By Heather Keenan

Ah, the great outdoors. It’s so wonderful to hear the birds chirp, smell the flowers, and watch the trees sway. Until nighttime, that is. I think nature is amazing, however, I do not want to sleep in it. That being said, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that our Girl Scout troop would be going on a camping trip. On the inside I went into total panic mode. My panic was calmed a bit when I was told that we would not be “tent camping,” but instead “cabin camping,” but I was still very nervous about this trip.

The night we left it was raining. Sorry, the word raining doesn’t really paint the correct picture. It was a freaking monsoon. We drove out to the mountains and turned onto a gravel road which seemed to be endless. Just as I was sure that I would start to hear a banjo, we reached our destination. There it was, in all of its glory, the bunk house. I must say, the accommodations were great. Everyone had a prison cot, I mean, everyone had a bed, and the bathrooms were inside. We also had a stove, oven, refrigerator, and most important, a coffee pot. I know, this does not sound like camping. Trust, to me, this is camping.

After a night’s sleep we woke and started our fun-filled day. Breakfast was served, dishes were washed, and we were off to cascade. Not sure what that means? It basically means falling down wet rocks. All of the girls gave it a go, so why not? I am in!  The girls slid down these rocks as if they were on a slide at Great Wolf. Me, not so much. I got stuck every 18 inches or so. But hey, we can’t expect to excel at everything and at least I can say I tried it!

Next up we had some arts and crafts time, which was amazing because it was all things that I would never have my child do at home due to not wanting my house to end up all colors of the rainbow. Then we headed over to the lake. My girl is a bit nervous to try new things alone, so we convinced the Lake Ladies to let us share a kayak. I know they were thrilled because they were nice enough to tell me, as they pushed us out, that they would come get us when I flipped. So nice! There was no flipping. It is amazing how fast you will become a pro kayaker when the other option is ending up in a dirty lake with a screaming seven year old.

After we cleaned ourselves up, which was done with baby wipes and hand sanitizer, because there is no showering at camp, dinner was up. We all chowed down and started getting ready for the mascarade ball.  The girls danced it up for a while and we set off to bed. Woke up the next morning, cleaned up, and headed down the mountain for home.

Great, you’re thinking, we now know what you did last weekend, what is the point? The point is that you are never too old to leave your comfort zone. This camping trip had been haunting me for weeks. I was so nervous that it was going to be the longest 48 hours of my life. I thought, for sure, my daughter was going to hate it, that I was going to hate it, that we wouldn’t even make it the whole weekend. What happened was the complete opposite of that. We both had a blast!  Talking with the other moms was great, watching my daughter make new friends was awesome, and being out of my comfort zone ended up being refreshing, rather than scary.

So, go on moms, take a leap every once in a while. Get out there and do something with your kids that is new for you and for them. It seems that sometimes we, as moms, overthink things. Don’t think about it, just do it.  You will not regret it!