"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I don't remember if I talked much about selling girl scout cookies on this blog, but our march and april were BUSY taking and delivering orders.  we had a lofty goal to sell enough cookies to send binkles and I, BOTH, to the mom and me girl scout camp during the summer.  we didn't quite reach the goal, but came close enough.  all I had to pay was the deposit +$10. 
we signed up for a mom and me midweek camp and that was the past few days (aug 12-14).  we left a day early to do a real day of camping prior to hitting the girl scout's campgrounds.  I wanted to make sure and get some one-on-one time with my sweetie before sharing a fun "one-on-one" few days with a bunch of other moms/daughters. 
it was AWESOME!
it started off adventurous though, because... well... that's how we roll.
I was able to take our economical car, since there were just 2 of us.  otter pop and wolfie were left to tend the pups.  :) 
the drive up to camp is so pretty.  I just love it.  it gets you right in the mood for a week or month or summer of camping!!!  beautiful evergreens, a fast-paced river highly freckled with white water, and nice steep mountains sit next to the curve-filled (I can't figure out how to spell winedy/whindy/windy) road.
we made it up there in time to picnic for dinner.  we passed through the "small" camp-town and rounded over towards the east side of the lake which i'm most familiar with.  this is the same camp-town where I spent the 3 summers following my graduation living and working in. 
binkles pointed out and suggested a camp spot that I hadn't ventured to, but since we didn't have the whole family, I decided to oblige.  it was a rugged road up the mountain a small jont, but nothing our Subaru, marsha, couldn't easily handle.  we parked at the first campfire ring we found and then jumped out to explore the surroundings.  it was a vacant area, so we looked to see if there was a better campfire ring to mosey to.  I mean, when you have options, why not?!  in the first 2 minutes of exploring we found a small waterfall and a large doe.  there was an awesome site just next to the stream that created the waterfall, so I immediately decided to re-park and call the otter pop and let him know of our whereabouts. 
when I put the key in and turned it, to start the car though, nothing happened.  the car wouldn't start.  marsha was tuckered out from the long, hot drive up and didn't want to re-park.  so then I called otter pop and he wasn't too thrilled with us being so far off the road and away from all civilization.  woops.  safety first, so the two of us walked down the road and over to the nearest place to safely ask for help.  there happened to be a seventh-day Adventist camp just down the road, so I popped into their office and humbly asked the director for some help.  they had a portable jumper that they brought up and jumped marsha's battery.  dang it to all get out, that didn't work.  we tried and tried, but to no avail.  marsha was for sure tuckered out and didn't want to move.  so I called the mr. back and informed him of the situation at hand.  he was really disappointed in himself for letting me go camping with a kid in a car that died on us.  the thing is... it's a pretty reliable car.  most of the time it does exactly what you want it to.  but every once in a while it doesn't.  and I've made a link in when those times are... but i'll leave that for another paragraph. 
anyway, we just left it and decided that we'd found a great place to camp and we'd just stay put.  I told him that we'd sleep inside the car to ease his nerves and keep us locked up and safe.  then we went hiking, exploring, splashing in freezing cold glacier run-off water, and peeing/pooing in the brush.  awesome fun.  we also played a game of battleship and a game of sorry.  we each had our turns in winning, so that was fun too.  then, we prayed that in the morning marsha would start, for God to keep us safe, and proceeded that with bed.  it was still warm, so we just got out the little sleeping bag and a light blanket.  at 2:30am it was no longer warm, so I scooted over to the passenger side with binkles and cuddled on top of her.  by 7am, she couldn't feel her legs and feet any more and asked if I thought if maybe the car would start.  I was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeealy cold and told her i'd love it so that I could turn on the heater!  so I tried it and guess what.  it did. 
so we went to our little spot that last time we went camping, we deemed as "our private beach", used the portapotty that someone put there for our private and personal use, played in the sand, stacked some rocks, and then headed off to breakfast in town because I told her we would.  not totally the camping experience, but never how we'll be able to camp as a family because that would be ex-pendity-insive for all of us!  plus, it's an amazing breakfast place with 3-4 adjoining trinket stores that are fun to walk through.  so we did. 
after that we went back to the private beach and took a swim or two.  ok, I waded.  it was cold!  but I got wet enough to be wet, so it wasn't just my feet, people!  then we finished off most of our picnic supplies on lunch, fed a fat chipmunk, stacked some more rocks, and then headed to the campground.  check-in was from 1-3, so we got there shortly after 1. 
we were free to do whatever (which was kinda lame since we didn't know the campground much and didn't really know what "whatever" was allowed) until our first activity at 3:15.  mostly we just tried to get acquainted with the campground and waited for people to join us in our cabin.  the year before, binkles went with her aunt.  her favorite friends were the ones she bunked with, so she was excited to see if any of them were returning, but even more excited to see who was going to be bunking with us! 
our first activity was boating, which was binkles favorite activity from last year so that was exciting!  the boats were these luxury tour boats that didn't go very fast, but that didn't stop the girl scouts from tying a rope to them and tugging a tube of girls behind.  it was, by no means, a tubing experience!  however, if a young girl has never really been tubing before, she wouldn't know the difference and would have fun anyway.  that was the case with my daughter.  I was allowed to take a ride with her on the second round (the young girls first at this camp!) and taught her to lean and try and steer the tube that way.  no such luck though, the speed was just not enough to even get us over the boat's wake.  so, I bounced up and down on my side and gave her a little air as we caught other boat's and jet ski's small waves around the lake.  it was fun.  we smiled and giggled and even screeched a little at the splashes on our faces.  :)
next we went to the archery range and shot some arrows from bows.  that was fun. 
after that, we had dinner, free time, and then campfire.  we learned crazy new songs, roasted marshmallows, and got smoke in our eyes.  I love campfire.
binkles and I warned the heck out of our bunkmates about how cold it would be at night, so we closed all the windows and bunkered down for another freezing night.  however, apparently 8 people in a small closed up cabin --even with a rain and thunderstorm outside-- produce PLENTY of heat!  everyone but binkles was very warm!  the thunder and rain woke most of us, but since binkles and I had already had our horrible night of sleeplessness the night before, we rested well.  I found out that since i'm such a nice light sleeper all the wake-ups during the night don't really bother my rest.  we had a sleep talker, one who needed to pee every hour, and a few snoring moms... and I rested just fine!  we all overslept, but made it up in time for flag and breakfast. 
after breakfast I think we had some more free time.  it was called "free swim" but it was at 9:30 in the morning, so I kinda think it was a misprint.  either way, I found a little library right outside the dining hall and checked out a book on making nature art.  the girls who binkles and made friends with were excited with the idea of trying some projects out.  I started with a nature wreath which turned out so nicely I wish we would've had a hook on our door to hang it!  the group really got going on a twig basket though.  they collected twigs and brought them together and although the book called for hot glue, we couldn't find that ANYWHERE in the beautiful nature surrounding us.  instead we used the long grass and tied the twigs together that way.  it might not be as sturdy as the hot glue, but like I said before... it didn't grown in our neck of the woods. 
after a few hours of being artistic, we went to our first activity of that day: ropes course.  I was excited for this as it's always been my favorite camp activity.  2 of the 3 summers I worked at camp, it was on the ropes course.  the girl scouts don't have any high elements, but the low ones are really just as fun.  we did the trust fall, the v-walk, the plank ladder, swinging vines, and the moving ladder.  most of them are group elements and I enjoy those.  the young girls were chatter boxes and I was pleased that the moms started joining me in joining the girls on more and more activities as the day progressed. 
by that time, binkles and I had found another family that we really enjoyed and had fun with.  they were not in our cabin, but were in our activity group.  one of the families in our cabin also had joined us in a lot of free time activities.  for the most part the girl campers were friendly and accepting.  a few of the girls had come in groups and were not inclusive of other girls, but a lot of the girls were like us and didn't know anyone else there.  a lot of the moms had come to watch their girls have fun.  only a handful were there to have fun with their girls.  I thought that was interesting since I was definitely in the latter group! 
after ropes we changed clothes, worked on our twig basket, and then went for lunch.  after lunch they opened up the lake for more free swim.  I found the doula that helped us with starboy's birth, caught up with her for a might bit, and then stood on the dock talking myself into being a fun mom and jumping in.  after about 10 minutes I did.  I pulled the girls around in a floaty tube until I was out of muscle and breath.  then I got out and tried to talk the sun into drying me off.  binkles spent the whole swim time making new friends with a family that was in our activity group.  this family had 3 girls at the camp.  twin 8-y-o girls and a 9-y-o sister.  all three girls had an uncanny resemblance to marida (from brave), both in looks and personality.  not kidding. 
after free swim our next activity was "funyaking".  funyaks are plastic kayaks.  they come in one and two-person size.  there were also canoes.  everyone chose funyaks except for 3 moms who chose to ride in one canoe together.  it was nice to have everyone participating in an activity.  for most of the activity hour we just paddled and did what we want inside the boundaries they gave us, but in the last about 15 minutes the lifeguard had us play a few group games.  it was fun.  that was probably my favorite activity of the camp. 
after that was swimming.  I sat and chatted with the mom of the girls who we first made friends with.  she was a fun lady and was the first to join me in joining the girls in the fun activities.  she had to drag one of the other moms to try one of the ropes course elements with her since it was divvied out by height.  this mom lives in the area where I grew up.  I really enjoyed getting to know her and her company was much appreciated during the camp session.
after swimming we went and did art/craft.  they had us make memory books which was a ton of fun, but we were the last group of the whole season... so the materials were very limited.  I spent the whole hour on my front page.  yeah... that's why I don't do a lot of scrapbooking.  however, I was pleased with how it turned out.  I decided to take pictures of our new friends and then paste them to the book with their names/addresses and make it into a little address book for binkles.  otherwise it won't ever get done.  an hour per page is just stupidity.  that's just the way I am!
after arts/crafts we had an hour before dinner.  binkles ran around and played with all her new friends while I bunkered down and worked on that durn twig basket some more.  what a project!!!  after that was dinner and campfire. 
after campfire that night, whoever chose was allowed to participate in the GS POLAR BEAR PLUNGE.  funny thing is that that lake is warmest at the end of the day, so the 9:30 free swim would be a much more appropriate time for a polar bear plunge.  anyway, I didn't choose, but binkles did.  she loves to do daring things!  I just didn't want to have a wet head in bed.  :( 
we let the girls stay up talking that night.  the three girls who were in the top bunks stayed up telling stories and reciting movies/plays. 
we woke the next morning and started packing up.  2 of our 4 families in our cabin planned on leaving directly after breakfast.  we took pictures, ate breakfast, tried to take a big group picture and said good-byes. 
our favorite 2 families weren't rushing out, so we got more time with them.  however, the family with the twins did leave right after breakfast. 
binkles, her new friend "Katie", and I asked to use art supplies and spent the rest of the morning before we left making necklaces and finishing off the twig basket. 
binkles and I left the campground right around noon.  when we arrived in our cabin there was trash, candy, crafts, and sand everywhere.  we left later than check-out because we decided to clean it for them.  we found a broom and swept up the mess.  we threw away the trash and hopefully left it how it should have been left for us. 
marsha started right up for us and we drove to the local pizza place where I spent my evenings waiting tables a decade plus ago.  we had pizza and salad.  binkles left her girl scout had there.  :(  then we meandered around the town's farmers market, stopped back to a trinket shop we found before camp and purchased a wood carved-eagle sling shot, aired up the tires in marsha and headed back home. 
at the town right before ours I decided that maybe we need a little more gas, so stopped in for a bit of gas.  unfortunately my earlier guess of perhaps marsha doesn't like to drive for long distances was confirmed when after I gassed up, she wouldn't start again.  the truck in front of us, pulled forward to give us a jump, but once again... she wouldn't budge.  I tried calling mr. pops, but there was no cell phone reception on my little emergency travel phone.  so, I told binkles we'd go in the service station and use their phone.  I locked the car, shut the door, and immediately realized I didn't have the keys!  *sigh*  so, I went in and used their phone and admitted my stupidity of locking the keys in the car to my wonderful understanding and loving husband. 
we waited for a bit and then got rescued by that above mentioned mister hero.  he brought all the kids but the large one for the rescue.  it was so lovely to be reunited by those smiling faces!!!  I think they might have missed me a little.  :) 
we got home and passed out the necklaces we made them all.
to top off the wonderful time, wolfie tested for her blue belt and received it last night too!!!  what a great day!  yeah, some rotten events happened around the 3 o'clock hour... but what a great day AND a great time for the past 3 days!!!

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

1 comment:

Liz said...

fun to hear about camp!