a string, then blowing bubbles at a target (which was hard because the wind shifted), then over to the soda explosion. They used a makeshift funnel to drop Mentos into a bottle of soda to make a fountain.

Finally, the last relay station was to tell us all 8 varieties of Girl Scout cookies we'd sold this last year. The tricky ones are always the temporary cookies. No one ever remembers what they are called. This year they were Lemon Chalet Cremes, and Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip.

The team that won the relay race got the items used to make the race (the bubble-wand batons, jousting gear, sidewalk chalk, etc.). It only took about 15 minutes for the race to be won, but girls went back to play with the ooblek, jousting and apple-bobbing for a good 30 minutes afterward.

Amanda & Whitney (her sister) had a band concert to attend, so Molly took her daughters, and Diana, Mary & I cleaned up the race area. It was pretty easy washing away cornstarch & chalk. Then we hung out at the campsite a while, and then it was time to make the dutch oven recipes. Mary made our dessert, which was a cake with chocolate cake & Dr. Pepper on the bottom, a layer of cherry pie filling, and then vanilla cake dotted with butter on top.

Diana discovered we'd forgotten the lasagne noodles for her lasagne, so I had to drive into town and get more noodles. Diana got the coals going in the meantime. Once I got back, she threw together the lasagne, and got it to the firepit for baking.

We had 6 main courses, and 6 desserts. After we ate, we voted on our favorites, and the bronze, silver and gold ladles were awarded (we got the silver ladle for the lasagne). Everything was really well done this year and all the food was great.

Then we handed out a roll of duct tape and a painter's sheet to each troop, and sent them on their way to clean up after dinner. The plastic sheet & duct tape were to make an outfit to present at campfire, which was happening about 45 minutes later.

Our troop made a nice, big camp fire at the community ring, and Amanda, Diana & Mary taught songs and told jokes, etc. Most troops had a skit to perform, and it was all a lot of fun. My girls shared that this was their last Camporee, because they were graduating, and after the big camp fire was over and we all left to go back to our sites, some younger girls came over and hugged my girls. One was even crying on Amanda! I was really proud of my girls -they were exactly the kind of older girls that they used to look up to themselves. Full of confidence, knowledge, and flexible with anything that happened. It was great!

Once we got back to our site, we hung out around our firepit a while, and then we played Apples to Apples at our picnic table until later than we'd said for everyone to have lights out (whoops!). Saturday night everyone always sleeps better anyway, so it wasn't an issue with anyone (that we heard :P).

Sunday morning I did some rounds and visited the sites again. Other troops traded SWAPS and then later we had our closing circle. I think every girl shared something she really liked about the camp, which was cool because we'd given the option to just squeeze if they didn't want to say anything.

No one had anything negative to say about the Camporee, which was really nice - in fact, some other older girls said this was the best Camporee they'd ever attended :) Granted, it didn't rain, and we didn't do any real "work" for badges, etc (altho some worked on their Outdoor Camping badge), so it was definitely an easy-going camp for everyone. Troops were able to enjoy time with each other, and on their own, which was our plan.

Amanda & Mary left a little early since they'd not gotten a lot of sleep, and Molly & Whitney left once Whitney was able to go. Diana & I stayed to check everyone out, so we left the camp around 12:30. There weren't any hiccups in getting people out, which was nice as well. Low drama is always good :)

So, as far as I can tell, we went out with a nice, successful bang! Wheee!


- Rob said...

It's always cool to watch the transition of the kids from wanting to hang out with the older kids to being the older kids. I watched that in Boy Scouts with Andrew (it was really cool seeing the younger kids look up to him and him respond). Bethany and Hayley are both good with younger kids -- not just because they have to but because the genuinely enjoy being around them!

Congratulations on a successful wrap up to your Camporee experiences!

keeka said...

wow, sounds like you had a great time and everything went well! I dig your nice green campsites! I bet ours won't be that green!
I am not exactly looking forward to the actual camp outs but don't tell Kaleigh that!
We do weird stuff like camp out at Sea World! Hehe Oh, check out K's bridging ceremony on my blog!