Tag Archives: camping

Camping Lady Baden Powell Style

The other weekend four of my third year Guides and us leaders went camping. We only took the third years that were able to join us as we wanted to complete their Advanced Camper badge and it’s a good way to celebrate the completion of the Guiding program. The girls were thrilled!

Josie, Georgia, Emily and Abigail in front of the Park sign.

We took them to Blomiden Provincial Park out by Canning (for those of you not from Nova Scotia, that’s out by what is known as “the valley” and right on the Bay of Fundy). The really nice thing about this camp for the leaders is that we don’t have to do much. The girls bring the food, they set up their tent, they planned the menu and the activities. We just did the paperwork, showed up, and carted them around some. What a break!

Sarah, Abigail, Georgia, Emily, Crystal and Josie beside the “waterfall”

Crystal and I were almost the first to arrive, Emily arrived at the same time as us. We put her straight to work helping us set up OUR tent and the dinning shelter. Once the remaining three girls arrived (Abigail, Georgia and Josie) we sent the girls off to build their tent. They did it all alone, albeit with a little guidance from us adults. We broke usual form for a camp and had a campfire on Friday night, so by the time Sarah made it out to our site all of us were sitting around the fire telling stories. What a treat!

Georgia and Abigail enjoying breakfast (we made the five berry syrup over the fire with blackberries, raspberries, and bunch berries I foraged, and the blueberries and strawberries from the Market)

Saturday the girls had to feed themselves pancakes (with a little bit of help from the leaders again), and then we gathered up our stuff and piled into Sarah’s and my cars and headed into Wolfville to visit the Farmer’s Market. As it’s a small market in which getting lost is pretty much impossible, we let the girls head off with some money and as long as they stayed in pairs they didn’t need an adult. Let me tell you, they thought this was great! We also told them they could buy what THEY wanted. I saw at least two girls with gelato and another with a cupcake. Thankfully our girls are very thoughtful and each pair bought a treat for the group – one a carton of strawberries, the other a bunch of blueberries. Yum.

Josie, Emily and Georgia cooking breakfast

After our market trip we took them Peach picking. There were lots of peaches to pick, and the girls enjoyed seeing the laying hens (me, not so much!). They picked until our two reusable bags were full and nearly impossible to carry! Lots of peaches 🙂 Then it was back to the site for lunch and a little rest.

Emily, Abigail, Josie and Georgia showing off the peaches we picked

Our afternoon adventure involved a hike to a waterfall, which was sadly more or less dried up, and a visit to the beach. Needless to say the girls were quite upset that there was no swimming to be had. We had no life guard, no pfd’s and no approval for it. They did enjoy dipping their toes and then playing in the rocks. After we let them become even more tired out, we headed back to camp for quiet time and to say good bye to Sarah – she needed to get back home to her little boy.

Abigail, Georgia and Emily playing on the beach

Supper turned into and eventful affair. As the girls were cooking it began to thunder and I decided it would be a good idea to tarp the tents and dinning shelter just in case. So the girls cooked and ate, and I covered all of our shelters. I continue to maintain that if I had not done so it would have poured all night long. However as I had tarped everything, there was no rain. Sigh.

The campsite, with tarps (the main tent is the girls tent, the leader tent is nicely hidden behind the tree)

We finished our night off we TWO more campfires. Yes, you did read that right, two. Crystal took the girls to a campfire put on by the park while I stayed behind and tended the one we had burning (smores were done right after supper in case we did get a rain storm). The true excitement at this campfire was just before while they were playing at the playground. Georgia, who is a little like me in the accident prone tendencies, slide backwards down a slide and scraped her knee. The next thing I knew I had the slew of them come trooping back with a bloody Georgia in tow. I sent Crystal and the other three girls back and fixed Georgia up. Of course I’m a kind leader, so I sent Georgia back out to play, after getting her to put pants on to prevent her other knee from suffering a similar injury.

Emily enjoying a fire roasted marshmallow

 Sunday morning came before we knew it and the girls packed up their stuff, made their breakfast and proceeded to tear down their tent with minimal assistance. The worst part of the whole weekend was what camp next though. Sending them home knowing that I was not going to be seeing them much anymore. I know I may see some of them at future events but I was very sad to say good bye.

My girls and myself (back – Abigail, me and Josie. Front – Emily and Georgia)

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Cape Breton 2011

Time for a little bit of back tracking!  Back in early/mid May I got to head up to Cape Breton for a camping weekend with Matt and our friends Matt and Mel (gonna call him M2 – too confusing to have two Matts!).  Not gonna lie, I felt a little left out, my name doesn’t start with a M, and I have smaller feet than the other three (they all have the same foot size!).  That said, M2 and Mel are two of my favorite people to hand out with, so it made the weekend seem even more promising 🙂

If I remember correctly, Mel was the only one of us who had never been to Cape Breton before.  M2 and I both spent our time growing up in Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, so we’re both used to tenting it.  Matt grew up spending TONS of time doing outdoor things and is a great source of info/fire building skills 😛  Mel, she was learning from us in the camping department.

We had a really rainy and rather chilly weekend…okay, by the time we crawled into our tents and sleeping bags I was shivering rather uncontrollably on Friday night.  It was so wet and rainy that Matt wasn’t able to get a fire going (which is saying a lot).  I didn’t complain about the cold, not once, but Matt noticed pretty quickly that I was crazy cold.  Apparently I should have mentioned it!  Who knew?

On the Saturday we all slept in, as it was still rather damp (read still raining) and therefore we were in no rush to get out there.  We finally stumbled out of our tents, made lunch and hopped in the car to check out the famous Cabot Trail.  I’d seen it several years ago with Lis, and again last year with Sarah and Sarah G, but I was quite excited to see it again.  It is amazing after all.  We spent the afternoon driving it, getting out, taking pictures and commenting about the beauty.  Never gets old.  That night Matt built a roaring and warm fire, which we all gladly spent our time around.  As a result, I wasn’t shivering come bed time 🙂

Sunday wasn’t all that exciting.  We got up, made breakfast, tore down the tents/camp site, loaded the car and headed back out on the road.  We did take a wrong turn somewhere and ended up taking a quick cable ferry ride, but hey, it just added to the adventure.  I don’t remember the rest of the trip home, as apparently the weekend tired me out.  I slept…yep, slept, you read that right.  I guess there really is a first for everything!

We’ve had some talk of doing another trip in the fall, but when there would be time for that is another question.  Matt and I managed to have almost all of our weekends booked up (see Fundy and the upcoming Kayak obtaining posts) and now the next weekend that were BOTH in town isn’t until mid October!  Maybe it will have to be another spring trip.

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Fundy Revisited

As I have no doubt everyone remembers, last year I took Mayfly to Fundy National Park and Hopewell Rocks.  Well, it was such a great time that I was game to go again.  I didn’t fully revisit the last trip as I only went for a weekend and with different company…adult company!  Wow, totally different experience when I don’t have to fully assemble and tear down the campsite, cook all the food and build/maintain the fire BY MYSELF!  Okay, so I still did the cooking, but Matt took care of the fire.  We took turns with the dishes (last time I did them all…letting the kid go play at the park, aren’t I just so sweet), and we both did set up and tear down.  Best part, I didn’t have to fight with those darn fire pits once.  That’s right, not once, Matt was the fire builder 🙂

Anyway, away from the “division of duties” and on to the fun stuff.  I’d booked us a camp site at Chinecto North again, as both Mayfly and I loved that camp ground and the site were nice and private.  I really don’t like it when you’re pretty much sharing your camp site with all of your neighbours…not cool, just not cool.  This time our site was at the opposite end from last time, and a little smaller.  That said, the sites were even more private and a little quieter because we were far away from the playground.  Don’t get me wrong, being close was great with Mayfly, she could just go and play, but for two adults, we didn’t really need easy access to it.  There was no hiking this time, we just didn’t have the time, after all, we were only in New Brunswick for one full day, and that day was dedicated to Hopewell.

Matt had never been to Fundy Park, and more importantly he’d never been to Hopewell Rocks.  Since it was one of those things he really wanted to do, we decided it would be a great weekend trip and boy was it.  We headed off to Hopewell a little later this time, getting there around noon (which was JUST before high tide at 1230) and were hoping to go kayaking.  We didn’t think to reserve our spots, and so found that there were none available.  Next time!  Instead we wandered around, looking out at the stunning coastline and exploring.  We also got to watch the tide go out at the astonishing rate of one foot every ten minutes.  Yep, you read that right, 1 ft every 10 min.  C-R-A-Z-Y!!!  After that we got to walk on the ocean floor (though we didn’t go into the deep sticky mud) and check everything out.  During this time I managed to burn my shoulders, chest and arms (I forgot the sunscreen in the tent), scrap my ankle, twist my ankle and fall on my bottom.  I’m talented.  Matt, he didn’t injure any part of him self, and I don’t think he ended up with a burn, if he did, it was gone by morning.  Not fair.

I’m not gonna lie, it was a great day, but by the time we left I was tired.  Thankfully, since I was travelling with an adult this time, I didn’t have to drive 🙂  Being as both Matt and I are the kind of people who like to explore and check things out, we took the scenic route, and the scenic route off of the scenic route (a little complicated sounding yes).  Thanks to this we got to see views I’d missed last time.  We also found Cape Enrage, where I believe Matt would like to go next…not sure I’m into that trip, so it might have to be with some of his friends instead.  I’ll admit, it seems like a rather interesting place, beautiful views that’s for sure.  It’s more the ziplining and repelling things I’m a little unsure of.  After all, I’m rather timid about heights.

All in all, I have to say it was a great weekend, and I’d be willing to head out that way for a third time.  Maybe get some kayaking in this time! 

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Somehow I still have all my hair!

I guess with the completion of last weekends Guide camp it is time for my annual Guiding re-cap.  As you may all recall last year was my first year back in Guiding since the start of Uni and the first time I was ever a Guider.  I have to say that year was crazy, hectic, exhausting, and amazing.  See, last year we had four Guiders and about 18 girls.  This year we had two Guiders and 18 girls.  Do the math, that’s a big difference!  Sarah G and Cashelle both left us for bigger and better things, one finished school, the other left for school.  Suddenly we were down to Sarah T (and I can drop the ‘T’) and myself.  Hello insanity.  That said, the two of us are now a well oiled machine and feel like we can take on anything Guiding might throw our way – and no, that was not a request for crazy to be thrown our way.

What did we do this year?  Well, we took the kids camping three times, we visited the SPCA, we went swimming and skating, we completed several badges and at least one challenge, and all in all the kids had a blast!  I have no doubt I’m missing things, forgetting things we did, but hey, I was a little busy!  Unlike last year, I have no photo’s to share, as there wasn’t the time to take any.  Maybe next year?  I am still going to pepper the post with photos, but they’re all stock that I found on the internet.

As I mentioned briefly in the last paragraph we took the kids to the SPCA.  See, the Nova Scotia branch of the SPCA has a challenge that they run specifically for the Girl Guides.  It was great, we booked a day, got the parents to drop their kids off and then let the SPCA do everything else.  All I had to do was snuggle cute little kittens and keep an eye on a few of the kids to make sure they weren’t getting in trouble/breaking any of the rules.  We all even got to see a few day old kitten that had just opened his eyes!  The girls and myself all just stood in awe at his cuteness.  I have to say, I think they all liked the part where they got to have puppies climb all over them the best though.  Nothing like puppy kisses to end an evening.

Swimming is one of our favorite back-up activities to keep on hand incase everything else falls through.  Well, we had a really wet and cold spring here in Nova Scotia, so when Sarah and I originally planned several outdoor activities we had to start coming up with solutions.  One of the was swimming.  Every time we take them they LOVE it.  I love it, because we get to sit on the side of the pool and plan upcoming events – such as camp. 

The other really fun yet easy event we did was skating.  As you may or may not be aware, this past Winter Halifax hosted the Canada Games and as a result we had a huge speed skating ring on the Common.  It was pretty awesome because they opened it up to the public for several months before the games and everyone and anyone could skate for FREE.  They even had free skate and helmet rentals.  We figured this would be a super fun activity for the girls and arranged several extra parent volunteers and spent an evening skating outside with the kids.  We even finished the evening off we some hot chocolate.  The kids were thrilled 🙂

Our favorite badge to run this year was the “Outdoors in the City” badge.  We decided to have some fun with it and set-up an Amazing Race style scavenger hunt in downtown Halifax.  The kids went to the Public Gardens, The Freak Lunchbox, the Wave, an awesome book store, and the Town Clock, to name a few places.  The day we did this it was cold and damp, just like every day this spring, but the kids had so much fun.  The girls I was with were so happy and spent a ton of time laughing it was great.  The parents who helped out couldn’t believe what a great event it was either.  It was awesome!

Finally there is camping.  Our Fall camp took place with the Pathfinder unit and was a CSI themed camp.  We set up a crime scene and over the course of the weekend the kids had to figure out which leader stole the box of Girl Guide cookies.  We also played a murder mystery style game, though the game we played was developed with children in mind and therefore didn’t involve any actual murder.  I think it has to be one of my all time favorite camps…so much fun!

For the Winter camp we invited the other Guide unit along as they only had five girls in their unit, and only three of them came.  We ran a “Betty Crocker” camp and spent most of the weekend cooking and baking.  Wow, I have to say, I don’t normally eat quite so well at camp.  So much good food.  We baked muffins, brownies and bread, we made stew and chili, and I don’t even remember what else we made.  All I know was that everything was amazing, every kid got to make at least one thing that was Gluten Free (one of our girls in also gluten-free), and no-one went hungry.

Last but not least we had Summer camp (which was just this past weekend).  Both the Fall and Winter camps took place in cabins, Summer camp on the other hand was in Tents.  Not only did we take the kids tenting, but we also took them canoeing.  Well, I can honestly say it was the most eventful camp I’ve ever been to.  As was mentioned earlier in the post, we’ve had a rather wet Spring, therefore we also had an insane number of bugs.  Bugs tend to leave me alone, not so much this time.  I was, and still am, covered in bites.  Everything I took with me was damp – curse you Spring rains that never seem to go away!  We did however get to go canoeing, and the kids went swimming.  I had to cut my time in the canoe short to take one of our kids (E) to the Health Clinic though.  Here’s the story:

E woke up covered in red dots.  Of course she came straight down to tell Sarah and myself (I was the camp first aider), and our first thought was Chicken Pox – cue panicking.  Moments later a couple other kids from the same tent come down and they too are covered in red dots – cue relief, its not Chicken Pox.  Now, what is it?  Before you tell me, keep in mind that everyone at this camp was city raised, we don’t know this stuff!  As first aider I conclude it’s some kind of bug, and off we go.  I can tell from E’s mannerisms that she’s still a little stressed, but I put on my brave face and tried to reassure her (all the while hoping that I’m right!).  After canoeing for a while we stopped for snack which is when E noticed that the number of dots on her was increasing.  I got out of my canoe, looked at her, and told her I was taking her to the clinic – none of the other girls were getting more dots, and I couldn’t fit five into my car anyway.  After 2 hours sitting around in a small clinic, we were in Berwick, I found out that my kids were being eaten by noseeums.  Sigh. 

Of course the dots wasn’t the only excitement of camp, like I could get off that easily.  One of our girls (F) ended up with a leech attached to her toes.  Eww.  There was no panicking this time, just some salting and reassuring.  So, other than the extra First Aider duties, and the pouring rain (I won’t bore you THAT story) camp was great. 

So, I have to say, the 2010-2011 Guiding year was fantastic, in spite of last weekend.  I’m already getting excited thinking about next year.  I guess Sarah and will have to start planning soon.  There are still so many things we want to do with the kids!

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