Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter Camp 2012

I've been a Girl Scout Leader for two years now. 

It's hard to believe. Especially since I have no girls of my own.

Life takes you in weird directions sometimes, but all in all, I've felt that I've been led, one way or another, to where I'm supposed to be.

And this weekend, I was supposed to be at Winter Camp with 6 girls and 3 women - some truly special people I've had the privilege to know and work with these last few years.

Some highlights:

Friday night was Spa Night.  We applied yogurt / oatmeal masks, painted nails, wrapped hair, soaked feet.  My own contribution was a tube of henna, which the girls (and other Leaders) seemed to enjoy being decorated with. After we closed down the spa for the evening, we let the girls stay up and whisper late into the night, and the four of us had some laughs as well. 

Camp Echo Trail has lots to offer - including a Low Ropes Course on which I was certified almost two years ago.  The girls were thrilled to finally have at the thing, and we were very proud of the way they handled the challenges and how they worked together and cheered each other on, even when it was frustrating for them. 

Every year, our troop plans a party for all the kids staying at a nearby Family Shelter for the homeless.  We spent some time this weekend learning how to make balloon animals for this year's party, and we made and decorated the cakes we bring to share with them.

 Between meals (which the girls planned and prepared) and these other activities, we let them do what they wanted. 

During this downtime, the girls built a stage and planned and rehearsed an elaborate variety show all on their own.  They performed it for us that evening after our dinner of campfire mountian pies and smores. We were invited up on stage to compete in a game show they created and between rounds of that, they sang and danced.    

It's gratifying to see how these kinds of activities - pampering themselves, challenging themselves physically and mentally, planning ways to serve those less fortunate than themselves, leading, following, planning and performing - are helping these girls grow in confidence and character.  I know we're not the only adults in their lives cheering them on, but I'm glad to be one of them. 

Getting my backpacking certification in March.  When they're ready to go, I'll be ready to take them.

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