Girl Scout Camp

I think one of the hardest things I have ever had to do as a parent was sending my own daughter home from Girl Scout camp.We had only been at camp two hours, and had just managed to get the tents set up. The scouts were all putting on sunscreen and gathering water bottles preparatory to hiking up Namsan Mountain for a day of Korean cultural activities before hiking back to camp for a friendship ceremony and smores. My daughter had been looking forward to this all year and I had spent an entire year figuring out badges and journeys and leading a troop of a dozen elementary school girls so that she could benefit from all the enriching activities of girl scouts, but now, with camp barely begun, she was on the grass crying for the third time. As her mom, I knew she was out of control. She wasn’t listening to anything I was saying, even ignoring directions when the rest of the troop complied. She was arguing and throwing fits. Her dad would say she needed to be “reset,” but here at camp there weren’t the options for me to get her back in line. She had to function on her own or she had to go home, and so, the third time she expressed fury at the injustice of having to listen to me, I called Dad. Every second that it took for him to drive the two or so miles from our apartment to camp I second guessed myself. “This is over reacting. I should be able to correct her here. I’m not one of those moms who shuffles the kids off to dad when they act up. I should be able to manage this. I should have just given her some more time.” My girl acted like her heart was breaking when her dad actually pulled up and I lead her into the van. I could hear her crying as they pulled away. I had to stay at camp. I had other scouts in the troop I lead for her, so I had to stay even though she couldn’t, even though I felt like I was going to throw up. I wanted to go home. I felt like I was being the meanest, most ridiculous parent ever, but then I took the other scouts on the hike. They climbed two steep miles in a blazing heat- before lunch! I ended up practically pulling a line of hungry, tired girls. It turned out the other girls Elliana’s age had gotten a ride in a van instead of having to hike. By the time we reached the top my inner turmoil was gone. There was no doubt in my mind that my kindergartener, who was about year younger than everyone else in her troop, would never have made it through that hike. It was clear to me that God had helped me out by allowing me to send her home- He had saved me from what would have been a really stressful disaster. As it turned out Elliana fell asleep as soon as the van turned the corner- thus revealing the cause of her bad behavior- and after napping at home with daddy she joined us on the mountain top and walked out the rest of camp without a hitch. I do not have all the answers as a parent. I don’t have the wisdom to handle even five minutes of our day. In fact, as I have typed this I have had to banish two of my children to their beds because I do not have a solution for their internal bickering, but my experience at Girl Scout camp taught me what Psalm 127 says, that unless the Lord builds the house the laborers build in vain. It’s God, not me, who is going to do eternal work in my kid’s lives, so rather than trying to get everything under control, or have a solution for everything, I am just trying to stay close to Him, to know Him better and pray that He will use me for His will because He is the one who knows what mountains lie ahead and what my kids need to get up them.

 

 

She's the T

She’s the T

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