Friday, October 24, 2008

Tales of My Girl Scout Days: Survival Camp

Every once in awhile you get reminded of some of the character building experiences in your life. One of mine is Survival Camp when I was a Girl Scout. I was reminded of this experience the other day on Twitter when someone I follow was discussing Boy Scout camp with someone else. I of course had to put my two cents in. It was then suggested to write a blog on it, so here goes.

Girl Scout camp, I think, has a reputation of being easy, but my troop went at least twice a year thanks to strong cookie sales and fund-raising activities. We usually did camping near the Brazos River and some how always managed to get either a "Ducky" badge (camping in the rain) or a "Polar Bear" badge (camping in freezing temperatures). Well, when part of our troop did survival camp, we got both and earned them as well.

Survival Camp only allows you to bring a tent, sleeping bag, a cooler with EVERYONE's meat, and a shoebox with anything else you want to eat or need. We had a wooden spoon that we had to carve ourselves, fire starter (made ourselves), a coffee can, some food, and a change of socks (possibly a change of underwear as well). We get to the camp site and set up our tents, it was a brisk evening and next thing you know it's raining. We had to eat and to do so meant building a fire in the rain. This was a challenge in and of itself but with much trying I think most got a fire going and were able to eat some ramen. Everyone's tents started leaking and we slept in at least an inch of water. We all woke up drenched since the water-proofing failed. That morning, because of the rains all night, starting a fire was even more difficult since all the wood was wet but we managed. Oh yeah and to use the restroom, someone built a box with a lid on it, another dug a whole and put a sheet up, and that was our potty. Oh the beauty of it!

Now with all this in mind, years later, I know for a fact that if I'm ever abandoned in the wilderness I'll survive. I carry a small pocket knife in my car (not on my person) and have a mini kit in my trunk of my car at all times in case some craziness happens. I think more kids today really should share in this experience as it gets you away from the craziness of modern life and shows you what you're made of. I'm just glad it was raining so the spiders stayed away!

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