For the last two Octobers I have been able to take Bitty to a Girl Scout camp up Provo canyon, a special reward for cookie-selling girls who are not part of an official troop. We have had a couple of fun, bonding over-nighters together, and Skippidy has been jealous beyond jealous that she wasn't able to go. Man was she excited when she joined girl scouts last year and knew she'd be allowed to sell cookies and go to Girl Scout camp this fall.
As it happened, Girl Scout camp was happening on the very same weekend that Bitty was invited to a special Un-Birthday Tea Party breakfast with her church group, and she decided she couldn't miss that. So Skippidy was even more excited that she got me all to herself for her first camp. That sweet thing. Most things in life seem to absolutely thrill her. This is a trait I'm deeply grateful for.
We took off late Friday afternoon and within five minutes of our journey it became clear that we had left the house about two hours too late. There is some serious construction going on at the south end of our valley, shutting down the passage at the point of the mountain to just one lane. That issue plus the fact that it was a Friday evening made the going rather slow. And when I say slow, I mean absolutely crawling. From the moment we got on the freeway at 500 South in Salt Lake we rarely went faster than 5 miles an hour. It took us two full hours to get to the point of the mountain, by which time I had nearly pulled out all my own hair. But what can you do. Skippidy, as mentioned above, is generally a pretty happy gal, and she contentedly chatted with me and listened to music the whole way. Never a complaint, I kid you not. At least, not from her. I myself did enough (mostly) inner complaining to use up five years worth of grouch tickets. Yes, the phrase "grouch tickets" makes perfect sense to me; if it does not to you, so sorry. You can go complain about it and it will cost you one grouch ticket.
I think it might be kind of late for me to be writing.
Anyhow, we finally made it to camp, thinking we were hours late, which actually we were, but so was everyone else. Funny thing - the moment we stumbled breathlessly through the doors I caught sight of my good PTA friend Janet, with whom I had already spend a large chunk of the day at PTA meeting. We started laughing when we saw each other, because we instantly knew what kind of day we were each having. And it was really fun to spend the camp together. She has a darling daughter, who is a 6th grader and couldn't have been sweeter with Skippidy.
The evening was spent eating dinner which was lasagna and which Skippidy absolutely miraculously ate. I was shocked. I mean, it was food. Different kinds of food all mixed together. This is definitely not her MO. We then dragged our stuff up to the cabin where Janet and Molly were staying, then we trooped back down the hill for a campfire program. I found it sort of painful, and Skippidy found it hilarious and entertaining beyond all reason. Her delight was all the entertainment I needed. After s'mores in the lodge, it was back up the hill for what was possibly the worst night of sleep I have ever had the pleasure of not enjoying. I kid you not, I am seriously old and cranky. But I hid it well from my little gal. Okay, even Skippidy mentioned that she was uncomfortable, and she was up a ready to go by about 5:30. I let her play phone games under the sleeping bag covers while I lay there feeling pain. When dawn finally cracked we were all too happy to sneak off to the bathrooms and freshen up.
The good thing about the night was that for the whole rest of the day, no matter what we were doing, I could just enjoy feeling grateful that the horrid night was over and I would not have to lie on the torturous bed frame any more ever again. Made it easier to enjoy the day.
Skippidy, as you can imagine, was psyched with every part of the day. A nature walk in the morning (okay, I did have to kind of drag her up the hill and Janet mentioned that she was feeling exhausted just by watching us), followed by craft hour in the lodge.
After lunch was archery, which event caused Bitty some serious heartache and trauma both of the previous years. Bitty was so disappointed the first year to be too young to use the big bows and arrows that we didn't even participate. Skippidy, however, took one look at the nerf bow and arrows she got to use and literally jumped in the air with glee. Hard to please, I tell you. And believe me, I understand Bitty's pain and frustration - that was the same way I felt when I was left out of the big kid stuff at her age. Poor girl. I hope she doesn't follow in all of my emotional footsteps.
The drive home was significantly easier and speedier. We enjoyed a stop at Swig, our favorite watering hole. It really was quite a pleasure to spend those hours with my seriously happy little girl scout. And I'm still, a month later, feeling grateful that that horrible night actually did come to an end.