Camping. Ah, sleeping outside, waking to the birds chirping and the sun beaming through the tent flaps, cooking over a camp fire … Or not!
Each winter, my co-leaders and I take our high school Girl Scout troop on a winter “camping” trip where they have no responsibilities with younger girls, no strict agenda, and indoor sleeping quarters. Basically, it’s a sleepover in the woods (with no hot water and latrines instead of toilets!), and it’s a ton of fun for the girls and the leaders.
Friday evening, I headed up to Camp Mountain House to have a non-camping weekend with the gals!
We stayed in Pine Cabin, a cozy one-room building decorated with preserved leaves and mounted snake skins.
Friday night was full of giggling, a group trip to the grocery store and a chili pepper pinata. We crashed around midnight in order to get up for a full day on Saturday.
This particular weekend trip was exceptionally posh as the girls decided to earn their “Dinner Party” badge. It was the most sophistication my mess kit has ever seen!
Saturday morning began with some creativity as the girls fulfilled a badge requirement by experimenting with different garnishes and shapes for some fluffy pancakes. This little chick accompanied a menagerie of other pancake figures.
I turned my pancake into a breakfast taco of sorts with granola, yogurt and berries.
After breakfast, some of the girls helped one of the adults on the trip with some Bigfoot "evidence" for a mock-umentary she is making. It was pretty hilarious.
What should have been a pretty simple lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup became a little more exciting when a misunderstanding led to the addition of sweetened coffee creamer in the tomato soup. Luckily, a bit of improv (lemon juice, basil, salt, pepper, etc) salvaged the soup, leading to rave camper reviews!
After an afternoon spent playing hide & seek in the woods, the girls began preparing the menu they planned for their dinner party. I was really impressed with the choices they made- The recipes were fairly healthy, included lots of veggies and fresh foods and really showcased different cultures!
They started with this punch, the classic concoction of Hawaiian Punch, ginger ale & sherbet.
Appetizer, Group 1: Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Candied Pecans & Honey Poppyseed Dressing
Appetizer, Group 2: Lentil Soup
Appetizer, Group 3: Filipino Lumpias filled with fresh vegetables
Entree, Group 1: Farfalle with Lemon, Walnuts & Basil
Entree, Group 2: Indian Rajma (red kidney bean curry) with Cucumber Raita over Basmati Rice
Entree, Group 3: Beef Stroganoff over Egg Noodles
Somehow, I missed taking a picture of the first group’s dessert: Fresh Fruit with Chocolate Fondue
Dessert, Group 2: Kheer (Indian rice pudding with cardamom & almonds)
Dessert, Group 3: Apple Cobbler
After setting up one heck of a dish washing line, we collapsed in food comas for one more night in the cabin. Clearly, we really roughed it this weekend!
Throughout the weekend, I used spare time to put together this rag rug from some discarded t-shirts. It's currently matching our 1960s aqua & black bathroom!
Unable to settle in at home after a weekend in the woods, Kevin and I headed down route 309 to Trader Joes with a gift card in hand. We treated ourselves to a few organic goodies (like steamed pork buns!) and headed home to make some tasty homemade mac & cheese for dinner.
Finally, home for the evening, we settled in and hung out with Tober (who loved the Trade Joes bags!) in the kitchen. What a fun and food filled weekend!