Musings from the Campfire (a scouting adventure)

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My children have been involved in scouting for many years. My son started Cub Scouts at the age of 6 and our family has participated in just about every activity they offer! Family camping has always been our favorite and a couple of times a year we would load the truck up with enough gear to outfit a small army and head into the woods for an adventure!
My daughter is in Girl Scouts and if you are not familiar with this group, they usually like moms to NOT be involved in a lot of their activities…they prefer to foster independence over family activities which I still have mixed feelings about! However,  I got the chance to participate in Mother/Daughter camping this past weekend and jumped at the chance! YAY…off into the woods with my girl for some bonding, right? While we did have quite a lot of fun, I was struck by how DIFFERENT this experience was as compared to previous camping trips with the Boy Scouts! Obviously, every group is different but here are just a few things that struck me as amusing! 
1. We don’t have a lot of mom’s in our group that will tent camp so we stayed in a large house with a full kitchen, mattresses to sleep on, and air conditioning! I’m not sure this fits my definition of camping! Houses are not an option in boyscout camping (at least not that I know of!)  With the boys, your kitchen is a camp stove, you sleep on the ground and the only air conditioning is an open tent flap! While I definetely SLEPT better on this trip, I admit there is just something about sleeping in tents that I really enjoy!
2. There is WAY more singing in Girl Scout camping! So much so that after 2 days I seriously considered gouging my ears out with the closest marshmallow stick! How many bizarre and nonsensical songs can a group of girls come up with??? A LOT!
3. Girl Scouts must approach the fire in an orderly fashion! There were fire rules…lots of them! You will sit quietly in a ring around the fire…3 girls are given sticks and their one allotted marshmallow. They are then allowed to approach the fire and roast said marshmallow. After they are finished, the next set of girls goes. There is no fighting over the marshmallow bag, throwing acorns in the fire to make them explode, or poking the fire with sticks just to watch them catch on fire!

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4. Girl Scouts eat WAY healthier than Boy Scouts! Every meal included fruits and/or veggies. There were napkins. And utensils! If left to their own devices, boys will not voluntarily bring fruit camping…they eat hotdogs  with fingers that they wipe on their pants. Of course, this probably had something to do with the full kitchen in our house…it even had a coffee pot, thank God!
5. On our Girl Scout trip, no one fell in the water! Not a single girl even got DAMP, despite the lake and canoeing. On any given Boy Scout trip, at least ONE boy will end up soaked and requiring a full change of new clothes. At the very least there will be 8 sets of wet socks being dangled over the fire on sticks in an attempt to get them to dry out! Maybe that just gives them an excuse to play in the fire some more!
I am actually glad my daughter has been able to experience camping with both Boy Scouts AND Girl Scouts. Now she knows lots of great songs to sing to the toads she catches and maybe when she grows up and packs for her own camping adventure she’ll throw in some apples to eat with her hotdogs!
Are you a camper? Have any funny stories you care to share?



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