Reach for the Peak 2019 – Traffic Cones

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This year Girl Scout Troop 2393 chose to be traffic cones (an inside joke) for their theme at Reach for the Peak.  They spent hundreds (if not thousands) of hours this year practicing for this competition, designing costumes, skits, and practicing their outdoor survival and cooking skills.  They went a little overboard for campsite set-up this year, being overly “cautious” and creating hazards out of caution tape (which they thought was hilarious).  I loved the “Marmot” and “Bighorn Sheep” crossing signs they made.  They were all exhausted after set-up, but still stayed up for a bit talking in their tent before falling asleep.  I was laying in my tent, proud to hear them decide they wanted to practice their knots again before bed.  Then Caroline led them all in a short yoga/shavasana session, and they fell asleep.

First thing in the morning the girls ate breakfast and made their lunches for the day.  In the past they’ve been docked points for not having a nutritious enough lunch, so this time they went overboard with the fruits and veggies!

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Then it was off to flag where they had a few extra minutes and decided to dedicate them to practicing their knots (once again).

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Their first competition of the day was Emergency Survival, which they rocked!  Oh, and Caroline was great at reminding everyone about sunscreen and water…  She even made up a song!

 

Fire building is Emily’s specialty.  At Reach for the Peak they have the girls use metal fire barrels, which are actually difficult to use because they’re concave and not flat like a normal fire pit.  This has been an issue for the girls for years, but this summer Emily was a camp counselor at this camp and figured out the trick to starting fires in these particular barrels.  She didn’t use a traditional A-frame of Log cabin, but was able to quickly and efficiently start the fire. And the girls popped the popcorn and put it out in the allotted time. Lauren was in charge of tool craft and sawed logs for the girls to use.  Great job ladies!

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On to the lashing competition!  When the girls first came here 6 years ago they had the same task: to build a trebuchet and launch a cow over the moon.  They weren’t able to get much done that year, but this year they were able to successfully build the machine and launch a ‘cow’ over the moon.  They were so proud of themselves!  (also, these are all timed events)

The girls were really excited for Emergency First Aid this year, as they all have their CPR/First Aid certificates and Kimberly’s currently working as a lifeguard at the local YMCA.  Their victims were cut up pretty badly and one was having a heart attack.  Neither of them died!

 

Next up were knots.  These girls have been practicing knots since 2008, and know them all pretty well.  This competition was fun for the girls:  they even did a handful extra, hoping to earn extra points…

The last competition for the girls was the dinner competition.  They’ve practiced this meal on four different campouts this summer, and have got the recipe down.  Check out their menu…  It’s Road Kill Themed and included frying plantain chips and cooking an entire chicken in the Dutch Oven

RftP 2019 Menu – You Kill It, We Grill It

  • Kabobs (Grill) – Fender Tenders
  • Corn (Fire) – Chunks of Skunk
  • Shrimp (Cooler) – Deer Tail
  • Plantain Chips (Pan) – Road Flakes
  • Fruit Salad (cold) – Highway Hash
  • Chicken (Dutch Oven) – If you can guess what it is you eat for free!
  • Veggies (pot) – Slop (Guess that mess?)
  • Pudding & Gummie Worms (Hobo) – Dirt Cups
  • Sun Tea (Solar) – Bug Juice

After the competition dinner was cleaned up the real fun began!  The girls invited some other troops competing they’d met at previous competitions to have a campfire with them.  The girls all live in different parts of the state but in the past few years have really hit it off:  they’ve even joined us at Hamp Hut!  This year one of the troops asked if their younger sister troop could join in, so we had double the number of girls.  This is one of my favorite parts about Girl Scouting:  the girls are all in ‘competition’ with each other, yet really cheer each other on and genuinely like each other.  They share a bond.  We had a fire and the girls chatted about how they felt they did in the competition events and life in general until it started raining and everyone went back to their tents.  It rained all night long, but finally stopped around 6:30am, just in time to pack up all our gear and get ready for awards.

Oh, but first, it’s skits!  Check out the skit Troop 2393 came up with…

 

And now time for awards:  Before they were given out the girls posed by their traffic cone (another inside joke).

The girls earned the Eagle Award!  Great Job Ladies!

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This event is made possible by a wonderful committee of volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into this event.  It’s by far my girls favorite Girl Scouting activity, and they talk about it with every troop they meet.  If you’d like to help volunteer with this event in any way (as a judge, with ideas, special skills, monetary donations, etc.) please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right person.  I love watching the girls grow every year in their outdoor survival skills!

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“Chill” Hammock Camping

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This year Girl Scout Troop 2393 decided to use some of the proceeds from their cookie sales to go Hammock Camping. Of course I was all about this, so we planned a couple of dates, one for June, another for July.  The theme?  “Chill”.

This past weekend was the first campout, and I just have to say, success! (kind of…)

After a long week of little sleep everyone met at my house at 6am on Saturday morning and we packed up the gear in my truck. It’s amazing how much gear is needed for a few days doing nothing!  After the 3 hour drive full of conversations centering around summer reading lists and upcoming concerts we arrived at the dispersed camping area and the girls spent some time picking out a site.  They didn’t like the first few spots, but settled on one that had creek access and trees they could set up their hammocks comfortably.

We unloaded the truck and split up into two teams: One to set up hammocks, another to collect firewood. I headed up firewood collection, which proved more difficult than anticipated.  We weren’t able to find much wood on the ground, but we were able to find some downed trees, and decided to just take those back and cut them up at camp.

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The girls weren’t yet done setting up camp when we made it back with the firewood so I got some pictures of them in the process (the towels help protect both the trees and webbing).

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After campsite set up the girls had fun playing in the hammocks. The girls who chose to set up their hammocks on top of each other (despite my telling them it would make getting in/out difficult) had a blast getting up into their hammocks, and then turning themselves over so they were face to face with the person below…

Getting into hammocks

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The girls did a great job! The only thing wrong with this set-up?  The weather forecasted rain, and they didn’t have tarps set up yet.  That changed quickly when the weather picked up.  We got a light dusting of snow and the girls all ran to set up shelter

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Believe it or not, the tarps were adequate. Ok, next we’re on to food.  The girls cooked their own food as well… some were in charge of fire

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and others were in charge appetizers. The plaintain chips were amazing!

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My favorite was the whole chicken they cooked in the Dutch Oven!

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After dinner the girls sang songs by the campfire. Emily, just getting back from a week at Girl Scout Camp, was especially energetic.  Her call and response songs garnered less than enthusiastic comebacks, and she loved hamming it up even more!  As you can see from the photo below, the weather became colder than anticipated

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Around 8pm the snow became heavier and even though it was still light out we decided to call it a night. It continued snowing all night long.  It wasn’t enough to accumulate, but it was wet and icy

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This was the first time I’ve ever slept in a hammock, and I have to say, it’s not a bad way to camp! I didn’t sleep very well, but it wasn’t due to the hammock, it was due to the cold.  I was warm everywhere except for my feet, which felt like solid blocks of ice.  I woke up in the middle of the night to 3 rounds of gunshots, 20 at a time in rapid succession.  After that it was hard to fall back asleep.  It got down to 24 degrees. The morning was cold and the girls were slow to become cheerful.  They wanted to “chill” as much as possible, so we cooked our waffles over the campfire (ok, heated them up)

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The snow wasn’t letting up and it didn’t look like it had any plans to stop, so we packed up our gear earlier than we’d anticipated and drove back home. Everything came back wet and muddy.  It’s currently sitting in my living room (on a dry tarp), ready for the next trip.  All in all the weekend was a success, and we expect the next one to have better weather, so it should be just as much fun!