I was lucky enough to be in Girl Scouts as a child. I met a lot of people that were terrific. I got to be outside and camp a bunch. I had a sash with a lot of badges. I loved being in Girl Scouts!
My first experience was with Brownies. The mother of my best friend was our leader. I only had to walk up two houses in order to reach the meeting place. It was great! And we got to go to Day Camp at Scout Haven during the summer. That was the best! We meet at the Scout Hut in town and rode a bus to the camp which was about 30 minutes away. The entire time on the bus we sang songs together. One of the first ones I learned was “The Ants Go Marching”. We were not restricted from religious songs so we also did Kum By Yah. We sang rounds with one side of the bus being one group and the other side being the second group. The time flew by.
Once at camp, we met up with our patrol which was a smaller group of girls plus a leader and assistant. Generally these were high school or college girls. They were idolized by all us young Scouts. The first order of every day was the raising of the flag. The best job for the day was to be in the color guard and help with the flag raising. Generally a camper would get to do it once each camp. It was a great job. Then we would leave the flag circle and go with our patrol to the First Aid hut to get a big pinch of sulfur to put in our socks to keep bugs away. Yes, we did the sulfur every day! During the day we would have crafts, camping skills classes like putting up tents or cooking, and swimming in the lake. We also all had chores to do to keep the camp clean and tidy. Each patrol had a chore chart. The yuckiest job was the latrine orderly. In case you are uninformed about latrines, they are outhouses. And since you “used” them, you had to help clean them. I can remember ours being fairly new. They had two little seat areas that were separate and afforded some privacy The latrine workers had to sweep the latrine. Then they had to put a big scoop of lime into each privy hole. Finally, you used a big brush to wash the seat with PineSol. So now you know how to care for a privy! All us city girls were really fascinated by the whole outhouse thing!
On the last night of camp, all us little Brownies had a parent night. We did skits about what we had learned. We displayed our crafts. And we cooked out the perfect supper–Girl Scout Stew (which I still cook to this very day). Everyone toasted marshmallows and made S’mores which was a real treat!
The last year of Brownie Day Camp gave campers the chance to spend the next to the last night at camp. Oh boy! I loved that. I had a new flashlight, a sleeping bag—I was ready for anything. We spent the most of that day putting up our tents, making a fire circle to cook our dinner that night, and just being excited! We cooked our dinner over the open fire and breakfast, too. It was then that I realized that camping was my favorite thing to do. I love being outside and watching the sun come up. I love listening to the frogs and birds. There is nothing better. Thank you Scout Haven!