I was a counselor at Girl Scout Day Camp this week. Don’t ask me how I got roped into this, I don’t have a clear memory of it, just the lure of getting one of my girls getting to go for free. I really don’t mean to be so negative about this. It was a good time. The girls had fun. Meg just adored it. Mita and Enu were exhausted and didn’t go the entire week, but had a lot of fun. Elle went for two days, and then spent the rest of the week being treated like a queen by the Grandma’s.
A few things that I learned. When dealing with 9 year olds, they are torn between wanting to play on the playground and doing “big kid” activities. We balanced out this struggle pretty well I think with fun crafts and activities that were not to “babyish” and just letting them run and play octopus tag and red rover. Some of the things we made: Flower boxes, body glitter, fruit pomanders, wildlife journals, toilet paper tube planters, grilled banana boats. Of course the thing the girls worked on all week and loved were the keychains, necklaces and bracelets made out of that plastic laynard string that is so popular right now. I also had charcoal drawings and stress balls planned, but we didn’t have enough time for it all.
On top of those crafts, we hiked, learned canoe safety, learned archery, fishing, survival skills, local plants and trees, water games, team building exercises and we picked up literally bag upon bag of trash to clean up Dillon State Park. Dillon is a cleaner place this weekend thanks to us Girl Scouts. I hope others will learn to use trash cans and ash trays!
I was so proud watching Meg learn new things and work on her leadership skills. We worked on decision making skills and how to work as a team. These skills are sorely lacking in many adults as you may have noticed and I really want my girls (and their friends) to learn how to work with others and make decisions.
Enu really made herself known this week. She was in the Kindergarten-First Grade group, and they only had four kids most of the week. This group was sooooo loud that no-one could miss them. They had an adorable candence that used their group’s name,”The Chattering Chimpanzees”. They did two skits at the end of the camp program and did great!
Mita’s group was very busy. They earned nine Try-Its and did 54 activities in five days. She missed Thursday and Friday day programs as she was so very tired and overdone! She did do the skit tonight and stood with her group proudly. I think she did extremely well for her first year at day camp.
So what did I learn? I took a fish off a hook for the first time. I also learned how to get in a canoe without tipping it over! Mommy-wise, I learned that next time I cannot be a counselor again, but should volunteer at each of the girls groups instead. It was hard on everyone having me with Meg with whole time, and jealously ensued. I also learned that I cannot keep up with this pace anymore, and will be looking for someone to help take over my troop next fall…. anyone interested?
P.S. We did not teach Elle how to start a fire, but she did watch well enough to build her own A-frame pile of wood correctly. This is scary I know!