As a Pioneer Unit Leader, I get the pleasure of watching the 12-14 year olds explore new activities, begin developing new friendships on a deeper level and learn about themselves. I also get the "pleasure" of tent camping. Ummmm...for the record, I'm not a tent camper, but my oldest daughter loves to camp so as her leader, I go as well.
We did our fall camp this past weekend. For someone who does not consider themselves a tent camper, my biggest fear came true. RAIN! Yep...all night on Friday night.
We had just enough time to get tents set up before the rain really started coming down. Needless to say, we could not build a fire to prepare our yummy snack on.....p-nut butter, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips in a tortilla, wrapped in tin foil on a fire. The girls certainly did not like the idea of missing that. We were able to take our small propane grills into a pavillion and still make snack and play some Bible charades.
When we returned to our site I thought I would go check out the tent that the other leader and I would share. I am so glad I checked it before laying down for the night! It leaked! There was a puddle on my air mattress and my pillow was wet. YUCK! Thankfully one of the other adults had room in her tent for us.
It rained all night and was about 50 degrees that night.
By morning the rain had stopped as the sun tried to peek out. The girls got fire going first thing and began breakfast. We had breakfast burritos, which was very easy. We cooked sausage and scrambled eggs while we were there and all the fixin's that were for the inside were brought to camp by the various girls already diced up.
We then headed for our horse trail ride! The girls were anticipating this activity the most.
D-Bar-A is a local boy scout camp (about 30 minutes from us) and is beautiful. The barns are all lovingly cared for, the fields and wooded trails are beautiful.
Here is Sissy as she mounted her horse Joker. Notice the winter coat? Even though it was dry and the sun was shining, it was cold! I wore a winter hat all day and had gloves in my pockets!
Here she is again. She was one of the first up on her horse so she was able to spend time on Joker while the rest of us were helped safely up on our horses. There were 4 adults with us and 9 girls.
Everyone is ready to head out on the trails.
The ride was beautiful and it had me thinking about a camping event they do at D-Bar-A called the Yucca Trail. When you arrive at camp you mount a horse with all of your necessary camping gear - including your tent and food. Then you ride your horse out in the woods scouting for a place to stop to camp for the night. You stop, pitch camp, make dinner and sleep. The next morning you mount your horse again and do the same thing. Other than the sore bottom and legs I would have, it sounds fun. Even the tent camping part - if it weren't raining!
We went back to camp to have lunch and the girls played a short game of Human Foosball. (Sorry, I don't have any pictures I can share of that one). After their game it was time to head out for the Boulder Wall climb.
Boulder Wall climbing is different than rock wall climbing because rather than attempting to go high, you are learning to scale the wall horizontally. This did not offer as much of a challenge to Sissy as she likes (she likes to go HIGH), but she still enjoyed it.
That evening we had foil dinners on the fire and an impromptu hayride through the woods. It was pitch black and as beautiful as can be. The girls began singing silly camp fire songs on the hayride and then added some praise and worship music as well. It was wonderful to hear them sing..."Oh Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy and true." This is one thing a Girl Scout leader would not be hearing on a hayride. I am so blessed to be a part of this program.
Finally, you need to know that the rain held off, but the cool temps blew it. It was around 35 degrees Saturday night. Cold - but nothing that a down sleeping bag, down comforter and winter hat could not help with.
We did not really work on to many badge requirements this weekend. Four of the girls at camp were returning girls and 5 were still needing to work on their Joining Award so we spent some time around the camp fire talking through some of them. Despite the rain is was quite successful! We have a unit that totals 10 Pioneers - up from 5 last year! At camp we had 5 girls who were new to the program and that meant there were relationships to be made. The girls meshed very well and that alone means that camp was a success, no matter how many badge requirements were done.