I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. As a kid we went hiking, did some camping and other nature-y stuff. It wasn't an anomaly, pretty much everyone I knew growing up had been to Mount Ranier National Park, climbed at least part of Mt. Si at some point, biked on the Burke-Gilman trail or the Sammamish River Trail. When I moved out to the the east coast my nature experience was somewhat of a novelty. Perhaps it was because the people in my graduate program where mostly from New York or Boston. I had been to Alaska and hiked a glacier! So somehow I got it in my head that I was a bit of a nature girl. I am sure when he reads this my husband will spit out his coffee laughing. My sister will do the same. I am not a nature girl. It turns out I like going out into nature for brief periods, preferably running or biking by it at a clip fast enough to avoid any bugs landing on me. I don't like to camp because there is no running water and there are bugs, and the ground is lumpy. And there are sketchy plants that may or may not be poison ivy or nettles.
So that is why it is so amusing that I am a Brownie troop leader. But luckily for me, the Brownies of today aren't only interested in camping. Someone in the Girl Scout national organization realized that there are many good women out there who could help the girls learn many things such as leadership skills, philanthropy, and general good citizenship, but you don't need a tent and a canteen to do it.
So this is how I found myself sitting in a circle with my little Brownies, having a discussion about what to do in the event of an emergency. We were working on a badge and they needed to discuss how they could be prepared. We started easy, asking them what they would do if someone got hurt. One of them offered that she would perform CPR. A few others concurred that this is what they would also do. Um, okay girls, but you are *8*, and you don't know CPR. This did not deter them in the slightest. I suggested they should seek help from a grown up. They just scoffed at me and looked at me like that was the stupidest thing they'd ever hear. I was not deterred.
Recently we'd had a bad storm in our area and the power was out for a few days. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss what they learned and asked them what should you do when the power goes out? My daughter's hand shot up so I called on her. Yes Callie, what do you think you should do? She replied: Go to a hotel. Okay, so that is what we did when the power went out, but in my defense, we were already going out of town to go skiing, so even if the power hadn't gone out we would've been at a hotel. But in all honesty, after the first 24 hours without electricity my husband probably would have checked us into one anyway just to stop my whimpering. But then I asked the next questions, If the power goes out what do you do about food? Again, my daughter's was the first hand up so I called on her. We go to Starbucks for breakfast because mommy needs coffee. At that point I just put my face in my hands and vowed that our next badge would be the one on music or maybe art.