Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fort Wilderness Camping with the Girl Scouts - Day 1

So to continue the nature-loving trend I'm having here on Domestic Spaz, it's time to talk a little about last weekend's camping trip.

It wasn't really intentional that we planned a weekend camping trip for the girl scouts on Easter weekend.  It was more of a "Hey! We need to book a camping trip! The girls don't have school that Friday, let's book one then!" and bam reservations were made.

It didn't really pose much of a problem for our troop, luckily, as out of sixteen girls, only three decided they couldn't make it.  In the end, two more dropped out due to health issues.  So Friday morning we gathered at my co-leader's house at the crack of dawn to begin our adventure.

We had gathered most of the girls gear the night before and put it in the topper on my van.  The Man packed that sucker like a game of duffel bag tetris and I warned everyone not to even think about opening it until we had arrived at Fort Wilderness.

The real challenge was packing up the open trailer we were using to bring up the tents and food and BIKES.  Luckily, my co-leader's husband was willing to pack it up nice and securely for the ride up.  Since we're smartypantses, we took pictures of the trailer in order to remember how to pack it up to come home. This would be the first of our genius moves of the weekend.

We got on the road a little late, but managed the 3 hour drive without incident.

The trailer and all of its contents remained secure and once we arrived on our campsite we managed to back it into place and unhook it from the Suburban that had pulled it up there.

Nevermind that we forgot temporarily to actually unlock it from the trailer hitch and managed to actually pick the back of the Suburban off the ground while attempting to unhook it.  And nevermind that the block we placed underneath the front of the trailer wasn't exactly level, causing the trailer to roll backward and KACHUNK on the ground. No one was injured and all was well. And we did it.

We quickly ate a sandwich lunch because we were all starving.  Then our first real challenge (aside from the trailer) was to set up camp.  We had three tents for the girls and one ginormous tent for the five leaders and two adjacent campsites to utilize.  So we decided to put all the girls on one site and then put the leaders on the site with the trailer and all of the cooking stuff.  This would be the second of our genius moves of the weekend.

The girls tents quickly started going up.  Until we got to the tent I had brought for the girls.  Now, the last person to use this tent was The Man's cousin when she took our kids and her kids camping with the boy scouts.  I was actually in Pittsburgh at the time, but evidently when the tent was returned it was a little disheveled.  The Man was dealing with an arm injury at the time, so I guess when he attempted to return the tent to its original condition, he forgot to make sure that the entire structure of tent poles and framing was put in the bag with the tent.

I had planned on setting up the tent at home before the trip just to make sure nothing like this happened... but time caught up with me (as it usually does) and it never happened.  So you can imagine my frustration when I realized that the tent I had brought for the girls wasn't going to happen.


Luckily, we had to make a run to Walmart for food just after setting up camp, so the troop could purchase another tent while we were there. Crisis averted.

While one of the leaders and I ventured off to Walmart, the other three leaders took the girls to the pool.  There is an awesome bus line that runs throughout Fort Wilderness that will get you pretty much wherever you need to go.  But the girls wanted to ride their bikes.  And when they had played all of the cards they could play to get us to agree to let them ride their bikes to the pool (that we weren't sure where it actually was), they played the final card.

"But it's EARTH DAY!"

And off on their bikes they all went.

After the pool and the trip to Walmart, we started dinner for the girls. The girls had planned the menu, so Friday's dinner was spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread.

Time was of the essence (as it always is), so we decided to make a big pot of spaghetti and drive the girls over to the movie (there's a movie under the stars every night at Fort Wilderness) and let them eat the spaghetti there.

So we drove them over (as close as we could drive them, a lot of Fort Wilderness is bike & golf cart accessible only) and set up an assembly line of plates and forks for them to get their spaghetti and walk over to the movie.

The pot was on the floor of the front passenger seat of my van and to serve it, we had the brilliant idea of me putting my hand in a big ziploc bag and grabbing a handful of spaghetti to put on their plate.  The idea was awesome.  Except for the fact that the spaghetti was like LAVA.

I served the first girl in this manner and my hand was immediately tingly like it was on fire.  But I had eleven girls to serve and there was a bit of a sense or urgency... so what did I do?

I persevered.

I stuck my hand into the burning lava spaghetti eleven times and served all eleven girls.  And then I cried as the feeling returned to my fingertips.  But all girls ate. Mission accomplished.

In the morning I discovered two meatballs on the floor of the van and three strands of spaghetti stuck to my dashboard.  But it was all good.