July 14, 2011

First Girl Scout Camp for Hannah Jane!

We got up before the sun this morning to drive miss Hannah Jane and her friend, Rachel, to the Trefoil Ranch!  Two nights away from home (far, far away from home) when she's never so much as had a sleepover!  I'm worried.  She's not.  She actually said to me (about a million times this week) it is so sad that your mom was your troop leader and you never got to do anything alone!"  Funny coming from a home schooled kid.  Right?

After Hannah Jane's friend hopped in our van this morning, her mom looked a little choked up as she told me that TWO boy scouts died IN UTAH yesterday on separate scouting camp outs.  Not what we nervous moms of first time campers wanted to hear right before handing our dolls over to complete strangers for 2 nights.  It just seems so hard to believe that 2 scouts die in one day in the same area, one struck by lightening and the other drowned in our favorite lake.  So very upsetting.  Even more upsetting was the statement by the Boy Scout rep that said  "We’ve had single incidents, but we have never had two in one day in different locations affecting our council like this."  That sounds a little like, "Hey, we're totally accustomed to losing a scout or two each year, but never two in one day!"  Needless to say, it shook us a little.  Thankfully, the girls don't know what happened so we parents can bear that burden on our own.

After 3 hours in the van, we arrived at a locked gate with a few other girls were waiting outside.  Once our girls hopped out of the van, the other cars' door flung wide and little girls were all over the place. 

This is the first group of new friends (plus one little brother :))
Once the gates opened, it was on up to registration and check in, which was a little intense.  When I signed the girls in they told me they had Hannah Jane's paper work but needed Rachel's.  I assured them that there had been a mistake because I had not mailed any of the paper work.  They assured me that I had and tried to move on to the next girl.  I kept standing there trying to hand them the paper work and finally a girl said, "Look.  Right here it shows that we have her paper work!"  I looked and there is another Hannah with a last name spelled one letter different from ours.  Crazy!  So I had just signed in as some other kid's mom and everything.  Glad we got that sorted out! 

Next they made the girls sit on a bench one at a time and get their temperatures taken and have a woman in gloves carefully search their heads for lice.  Non of them seemed much to mind, though. Glad it wasn't me getting combed over in front of a line of spectators!

Waiting in line to be deloused!  LOL!
 Next stop was the bunkhouses and finding their room.  Before they could get their room assignments they had to choose a camp name.  Hannah Jane is now officially Banana and her friend chose the name of her birth place, in Alaska.  Both girls are in room 3, which they are sharing with the most adorable little hippie girl going by the name of Spider Monkey and a camp veteran going by Baby Girl. 

Spider Monkey was the only girl checked in by her dad, who took a bazillion pictures and jumped in to acquaint all the girls with one another. He told Hannah Jane that she better watch out because his daughter was now a spider monkey in the bunk above her and they eat bananas!  Hannah Jane thought this was hilarious.  He also told the counselors that Spider Monkey had practiced some sort of vibration meditation that would help her through camp!  Love it!  Baby Girl has now been to every girl scout camp under the sun and agreed to be the mentor scout and teach the other girls "the ropes!"

We hugged.  Rachel explained to all the girls and her parents that I was not her mother but that she was going to hug me goodbye anyway!  So adorable!  Hannah Jane gave us all brief hugs and then went immediately back to her new friends without so much as a glance over her shoulders to see if we were gone.  Kind of broke my heart.  Like her first day at preschool when all the other kids were crying and holding onto mom's leg but she waltzed off and that was that.  Not even a pretend show of anxiety over leaving the woman who has loved her every second of her life.  But I'm proud.  I'm proud of me too, for walking off like a grown up with no emotional outbursts to flip her out.

As I left, the only troop leader who was there was now sobbing and holding the director by the shoulders explaining some injustice that must be addressed.  I tried not to be obvious about eaves dropping, but with the boy scout ordeal still fresh on my mind, if a troop leader had found fault with something I wanted to know what it was before I left the property in case I needed to whisk those girls back in the van!  Turns out that she had 3 girls from her troop who signed up together, and there are 4 girls to a room, but her girls got split up.  This woman was flipping out completely as the director explained to her that the rule is that they won't put 3 girls in one room with one outside in order to avoid the three forming a clique and excluding the one.  I thought this was brilliant thinking, but the troop leader did not.  She stood there with her face all red and splotchy with tears running down, t-shirt now dark with tears that dropped from her chin, demanding an exception to the rule.  We left before they finished their little stand off, so I don't know how it resolved itself.

On the long drive home I only thought about the dead boy scouts and my own delicate little thing back at camp every single second.  I only cried a smidge, no tears (which if you know me, I'm sure you've just dropped to the floor with shock!  I cried at Monster's Inc. for crying out loud!).  I'm learning to control those tearful outbursts (usually) in front of the kids because I don't want to upset them.  They miss Hannah Jane a ton already, so we went to the Tree House Museum in Ogden on the drive home to take their minds off of her absence.  I'll post those pics tomorrow!

Tonight, as miss Hannah Jane goes to bed, she'll open her card for the night that has a rambling note about how much I miss her already and this little reminder of all the wonderful things she has going for her.  Hopefully she'll fall asleep fearlessly on her first night away from home.  Hopefully she goes straight to sleep at lights out and doesn't get fussed at by Rachel who told me, and whose forms said, that she doesn't like to be bugged while she's trying to fall asleep.  So, Rachel likes sleep and Hannah Jane...um...doesn't.  Haha!  Hope they work that out!

Here's to 2 nights of momma strength and 3 days of fun for the little bird who found her winds and flew all the way to girl scout camp!

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