I’ve been lucky enough to lead a Campfire USA group for the past few years. I’ve had the pleasure and honor of watching several of our group members grow and mature from pre-kindergartners to school aged kiddos. I love everything about leading our group and look forward to our weekly meetings, field trips, and camping trips.

This year our group start off started a little later than the kids are accustomed to. I’ve had several phone calls from the children wondering when we were going to be starting, as if they feared the group would no longer exist. So this weekend, sick or not, we were planning on kicking off our Campfire year with a fall camping trip to BLORA.

Our group has held several camp outs at BLORA over the years. It’s one of the kiddos favorite places to go as a group. All week as I nursed myself slowly back into some semblance of health I worked at constructing a camping experience for our group that would be memorable, fun, and exciting.

In the process I had to teach myself all about orienteering and the proper use of a compass. When I told my beau I’d be teaching the kids how to use a compass he laughed. And with good reason. I get lost driving home.

Regardless of my inherent ability to get lost, anywhere, the kiddos had a blast. The kids got plenty of free play on the playground, the children all learned how to use a compass properly, we went on a hike, played various group games, made friendship sticks and learned to use pocket knives safely, had fun with nature printing, the kiddos chose names for themselves using the Campfire Name Book, we sang and learned new silly songs, made a fire, roasted marshmallows, and told ghost stories.

The kiddos had fun and we all lamented that we only had one day to camp out. It’s definitely more fun to camp out when you can do so for at least two or three days.

So although the day was hectic and long, and I’m a little worse for the wear as a result, I am so thankful for the continued ability to lead and work with seven incredible kiddos. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I’m excited to find out.