So I braved my first brownie overnight, and let me just say that thank God they have us go through a “progression” where they don’t just throw us into the wilderness to fend for ourselves. I also had these moments where I could see why Kate Gosselin is so bitchy. I only had six kids and two adults, I did have a few moments there where I thought I might lose my mind, and have a Kate-like breakdown; not because of the other people’s children, but because of my own child! Overall, the girls did absolutely fantastic, and those kids that were not my own could not have been better behaved. But, as you will see below, the Superego (the oldest) was a challenge. Maybe after you read this you can tell me if it's inappropriate for me to be camping mom and leave my own kid at home?!
Here’s what I learned when you raise your hand and agree to be the camping mom for a 4th grade troop:
1) When putting up your 12 person tent that will literally swallow your friend’s yard, make sure you check the night before to see if you have any instructions. I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how all the poles and brackets and hooks and tent covers fit together. It’s been so long since we used the tent that not even my husband could remember how to do it. Oh, and just so you know, the internet does not have instructions for the Ridgeway by Kelty 12 person tent! Of course, now that I know, it will take me 20 minutes to put up next time.
2) When planning a “color wheel” hike, be sure to begin the hike BEFORE dusk. Everything starts to look a dingy shade of orange as soon as the street lights come on.
3) And finally, when leaving the tent to brush your teeth, make sure you have the conversation with you child that says “I don’t care how hot you are in that sleeping bag, you are not to remove any article of clothing!” The Superego decided that she wanted to be the girl scout clown and it would be funny to take off her shirt and tell all her friends that she sleeps naked because she gets hot at night. Yes, she gets hot and opens her window and sleeps with a fan on, but other than the moments after I gave birth to her, that child has NEVER slept naked. And right about that moment I thought of pulling out the old "I brought you into this world, I can take you out!" Thank God it was dark and she was in her sleeping bag. That was grounds for timeout #1. Timeout #2 came at breakfast when she kept saying “underwear” because she thought it was funny. She didn't think it was so funny when she spent the better part of breakfast in the corner and also had to go to her room once she got home.
Moral for today – be the brownie camping mom, just make sure it’s for a troop that doesn’t have your child in it! J