So I decided it would be a good thing to take my Girl Scout troop camping. They”re mostly city kids, never having really experienced being away from home, much less being in the woods.
It’s not terribly “roughing it”. We’re in a lodge with bathrooms, showers and a kitchen. My training at this point only allows me to take them overnight into a structure with four walls, so there is no tent camping. And we’re going to the camp in the middle of the next city over, rather than hoofing it two hours from home. After all, some of these kids have never been away from home other than to visit relatives.
They have been excited. We’ve talked about what we need to do to earn our camping badge, and hashed out the general information. We had multiple conversations about how there would be no electronics…and how some girls were perishing at the thought of not having electronics for 22 hours.
The meeting before the trip we planned the menus. Everyone had an opinion. Breakfast was easy, once we convinced them that they really needed to include some protein, and fruit. But then the discussion turned to dinner.
We had already decided that we were going to meet part of our badge by cooking in foil. So I said that left them with either chicken breast or beef as the protein.
“Chicken nuggets?” No. Chicken breast. “What’s chicken breast?” Chicken nuggets without the coating. “I want shrimp.” No, we have a girl with a shellfish allergy. “But I don’t like chicken and ground beef.” “What’s ground beef?” Sigh. Hamburger. There was much debating. There were many cries of “you don’t have the talking stick. You need to be quiet!”
So they took a vote, and hamburger won. Then the girl who was pitching for shrimp looked me in the eye and said, “I’m allergic to ground beef.” I looked her dead in the eye and said, “that’s not on your medical profile.” At that I point, my very mild-mannered co-leader piped up. “Look, you don’t have to eat it. You have to cook it if you want the badge, but if you don’t want to eat what we are having, bring a sandwich from home.” Silence followed. Then a “I’ll eat the ground beef. I don’t like sandwiches.”
Photo by aka Kath