Monday, December 07, 2009

Girl Scout Camp

Though the image is a little hard to reconcile, camping is both possible and fun in Hong Kong. The girls and I recently returned from a Girl Scout camping trip on Lantau Island, way out by Hong Kong’s airport. Tori and I had been camping with the scouts before but this was Royce’s first scout camp. Excitement was high, especially as Royce was camping with Tori’s troop, the older Brownies as opposed to her own troop, the much younger Daisies. It all worked out. We came, we saw, we camped. And while I am breathing a sigh of relief that is it all over, the girls are already counting down the days until next year’s November camping trip.

To get to our camp site, we loaded into buses and drove almost two hours away from our home on Hong Kong Island. My girls rarely go out to Lantau Island except for Disneyland and the airport. As we drove past signs for both of those places, the girls reassured themselves that camping would be much more fun than either of those options. As we approached camp, with over 200 prospective campers in 4 large buses, I was not so sure.

Our site was quite nice, rustic enough to count as camping but with running water and restrooms close by. The site was built on terraces cut into the mountainside so despite our high numbers, we felt almost by ourselves for much of the camp. We hired a catering firm that focuses on outdoor education. They set up the tents and cook the food and help with a craft or two. The staff are mostly college age kids of all nationalities who are on their “gap year,” travelling around and trying to make a little money to extend their travels. The staff and the scouts seemed to have various communal points for conversations, including vacation spots throughout Southeast Asia.

We did all the usual camping activities, including a hike, smores and campfire songs. On the hike, we were not able to correctly name any local trees or flowers but Tori and Royce could read some of the trail markers in Chinese. The smores, invented by girl scouts by the way, were a big hit. As smores experts, Tori and Royce willingly helped other girls prepare their smores. They even ate extra smores that non-Americans found too sticky and too sweet. Our grande finale was campfire songs. Each troop stood up and sang a song. In the dark, with flashlights spotlighting them, the girls sang the same old-fashioned campfire songs everyone sings. It was very sweet. I particularly loved that Royce sang with Tori’s troop. While singing with the big girl troop, Royce snuck in a couple waves to her younger Daisy friends. Of course, kids grow up too fast but if it is as adorable as a little sister following a big sister around at a scouting event, I might be okay with it.


Blogger alberta1 said...

Isn't is great to have a sister that camps and earns badges too. I always say a family that camps together must have a girlscout, a boy scout or a daisy amoung them.
Love, Grandma

5:14 PM  

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