I honestly don’t know what possesses anyone “normal” to go camping. I can only say that I consider myself to be pretty normal, and I’m not into camping, but I’m usually willing to go because of the story in it. There’s a big memory marker that gets placed in your hand when you choose things outside the course of “normal.” It’s a magic marker, and you can fill in pages of your life with it. While other days drift past, outings, adventures, journeys are worthy of journal pages and sketch books, of bringing along a camera to capture the days’ moments.
BUILD A SHAPE IN THE DARK
Aside from the “Trust Fall,” our girls learned great team building activities: like all being blindfolded at once, as they grabbed a circular rope. The “caller” would call out a shape (circle, square, star, triangle, for example) and the girls would have to work together, while blindfolded to figure out who should move into what position, how many should shift, who should pull the rope, or push? They had to rely on sound, on communication and strategy.
WHERE’S MY CHICKEN?
They also played a great game called “Where’s My Chicken?” which is where someone is “IT,” who similar to the game “RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT, ONE, TWO, THREE” turns her back to the troop and counts aloud to “three,” when she turns around and everyone must freeze. The girls run toward the caller to steal a rubber chicken near where the caller stands, and then must return to the starting line, all without the caller (aka the person who is “it”) guessing who has the rubber chicken. AND every player, that is, all the girls must have a turn touching the chicken before they return to the starting line. Again, all without the caller ever seeing the chicken and all without the caller guessing correctly who is holding the chicken behind her back, say. This game takes planning and strategy and is a lot of fun!
DRAMA FREEZE / OBJECT FREEZE
They did indoor rock climbing because of the rain. As girls waited for their turns to climb, I taught them improv games, teaching them the life benefit of “yes, and” instead of saying “no”… in a scene and in life. We also converted objects from say, a hat in one scene, but when someone calls “freeze,” the actor who yelled “freeze” must resume the position of the last ACTOR but use the object in a new way, as, say, a bowl over the head, ready for a bowl haircut. “Aww, mom, not the bowl again! Can’t you take me to a salon for once?!” Then it’s an infant, then it’s a steering wheel, an alarm clock, etc.
BUNNY, FIND YOUR HOME
We also played, “Bunny, find your home,” where groups of two girls were the “empty home” and a bunch of bunnies stood near a caller who’d yell, “Bunny, find your home!” This sprung the bunnies into action, racing across the room to find a secure home that wasn’t already taken by a faster bunny.
MY MAMA DON’T WEAR NO SOCKS
We completed a low ropes course, then a night hike, with owl calls and bird calls, leading into a campfire with lots of Girl Scout song… my favorite being: “My Mama Don’t Wear No Socks,” which I taught everyone.
ALWAYS TURN THE CAR AROUND FOR FARM FRESH EGGS
Then, as I left with 4 girls and another mom, I insisted we stop for farm fresh eggs. Only a moment after I’d said it, my friend said, “You just passed a place with a sign for fresh eggs.” We’ll see another, I said. “No, you have to turn around. It was meant to be because it appeared just as you finished saying it.” She was right. I had to turn around. I did.
We stopped at the dairy and asked if the girls could meet the cows. 15 minutes later, the girls were feeding calves bottles of milk and meeting a calf born two days ago. What a wonderful adventure!