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Posted March 24th, 2013 at 02:17 PM by Anna
Updated March 25th, 2013 at 06:11 PM by Anna (wow spelling hahahaha)

YO YO CHECK IT PA WATCH-ALONG STARTS TODAY!
Our episode of the week is "A Call For Brotherly Love". You don't have to watch it again if you've seen it within like the last two weeks but a refresher probably wouldn't do you harm. Go on go talk you've got till the 30th!

//

This weekend I went on an exciting adventure with Venture Crew 294/Scout Troop 294. Eleven of us- three adults, three just-barely-adults, and five teenagers/three girls and eight guys- drove out to a Scout camp called Beaver Valley. In shifts, though- each adult drove separately in order to accommodate schedules. Once my group was there, we dropped everything but the backpacks onto sleds and hiked in toward the cabin we would be staying at. That is, the path is a mile long not considering for the few mild hills and then the 2/3 mile that was all a ridiculously steep hill- at least 7% grade the while way. We hiked down that, in the dark, through a lot of snow. Was not fabulous. And halfway down we realized we had left the key with the adults at the gate. But that was okay because the cabin was unlocked when we got there. (?!)

Now this cabin was built in 1932 by Troop 9. So it had one big fireplace, one wood stove, two oil lamps aaaaand that was it for light and heat. None of us could figure out the lamps because it was dark and we're kinda dumb sometimes so we spent about an hour trying to start up a fire. I'm really not sure why the Scouts couldn't achieve fire with a book of matches, a lighter, dry wood, and paper. Eventually I stepped in and got the damn thing going because it was literally about freezing. And definitely colder in the cabin than outside. Then the next shift of people showed up and we basically just talked until the last shift showed up and then we had crackers and cheese and a Darth Vader cake that Tristen and Tina had managed to drag down the hill. And then we argued about sleeping arrangements- ten of us in the loft and Tina downstairs because it was warmer down there. I ended up between Ian and Caleb which was fine because that was pretty much the arrangement at our last movie night. And then sleep happened. Eventually. Not without much chattering even after lights out.

Guys, if you know me a bit, you'll probably know that I'm so not in shape. I mean I am in a kind of shape, because everyone is, but it's kind of a well=padded hourglass one. I'm not cut out for activity and extended periods of constant repetitive motion. Also, I'm not a Scout. I don't go camping enough to have any kind of equipment. Flashlight? Water bottle? What? And despite living in Minnesota, I don't own winter gear. Why would I? What use do I have for boots when people shovel sidewalks? What use do I have for wool socks? Snowpants? What a hassle. I don't even own an extra pair of good walking shoes. I am equipped for all seasons but winter because usually I don't frickin go outside in that disgusting mess. So I kind of had to borrow wool socks from Eric and just... went in tennis shoes. Which was actually fine. Mostly.

So in the morning we all kind of took our time getting out of bed and into the cold and changing. Ian was being mean so I hit him and we ended up wrestling. This happens a lot. We all put on proper clothes because really who cares if we change in our sleeping bags. Whatever. And we had eggs in a bag for breakfast, which is probably the best camp food ever. Then we all sat around not wanting to do anything until we got coerced into going for a walk. We made it about 400 feet before ending up at a shallow, narrow section of river that we couldn't cross because there was no bridge/it wasn't frozen/ it wasn't warm enough. Everyone just kind of stood around there for no reason for a while. Bill had snowshoes and went out to do a dumb thing- walk around on less than two inches thick ice.

I got bored and headed back to the cabin, but didn't want to hang around inside because it was 40 degrees out which is practically baking. So I found Tristen and convinced him to come with me in the other direction to wander down by the trout ponds. We found a path and a few places to cross over the ponds but the other side was a giant hill so we just rejoined the main path. And then suddenly we ended up at the river and crossed it AND IT WAS A FRICKIN MARSH LIKE OH MY GOD MUD EVERYWHERE AND ME IN TENNIS SHOES AND AAAAH. Like the morons we are, though, we kept going until I legit got stuck and had nowhere to go without sinking up to my ankles in mud. And then I kind of ran out of the area because obviously the solution to the problem of getting your shoes soaked is to haul ass through a marsh.

Back at the cabin, my shoes and socks were joined by Tristen's boots in front of the stove because he had misstepped and fallen in a hole just as we were getting back on a proper path. He and Travis and Morgiana and I ended up playing One-Word-Story or w/e that's actually called and somehow ended up with "BABIES!!" being A Thing. Eventually everyone else came back and we had lunch. Then we took a hike which ended up being a climb because Tristen had seen some erosion control stairs that he wanted to go up. It was um. Terrifying. Because it was very very very steep and a long way up and over the trout ponds and covered in deep snow and godawful and I may have yelled "**** YOU" in front of my youth leader. At his son. Because I was scared, frustrated, had no gloves, wasn't wearing a jacket because it was like 40, and was in tennis shoes. We hit a path and I immediately went directly back to the cabin- not too far away from there- and got out of the wet clothes and did productive things like fill up the water bucket and find more kindling.

Dinner was fun except for washing up. Which is always awful. Then the group of three who had to be back early on Sunday left at like 8 and took all the non-essential stuff with them because they were brining the big bus back. Bill went with to help so six of us were left to play UNO in the increasing darkness. Did you know it's extremely difficult to tell the difference between green and blue by the light of oil lamps? Luke and Tina got first and second place- I dunno who got what because the remaining four of us kind of went crazy and were battling to the death. Caleb and I tried to hurt each other as much as possible and Tristen and Travis were on Caleb's side for a while so I ended up with a good fifth of the entire deck because I kept having to draw and couldn't play. Eventually I hit a truce with Tristen but I still couldn't get rid of any cards haha. Caleb eventually quit and claimed sixth place and I followed suit. Anything but last, right? The game picked up from there and Tristen got third. Eventually. Honestly that game took nearly two hours and Tina and Luke were done for most of it.

After that ridiculousness Caleb beat my ass at MtG because all I ever drew was frickin land how did that even happen usually it's the complete opposite. And Bill finally made it back. Apparently they had had trouble getting Eric's massive van out of the little parking lot and stuff. And then Bill, being the responsible middle-aged man he is, decided that hey- he was dragging three empty sleds down a near-perfect path on a really steep hill. So he stacked them up and when whizzing down an incredibly steep hill by himself in the dark. The same hill Ian had broken his leg sledding down like eight years ago. Even though sledding in the Valley is prohibited. Bill is great. :D

So we all went to bed. Er actually no. We went upstairs but Tristen kept ending up with his legs too near Caleb and I and we all ended up fighting and things. Eventually Tristen got mad for some reason even though he was the one that started it and made no effort to calm the chaos, so he went downstairs after Travis stole his sleeping bag. Eventually Travis and I went down and found him sleeping in a chair and boy that kid sleeps like the dead. We couldn't wake him up by shaking him or anything so we just dragged him forcibly out of the chair because he would have been hurting and so unpleasant in the morning if we had let him stay there. And THEN we went to bed.

Next morning was cleanup time. Bleah. Then we packed up, putzed around outside, fought over and with some walking sticks, and eventually left. Hey. Remember that hill we walked down to get in the valley? What goes down must come up. By foot and sled. Because accelerated travel is prohibited. What a godawful walk that was. I am not cut out for that sort of thing. But! I made it! And nobody had to take the sled from me! Which is good because honestly i wouldn't have made it up without it because I put a heavy stick through the rope of the sled and used it to both brace myself and pull the sled. And I've def got my exercise in for the month, oh yes.

On the way home we drove through Somerset and right down the street I lived on from age like 3 to 7 and RIGHT BY MY OLD HOUSE TOO OH. The shutters are white to match the house now instead of red to make it pretty like they were and it's uglier now but the decorative white picket fence is still up and so it the chainlink one around the back and honestly I think I saw the backyard in-ground sandbox I got for my fourth birthday. :D And then we drove through Stillwater which is the most gorgeous place ever as always. Then I dozed and we made it back to church where Mom picked me up and then. Finally. I got home and took a frickin shower ew god I start feeling gross after just one night without one. :(

TL;DR I WENT CAMPING AND IT WAS FUN

here is a photo album of the event with unflattering pictures of me in it but Ian keeps telling me to stop complaining about that
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