Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trick or Treat

Leading up to Halloween we had a few fun activities planned for the weekend before. The girls school had their 10 year anniversary as a charter school. They celebrated with a music festival out on the field featuring bands and performances from each grade level. They had face painting, glitter tattoos and food trucks. Gemma got unicorn face paint.
Along with singing for each grade level the advanced band performed. Lily is playing trumpet again this year. They are improving so much already.
Gemma and I took a shift working in the Girl Scout booth making a Fall leaf craft.
We had finalized the costume plans and while we were at Harvest Moon camp the weekend before Alex put the finishing touches on Gemma's costume, a jar of sprinkles.
We got to test out the costumes on Sunday afternoon at a "Tent or Treat" event for Girl Scouts.
Emma Lee and Amanda were at the event as well.
They got to go to different tents to play little games and get candy.  It was fun to see everyone's costumes. Scarlett joined us in her Narwhal onesie.
Then finally the big day arrived. Halloween on a Wednesday is rough for everyone involved! We arrived at school with plenty of time for the sprinkle jar to find her matching cupcake. The little best friends came up with their own idea to coordinate. Liv got the easy end ordering her costume online. 
Lily met up with her cute crowd by her classroom. Olivia was an adorable giraffe, Charlee and Scarlett were creepy doll sisters and Lily was so so excited to be a dragon. Her current obsession.
Gemma's class was so excited they could barely contain themselves waiting for the time to march in the school parade.
Gemma's class all together with her magnificent teacher Mrs. Linklater.
Then all the parents hang about for an hour waiting for the parade to weave it's way through the school. It is such fun to see what everyone comes up with for costumes. Gemma was a big hit with all the adults.
Luckily I'm friends with the mom who has an amazing camera in the front row and got some great shots of Gemma and Livia. 

Lily followed her creepy doll friends. She had so much fun living out her dream of being a dragon. She wanted some talons and some way to breathe fire but that was more than we could DIY.

After the parade is finished they return to their classrooms for a party. I volunteered in Gemma's class and got to help them make spider cookies. They were very serious about making them....and eating them too.
After school we had a few hours to regroup before heading out to meet friends to trick or treat. This year the girls were insistent we go with their friends. It turned out to be a huge pack of us from school. Some friends that live in a great neighborhood were kind enough to let us all join them.
The houses in this neighborhood go all out in decorating. It must take them forever to put together these whole elaborate scenes.
Gemma had to navigate the steps and door to door in her big round costume. She did really well until the very end and it got heavy and uncomfortable.
Lily was thrilled to have her friend Sabina come with. They were just a little pair off on their own gathering candy.
Boy did they get a haul this year. The neighborhood knows they get tons of kids coming so they have great candy and they got several full size candy bars too!
We were out until about 9PM which for a school night is unheard of.
There was a lot of sorting candy and eating candy before we finally made it home and into bed. I think the parents were just as wiped out as all the kids were.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Camp Harvest Moon 2018

Fall camping with Girl Scouts was a highlight of last year so we knew we would be coming back again this fall. Like last year, we bunked up with Lily's troop since they needed more adults to chaperone. Gemma loves sleeping in the cabin with Lily's troop. It's more fun to be with the big girls I guess. We had a big turn out this year with almost her whole troop coming to sleep over. 
Camp was at a new location this year since there has been some crime in the area of camp Gilmore they didn't feel comfortable holding it there. We were at the Jewish camp in Simi where the girls did a few days of summer camp. We all loved it. The cabins were nice and had bathrooms attached. Who knew this would be such a luxury.  Scarlett joined us for camp this year, Gemma fits right in, Sophia and Lily. Girls Scouts has been the best thing for Lily and she loves it. She has made new friends at school that she has known for years but never got a chance to really get close to. Sophia's mom is the troop leader and for the last couple of years Sophia has become a great friend to Lily and Scarlett.
I think the girls loved the down time in the cabin more than anything else. Lots of time to giggle and goof around. They love sleeping on bunk beds.
Gemma's troop had about 7 girls attending as well. We spent the day with her troop going from station to station doing activities to earn patches. They were all very excited to be old enough as brownies to get to do archery this year.
The bigger girls from cadet troops lead many of the activities. It is nice to see them taking on these leadership roles. It is a bit painfully slow while they get the hang of herding tons of little girls through each station.

Learning how to hold the bow and safety first of course.
It took a lot of strength to pull back and get aimed.
It was really fun and definitely something they want to do again.
We had to pose for a troop picture at the western jail. Too bad you can't check them in and come back for them later.
We had a fire safety session. Again, I think the socializing and playing hand games and singing camp songs was the most fun.
They really love getting to interact with the teen girls and look forward to when they are older and get to be the cool girls leading the sessions.
They also make crafts and luckily some of the rotations were indoors with cool air. Even though it is Fall it is still always warm at camp.
Gemma decorated her airplane then off to see if it flies.
Once the sessions were over we had free time before dinner. Everyone was excited to head to the pool. It was jam packed with girls.
They had fruit popsicles to help us cool off too. My coconut popsicle was not quite the pina colada I had in mind but it hit the spot.
Gemma and Amanda. Her mom Karen is our troop leader, along with myself this year.  We had our other co-leader leave the school this year and so Karen needed someone to step up and take that spot. I guess after three years of being in the troop I figured I might as well co-lead since I attend all the activities already.
Our Brownie cabin. Our troop shared with another troop since we didn't have a large number of girls and moms go. The girls who go every year know how much fun it is and how the other girls are missing out!!
Because they hold camp the weekend before Halloween every year they have a contest to decorate your cabin with spooky decor. Lily's troop always goes for the gore. Every year they have the highest hopes and every year they don't win. 
After pool time and some R&R - for the girls I mean- we have swaps before dinner. Swaps are a little home made trinket you can put a safety pin on then you trade between different troops and hang from your camp necklace. The kids have so much fun trading and comparing. This is Gemma and her good friend Makayla. It has been good for both girls to be in girl scouts to stretch them to make friends outside of their usual school friends group. We had a mom in our troop design matching shirts for the girls to wear to camp with our troop number and a spooky Halloween scene. 
Sat night after dinner is the big camp fire and talent show. Another thing you learn at girl scout camp is a hefty dose of patience. Both at meal times when they are feeding 400 people at once or at the camp fire where the littlest go first and so the big 5th grade Jr Troop has to wait forever to make smores and to perform. 
Gemma's cute little Brownie troop all snuggled up. 
Gemma's troop at the very last minute, like while they were sitting by the fire, decided to throw together a performance of Greatest Showman. Luckily all the girls knew the song from chorus and a couple girls stood in back doing gymnastics. It was pretty well received. I was surprised Gemma went along with it since she has not braved the talent show at school yet.
Then it was finally time for the Brownie's to make s'mores. 

Good thing we had that fire safety lecture because we had a hundred kids around a fire.
Lily's troop waited so patiently to have a turn by the fire to make s'mores. By that time most of the little girl troops had already left to go to bed. They were a little disappointed to perform their original skit they worked so hard on to an almost empty crowd but they did a great job.
We had to get everyone to shush and go to sleep that night because they wanted to get up at 6:30 for the POLAR PLUNGE!! We missed it last year and this year they were determined!!
For those brave enough to participate you wake up and meet at the pool at 6:30 am then jump in the freezing water. We started out in the dark but by the time they finally gave the whistle to jump in the sun was coming up.
It was a pretty big turn out! Also, they had heated the pool overnight so it wasn't even cold!!
Nobody complained until they had to force them out of the pool and walk back to the cabins in the cool morning.
By this time the moms were moaning for a hot Starbucks and the girls had to rally to get up and clean up their stuff before breakfast and closing activities.  We got one last shot of all the girls in Lily's cabin by this beautiful Oak doing the yoga tree pose. Left to right we have- Jillian, Evie, Gemma, Julia is behind Gemma, Samantha, Scarlett, Sophia, Kate, Lily, Anna, Sarah.
We were a little rough around the edges but after breakfast perked us up we had energy to complete our last activity before heading home.
They had kites to decorate and then go outside to fly. 

We finished up about 11 am and we were all more than ready to head home. We needed a hot shower and a comfy bed. Until next year Harvest Moon, we'll be back!!!