Itchy Girl Scout Camping Experience with Poison Ivy
Girl Scout Camping
Today I was reading advertisements for "Summer fun with the girl scouts!" in our subdivision newsletter.
It was touting the many different camp offerings which included things like the following:
- Day and Twilight Camp
- Troop Camping
- Carousel Camps
- and Resident Camps for girls during the summer months.
It brought back memories of my one and only Girl Scout camping experience where I spent most of my time seriously itching and scratching almost the entire time. I'll share the details of that experience below.
My Mother Was a Scout Leader.
Since my mother was fortunate enough to be a full time stay at home mom she was willing and able to do all the wonderful things for me and my two brothers that helped us in many ways as we were growing up. She was a brownie leader when I was young and a girl scout leader as I became older.
My mother did the same for my brothers. Cub scout leader to boy scout leader she was always there to make our troops fun and exciting as we were spreading our wings, learning new and different things along with our little friends who were in our various troops.
We earned many a merit badge with my mother accompanying that journey to success. She made things so much fun that girls from other troops always wanted to be in my mother's troop.
My Camping Experience!
Naturally my parents thought that I would have a wonderful time at girl scout camp. We had looked over the activities and the location was in a wooded area on a lake in Wisconsin. It was a bit of a drive from where we lived.
The excitement built until the day finally arrived. The list of things to take were checked and double checked. Everything was packed for the primitive outdoor stay and this anticipated home away from home camping experience was about to begin!
My parents drove me there and before leaving, we located the tent in which I was to share a cot with a couple of other girls. We were introduced to the adults who would be supervising the activities. The lake looked inviting and since swimming was one of my favorite activities I could hardly wait to get in the water.
What I did not know at the time was that there was poison ivy in that wooded site. Apparently there was lots of it and I am highly allergic.
I remember getting to swim once before I started breaking out with the itchy pustules caused by poison ivy and no longer was I allowed to swim and I loved swimming!
We did get to take turns trying our hand at archery and we sat around campfires at night roasting marshmallows and singing but the joy of the camping was tainted by the ever spreading rash and discomfort.
It was hard to sleep at night because of the itching! A couple of days in to the experience which was becoming less and less fun by the hour I wrote a letter home to my parents to please come and get me and take me back home.
Those were the days before cell phones. By the time the letter had arrived it was just about time to come and get me anyway.
Horseback riding was not allowed for me because they probably thought that I might infect other girls who might ride next on that same horse. Swimming had already been ruled out for me.
But they did allow my turn at cleaning the outhouse one morning! We took turns in doing chores at this girl scout camp.
And they did allow my turns at washing and drying dishes.
Somehow they thought that I would infect the entire lake and pass along my poison ivy to other girls and yet handling the dishes they would be eating from was no problem.
The itching became worse as the rash kept spreading and I could no longer tell which bumps were from mosquito bites or the poison ivy. I had both by this time!
Where were my parents? When would they be arriving?? Woe was me!!!
The other girls that had gone to that camp seemed to love it with the exception of the cleaning of the outhouses in the mornings. We were assigned turns to clean and mornings were selected as it was still brisk and cold in the early dawn. The smells emanating from that wooden structure with 3 or 4 different sized holes was less distinct at that time of day.
Of course we had indoor plumbing in our home as I am sure most of the other girls also had so that part of the camping experience was probably an eye opener for most of the girls who were thrust into a more primitive way of living for that week of living in tents and roughing it.
The day my parents finally arrived and I got to go home was one of the happiest days of my girl scout camping experience. I thought that the day would never come!
I wonder why they did not broach the subject of my going to camp the following year?
Other than my one camping sojourn I truly enjoyed my girl scouting days of long ago.
Learn how to identify poison ivy in the video below. It would have been most helpful had I known that at the time!
Our camp was in a wooded area. Undoubtedly there were many wild animals in that environment. Had we encountered a skunk that could have made the experience even worse! Then everyone would have been suffering and not only me. My brothers and I actually got sent home from school because of a skunk one time...but that is another story!
Can any of you top my girl scout camping experience? If so leave your comments below. Thanks!
© 2009 Peggy Woods