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!!!

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