Last weekend I slept in a tent. On the hard ground. Outdoors.
I understand the mass confusion.
Broccoli Mom does not Camp. It’s not the outdoor activities, it’s not the bugs, it’s not the campfire or eating off of sticks. I’m a fan of the outdoors in general. I’ve adapted to the point where I work out (hard!) outside at least 5 days a week. I can deal with bugs-even though Dengue Fever is no joke and it’s a real threat here in Thailand. I really like food cooked over an open flame and my 18 months as a Chicagoan made me a lifelong fan of Hot Dogs. Don’t even get me started on S’Mores. That stuff is just plain heaven. That part of camping-yes. I’m in.
But sleeping on the ground? Protected from the elements by a flimsy piece of fabric? Why? When there are cozy cushy beds (in AIR CONDITIONING) less than a mile away? The why, ladies and gentlemen, is that my daughters and their Girl Scout sistren (it IS a word, I looked it up) insisted that Camping is the one activity that they absolutely had to participate in this year.
Now you know for certain just how much I love my children. Because I think it bears repeating: Broccoli Mom does not Camp.
To add insult to injury-a couple of days before said outdoor adventure (I really shouldn’t oversell this-we actually camped out in an outdoor area on the school campus), 3 of the girls in my Junior troop dropped out because they had been invited to a birthday party. I get it- 10 and 11 year olds are social little creatures, and my teaching them how to build a campfire isn’t even a close second to Taylor Swift videos, pizza and talking about boys all night. Truth be told, I’d have taken that out if I had it.
Only I didn’t get an invitation. So, there I was.
Sleeping in the out-of-doors. With 12 under-12s in my care. Again, I shouldn’t oversell it. My aforementioned Genius Friend is my Brownie Troop co-leader and she was obviously there as the One-We-All-Looked-To. See: Expert post. I knew that in the event of an emergency she could have McGuyver-ed us an axe from a tennis shoe and a piece of nylon rope. As it stood, the only thing she had to McGuyver was how to extricate the two 7-year-olds that were awake and giggling at 5:30am and go on a Nature Hike to keep them from waking the rest of the “camp”. Did I mention that the upside to camping on the ISB campus is that there is a Starbucks across the street? How fabulous is coffee delivery at 6:30am? Pretty darn fabulous.
And my tired old bones needed coffee because, seriously. Sleeping on the hard ground is really not good for 40-year-old hips and shoulders.
Oh, she also jerry-rigged some amazing little contraption that essentially air-conditioned our tent-using a tiny fan, a mini styrofoam cooler and bottles of frozen water. It’s good to have really smart friends.
The kids really loved camping out. The Bean liked the campfire songs and the S’Mores. Bookworm loved the skits and the repeat after me songs. I particularly enjoyed when it was over and I realized I had fulfilled my promise to my children and my little Girl Scouts….because I am NOT doing that again.