You're a blue-bellied SKINK.

June 5, 2008

Doesn't that title sound like the worst thing to call someone? Well, it's really not directed at anyone in particular. It's one of the things I got to play with recently. (Yup. that's my photo, too!) I went camping again this past weekend. This time with daughter and the Girl Scouts. Brought plenty of my own TP so I don't have a repeat of what happened last time, but I'm happy to say that I didn't even need it! That's the beauty part of camping with (only) girls. If we're in charge of planning it, we will make sure that life's little necessities are taken care of.

As one of the comments on one of my previous posts eluded to, I went camping....but I went kicking and screaming. Although I love to camp, and love the group I went with, it just wasn't a good time for me to be gone on a personal level. (Hey anonymous....I'm really sorry I was grouchy about camping. I hope you're not too mad.)

Camping with girls is a very different experience than camping with boys. For instance, boys will not stop poking or adding wood to the fire. No matter what you say, or how often...they are fixated on the fire. You only have to tell girls not to touch it, and they comply for the most part.

If you tell the boys where they'll be staying.....they sleep there. Girls want to change cabins, switch bunks, and move about freely, only to end back where they started (musical beds).

If the boys get irritated with one another, they're likely to throw a ball at some one's head or tussle - albeit briefly. Then it's over. With girls, drama will always ensue. "She's not my friend anymore...She said mean things about me". And no one can pout better or longer than a young girl. They just plainly have the market cornered in this area. It can be tiresome, but...I speak "girl" so I can relate very well to their struggles.

This trip was a good one. We stayed in screen-houses, slept on bunks, and ate in a screened in kitchen. We didn't "overbook" the activities, and we let them explore and be part of the chores in a meaningful way. They hunted the firewood, and cleaned latrines, and helped flip pancakes. The food was not only good, but it was simple to prepare. All in all, I'm glad I went, but it was tough to stop worrying about everything that's going on in the background (of my life).

One of the ways I was able to put my worries behind me was by watching the girls as they interacted with the local residents. There were dozens of toads in various sizes, a few salamanders, and many skinks. Most of the girls were pretty creeped out, but we had a healthy handful that were in it for the hunt. My daughter and my co-leaders daughters were leading this pack. There were more toads than there were hands, so they did as any girl would do, and they began loading up their "fanny packs" with toads. Mmmm! Toad pee and lip gloss. Now that's what little girls are really made of!

I cannot begin to describe how many times I had to say, "don't bring that toad into the cabin." Amanda wanted to keep hers as a pet, and kept sneaking it into her cabin so that she could do "obedience training" on it. Once it was properly trained, she could then (reluctantly) release it back into the wild, and if she encountered it again, it would run straight to her (because it loved her so).

She also officiated over several Toadie weddings. Imagine...a toad in each hand coming closer and closer to one another and then...SWAK! Sealed with a kiss! All the other toadies were surely jealous (haters). Always a toad-maid...never a toadie bride.
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