Tent Camping Proved Challenging

A Girl Scout leader finds tent camping both exciting and tricky.

| July/August 2013

  • Camping-Adventure
    A rainstorm made tent camping challenging.
    Illustration By Wayne Stroot

  • Camping-Adventure

“Wanted: Women interested in being Girl Scout leaders. Please call this number.” Wow! That’s right up my alley, I thought. I had been in the Girl Scouts for a few years. I had earned my second-class badge and was working on my first-class when the interest in scouting dropped so low that they disbanded — and I was deeply disappointed. I had been proud of being a Girl Scout, and now I had a chance to join again and enjoy all the fun and excitement of such a wonderful organization.

I called the number listed, and before I knew it, I was deeply involved. I had a group of Brownies, and I was having the time of my life. I even bought a leader’s uniform and all that went with it.

I’d been with the group for about a year when the troop leader announced that there was to be a tent camping trip, and all leaders were to report to a local park one Saturday to practice setting up tents and campfire cooking.

At the park, everything went well. So well, in fact, that I was anticipating the real thing going just as well. That was not to be the case, however.

Tent Camping Gone Wrong

The following Saturday, once everyone had arrived at the designated meeting spot, all the girls were assigned to specific leaders. I was in charge of 12 Brownies, and as a leader, my first job was to go through each girl’s bag to make sure she had everything she would need for the weekend and none of the electrical objects that were prohibited. After removing several radios, hair dryers and curling irons, we were ready to board the bus. Heading west toward our mountain retreat, we sang songs and had a great time.

When we arrived at our campsites, we set up our tents, which in no way resembled the one I had practiced setting up the week before. Our tent turned out to be a six-person tent, so we knew holding 13 of us would be a challenge. After our tents were up, it was time to eat. The menu also was quite different from our practice meals, but nobody seemed to mind as the smell of campfire cooking filled the air.

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