I survived 13 girls and some siblings (including Bud) in the woods on Friday night. And they survived the woods! I know it was the first outside sleepover in the woods for my two and some of the others as well. It was great.
We arrived around 5 pm and hauled our sleeping bags and stuff up the hill to the campsite; there was a single, big platform tent for the troop downhill from the campfire and several lean-tos for the boys above the campfire. I actually slept in a lean-to myself, since the big tent was pretty full and the lean-to was easier to sleep in.
But sleep was a long way off.
Next we lit the campfire, which I tended while they went on an extended night hike (the whole event was for their Night Owl badges.) They had a very exciting time--climbing rocks, watching for wildlife, gazing out at the city below--maybe too exciting, since they were near a tall cliff! The hike was Sis and Bud's favorite part. I sat meditating by the fire, listening to the symphony of the forest, and making and eating by myself the best s'more ever. I only missed hearing any owls.
The kids returned all full of stories and inhaled their s'mores. We then all shared our experiences with wildlife--turkeys in the yard, hawks on the wing, a bear on the road. The woman in charge of our group, an outdoorsy woman with shorn hair and an impish smile, told of a deer jumping over her one night as she slept by the fire. She loves kids, you could tell, and talked straight to them. (And all the leaders giggled when she made one of our precious snowflakes pick food out of the garbage can for the compost bin and another return a wheelbarrow she had tried to avoid putting back!!!) And most of them liked her (except a few snowflakes.)
And we sang around the fire--"Baby Shark," "Bear Hunt," my favorite "Barges," "Linger," "On the Loose," and "Taps." Such a lovely time.
And then there was no sleep. I could hear the girls all the way up the hill until around 3. I think Bud fell asleep despite it all.
Then the coyotes started around 4 a.m. Bud heard them, too.
But I missed the owls hooting at 5 a.m., apparently.
And we were up at 6 a.m. by the fire to warm up. I had actually been relatively comfortable in my bag, even with the chilly mist--I thought it was great sleeping weather; everyone else was cold. I loved watching the full harvest moon through the trees and the flicker of the waning fire. The sound of the girls and the insects and even traffic in the distance were comforting.
For breakfast, the girls gathered eggs in the chicken coop and picked some more herbs. They also admired the sheep and ducks. And their parents soon arrived to take them home.
It had been a great camping trip.
And I napped three hours that afternoon.
"On the Loose"