Friday, August 22, 2008

Drama with the Brownies

You like that? I designed it for a bunch of t-shirts. I'm so cool!

Last night was our annual Brownie backyard campout. Since we have no backyard to speak of, we held it at my co-leader's house. We did this last year, when we just had one troop of 8 girls, and we had a blast. This year we have one troop of 10 girls (Vicki's) and another troop of 6 (Lexi's). Since they've done a lot together over the past year, we decided to just combine them. Although we had one girl that didn't come and one who didn't spend the night, we still had 14 girls between the ages of 5 and 8 packed into tents in a quiet residential area. Plus 2 future Girl Scouts: Ellie and my co-leader's daughter Katie, who are the same age. And 4 adults, one of whom didn't stay the night. Yeah, I know, I'm crazy.

Well, we had fun. We earned our Making Music Try-it (the patches Brownies earn for the front of their uniforms). We danced to different styles of music, everything from Hannah Montana (oh, the screaming) to Skip to My Lou. Yes, they skipped. We sang in a round. We played "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on water glasses. And we learned the most awesome action song a group of Girl Scouts ever learned, and we hope to perform it at our neighborhood campout in the Spring. We also ate hot dogs and cooked the obligatory s'mores over a campfire provided by a wonderful contraption known as a portable fire pit. Then, at 10:00, after a quiet chorus of "Taps", we sent the girls off to bed.

At midnight we finally got the last two girls to stop giggling after threatening - in the I Am So Not Joking This Time and Just You Try Me voice - to call their moms to come pick them up.

At 3:00 in the morning us three adults were awakened by what has nicely been termed a "domestic dispute" erupting in my friend's backdoor neighbors' house. It was a doozy - screaming, shouting, banging, swearing, you name it. The three of us leapt out of bed and called the police. The 911 operator lazily noted our complaint until we mentioned that we had 16 little girls sleeping in tents in the backyard, at which point they leapt into action and summoned not one, but three patrol cars. Apparently the couple had just returned from a "night out" (read: the bar), and the man was, as the officer put it, wasted. The girl apparently claimed she wasn't frightened, just angry. Well, she may not have beenfrightened, but we sure as heck were. Fortunately the police broke up the altercation, the girl left for her friend's house, and the guy went to bed to sleep it off. All I can say is I hope he had a lovely time at 7am when the Brownies woke up. Serves him right. Mercifully, only one of the Brownies claimed to have heard anything, and she apparently has enough trust in us leaders that when she heard our voices she figured we had the situation under control and went right back to sleep. Not so for us, of course. We finally went back to bed at 5:00 and dozed off and on until the girls woke up, cheerfully, at 7:00.

Good times.

So now I'm attempting to function on roughly two hours of sleep (turning on a movie for the girls and staring at the computer screen for two hours is functioning, right?), and of course the girls are already talking about what we should do at next year's campout.


  1. Sounds like so much fun!!!! No seriously, those are the times that as a girl I loved and fondly remember. I am so glad that you have such a cool group of girls to do things with. Here I don't even think Girls Scouts exist. (= And sorry about the sleep thing. I totally think that your version of functioning is legal. I can't count how many times I have been there and done that one. Glad that you are all safe and that the "dispute" wasn't worse.

  2. I bet the girls had a ball. It is so wonderful that you work so hard to do those activities with them - I'm sure they will remember it forever. I'm impressed you are at the computer, I would be crashed on the couch.

  3. It sounds like a BLAST!! I was a Brownie Scout once upon a time. I looked at the pictures of girls on hikes and camping and going on a zip line and I waited and waited for our troop to do something like that. We once had a sleepover inside our "house" (We had this old house that was more like a hall of sorts, it was painted green, and had a sign over the front door that proudly announced "The Girl Scout Little House".), and that was about it. I only ever earned one patch... the cookie patch. I'm so glad you are such a good leader and these scouts are having a much better time than I ever did!! :)

    And good on ya for calling the cops about the "domestic disturbance". Who knows what could have happened. Drunks are so unpredictable. I hope the girls were all typical little girls at 7 am: giggles, screaming, running around with excitement and the like. :)


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