Since I have already introduced Girl Scouts to you, I thought I would share another really great experience from my camping career!
After Brownies, I graduated to a Junior Troop. This meant I could put away those brown boxer shorts and striped brown and white shirt. I could stop wearing the brown uniform and the beanie. I was growing up! Yay! I now wore a green uniform and a fancy beret. I had a sash that had my troop number on it. Soon it would have badges on it, too. I had already circled the ones I was most interested in doing in my Girl Scout Handbook. I was ready for the big time.
The big time also meant that we FINALLY went camping during the fall or winter or spring. We still went to Scout Haven so I knew all about it. Well, I was wrong-a little. Scout Haven had added another area to the camp. It had been undeveloped for a long time-well, except for latrines! But recently the council had added a winterized cabin for troops to use. So what is a winterized cabin? Just what it says. It was one large room and one smaller room that was set up as a kitchen. There was a huge rock fireplace in the large room. We had a fire going and that was all the heat we had. We put our air mattresses and sleeping bags out on the cement floor. The first night we cooked our dinner in the coals in the fireplace. My dad was in charge of that. It was yummy. We all made a packet of veggies and meat and wrapped it up in heavy duty foil and put it in the coals. Dad made a peach cobbler in a cast iron dutch oven and put it in the coals for dessert. We had no bathrooms so we had to bundle up and use our flashlights to trek to the latrines. It made you careful about how much you decided to drink!
The next morning I had kitchen duty. The cabin’s kitchen had the most enormous stove I have ever seen. It was huge. It had a warming box over the top and several doors on the front. I had to butter bread for toast so I got busy with that. The bacon cooker was looking at the stove and opening doors and seemed really puzzled. She called over the leader who came over and did the same things-like open the doors and even look behind the stove. Then I saw my dad. He was smiling so big. And the father next to him was doing the same. Finally the Scout turned around and said to everyone–“Where is the switch to turn on the stove?” That is when my dad really lost it. He began to laugh out loud. Finally he stopped laughing and said-“It is a wood stove! There is no electricity!” The Scout and the leader looked shocked. Dad walked over and showed them the firebox and the kindling that was split beside the stove. He showed them how to build a fire and breakfast was finally on its way. Of course, it was not speedy. Wood stoves take a while to get going!
And so ends the tale of the stove.