When I was in elementary, the Girl Scouts of the Philippines was one of the few extra-curricular choices that we have in school. But sadly as the years progress, I became less interested and focused on other more exciting activities, like math (ok, I admit that was geeky). In Julia’s case, the school only allows the students to choose one club and she picked the science club last year (a little cooler than math). Luckily, I have two fellow moms who are scouting advocates and they formed our own girl scouts troop. I excitedly asked if Julia could join knowing that she will pick up valuable life skills and lasting friendships with her fellow scouters.
Last vacation, we had a family camp experience in Alta Rios, Indang Cavite. We joined the training sessions of the UP Camping class such as first aid, bolo handling, tent pitching, and fire handling but had a separate area for our program. Here are the things we did on our first day.
Lounging around, picking fruits and mulberries.
Our first activity was to learn about basic survival by attending the group lectures. The Camp counsellors are well trained and had a lot of experiences in rescue situations. They provided the basics in terms of safety and preventing problems while outdoors. I have met these camp counsellors in our previous camping trip and they are very serious and also very seriously funny!
Then after the educational part, we played team games where they joined the young adults. All were highly competitive as if this was the SEA Games.
Group game with the Campers
We formed our own teams divided into moms vs. the kids. I was actually scared of them. We won in Patintero but we lost in the obstacle course. With their agile bodies, we did not stand a chance!
After being slaughtered in the games, we prepared for our dinner. The kids washed the rice and cut the vegetables for Sinigang. I admit, I was a little scared of letting them use knives but rest assured that all their fingers are still intact.
They rehearsed for their presentation in the camping socials after dinner. The camp director introduced them and said that the girl scouts group is the bar for their own presentation. There was a huge groan because they all looked confident and well prepared complete with costumes. The ates played the ukulele and sang Count on Me while the little kids, Happy and Jansen, danced.
We capped the night with the much anticipated bonfire. It was a rainy day so we did it inside our social hall. Not even rain can prevent the marshmallows from being roasted.
Bonfire. Where we sang the quintessential “Kumbaya my lord”.
I never doubted that being part of the Girl Scouts will imbue the values of being responsible, decisive, nationalistic and gaining all these in the company of your friends.