Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Our Troop's first camping trip is coming up on June 3rd. We needed to start getting the girls ready to learn how to tie knots, build a fire, cook outside and get ready for our camp out.

So off to the beach went went.

The night started out with a BIG shock to my system! When I got to the beach Michelle and Maureen were already there with Jesse and Trinity. They were kind enough to get there early to save us a fire pit.

Since they got there so early they let Jesse and Trinity go in the water to play while they waited for us.

Don (Jesse's dad) and Jeff (Trinity's grandpa) were there too. They were going to help teach the girls how to get ready to camp.

Don and Jeff were down by the water watching Trinity. Due to a BIG misunderstanding, they thought we said it was ok for the girls to go in the water all the way.

When I saw them running into the water I quickly ran down to tell the girls not to get their clothes wet. Yes, I was to late!

They were soaked, head to toe.

They had so much fun going into the water with their clothes on and it really was no one's fault for the misunderstanding.

We just had the girls wrap up and stay warm. Or at least try to .

Being kids, they didn't mind being a bit chilly. They had to much fun.

We ended up having the girls take their tops off (they took turns holding towels up around each other so no one could see them) and since the wind was blowing, the tops quickly dried out. It was much better then trying to stay warm in wet clothes.

Great lesson was learned on how Girl Scouts must be ready for anything at any time.

Everyone then gathered around and Don and Jeff helped the girls learn how to tie knots.

Starting with the basic square knot and working up to harder and harder ones. Each girl did great!

Big smiles came over their faces as one by one they learned to tie the knots.

They weren't that easy to do either. But they all did it.

Don was great and told the girls what the name of each knot was and when it would be used.

We even learned one knot called a friendship knot. Perfect for Girl Scouts!

We were all getting hungry so Don showed the girls how to build a fire.

The girls were very excited to learn how to start a fire without a lighter or matches.

They learned that a fire needs something that will burn quickly to be put down first. In the wilderness, small twigs, pine needles or things like that would be used. But, since we were at the beach and wanted to get the fire going the easiest way we could, the girls just wadded up newspaper.

Then they all placed smaller wood (kindling) in a tee pee shape over the paper.

They learned that a fire needs air to burn and that is why they placed the wood that way. But, how were they going to get a fire started?

They were shown how to use a magnesium stick and scrape off a little pile of it. Then use a flint to get a spark that will light the magnesium on fire. That is then used to catch the paper on fire.

The girls were surprised to see how quickly the fire started. They were taught fire safety and how to be careful around fire.

Always wearing closed toe shoes around fire is very important as is not standing to close if the wind is blowing sparks.

No one had to teach them how to move and not stand in the path of the smoke though. The wind was making it pretty smoky at times.

By this time, the tops were dry and they were able to put them back on.

It was then time to learn how to open a can up like they used to WWII. A can opener with no electric power or even a crank. Just the use of an up and down motion.

Don explained that they could right in the can the food comes in. Just take off the paper outside, open the can but still leave the lid a little bit attached. Then wrap a wire coat hanger around it to make a handle and place over the open fire.

They were pretty impressed with the coat hanger idea and loved how they could cook right in the can.

Don bought them all their own "camping can opener" and had it put on a dog tag key chain with their name and troop number stamped on it. What a great guy!

This was Tuppence's first outing with us and she kept saying how much fun she was having. It was nice to hear that and see a big smile on her face all night.

As they waited for the adults to get dinner ready, the girls practiced opening up cans with their own can opener.

It wasn't as easy as it sounded or looked. There was a little trick to getting that opener to work.

But, with a little bit of help from Don and Jeff the girls were able to get it to work and each got her can open.

Once they got the hang of it, they were able to do it pretty easily.

They were pretty excited to get their cans open all by themselves. However, we all agreed that when we go camping, we are going to bring a crank style opener. It's much easier.

I really enjoyed seeing how proud and thrilled Tuppence got when she got the hang of using her opener. She said it made her excited to go camping and she was really happy she got to join Girl Scouts.

All this hard work made everyone hungry and ready to eat dinner.

Yet, as hungry as they were, they did not want to stop until their can was completely opened.

They all felt a since of accomplishment once they finished.

Each girl got her own hot dog to cook over the open flames and the beans were already cooking.

I forget who it was but, someone put her hot dog right into the flame and it quickly burned and fell off the cooking stick into the flames.

We all laughed and the girls learned to hold their hot dog a bit away from the actual flame to cook it.

It was very windy and the chips kept blowing away. I looked over and saw Tuppence under her towel. I asked her what she was doing and she said she didn't want her chips to blow away so she covered up with the towel.

Pretty clever.

Isn't it strange how much better food tastes when you are at the beach and you cook it yourself?

After eating, the girls wanted to go feed the birds the left over buns. Boy were those birds happy!

So were the girls!

It was then time for S'Mores! YUM!

They were a BIG hit with the girls.

Each got two and I think some would have loved to have had two dozen, if we would have let them.

They each cooked their own marshmallows and put them on the chocolate and graham crackers.

The crisp crunch of the graham cracker, the snap of the chocolate bar and then the warm gooey melted marshmallow was the perfect way to finish our dinner.

Elizabeth thought it was the BEST part of our dinner.

So did Nikki. To be honest, I think all the girls thought they were the best part of the whole night.

Then they moved on to just marshmallows!

Boy can those sticky hot marshmallows make a mess!

OK, so the girls did find it funny when they got messy. So they did start to accidentally/on purpose get extra messy.

I lost count as to how many each girl had. They didn't eat all of them though. We still had a 1/2 of a package left.

Though we did bring two packages.

Tuppence showed all of us how her mommy likes to eat marshmallows. Not heated, just mashed up in between her fingers and then after it is all sticky she pops it into her mouth.

It was a very busy but exciting outing. The girls learned a lot and we all had so many laughs.

If this was a sneak peek into what our camping trip in June is going to be like...well, I can't wait!

A big THANK YOU goes out to Don and Jeff for helping the girls. We couldn't have done it without them.

I love how at each outing the girls always say "this was the best outing we have had". It may very well be. Until we have our next one.

This coming Sat we will be going to the San Diego Zoo. Knowing how much these girls love being around animals, I have a feeling it will be the next "best outing" we have ever had.

1 comment:

  1. This was super fun and I think one of our best "learning" meetings. I can not wait to do it again!