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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Steppin' Out

Last spring (as in, the spring of '09, as opposed to the spring of '10, which would be this past spring), I had the opportunity to attend Wood Badge, a leadership training course for Boy Scout leaders.  The catch: my husband had already gone, so I would be on my own.  In the deep, dark woods.  Without my family.  yeah.

Also, I would be leaving my 6-month old nursing daughter behind with her father.  I would be the first nursing mother to attend the course.  I would have to have special allowances to pump.  I would need a private room.  The course was scheduled to take place over two weekends, each a month apart.  So many reasons not to go.

I verbally committed, then backed out.  I just couldn't go.  It wasn't my thing.  So, sorry.  I reconsidered.  It was a great opportunity.  Something for me.  I would have a blast.  I really should go.  So, I signed up.  Again, I started to have second thoughts.  In fact, I was even questioning myself as I drove away that first morning.

When I arrived at Camp Powhatan, I was greeted by smiling faces.  Though I was thrown into a group with five other people I'd never met, they were friendly and understanding (for the most part).  We quickly learned that we would be called the Antelope Patrol (snort, snort, snort) We learned, laughed, and played together.  We bonded over plates of camp food and games of skill.  We became accustomed to working together as a unit.  It was a wonderful experience and I looked forward to the second weekend, during which we would be camping out.

There were no second thoughts in regards to returning, though I had never carried my supplies in a pack, while being led on what was touted as a "three mile hike." (Wood Badge miles, you see...)  I had never camped without my husband and family.  While I knew how to pitch a tent, cook over the fire, and generally take care of myself while camping, I had always had my husband to rely on.  He was there to scare away any wild animals and turn out the lantern after I went to bed.

The first night went fairly well, but the second night was a challenge.  Sometime in the middle of the night, I was awakened by a huge clap of thunder.  The woods outside my tent lit up.  Rain came pouring down.  The ground shook with thunder and the sky was alight with lightning.  I scrunched down in my sleeping bag, clutching my mini maglite (smart choice, holding a metal flashlight in a thunderstorm), and praying that we would make it through to morning. We had no other shelter at our immediate disposal.  We had nowhere to go.  The only choice was to stay put and ride it out. 

As the storm subsided and I slowly drifted back to sleep, I couldn't help being a bit proud of myself for weathering the elements on my own.  Though my patrol-mates were in tents just feet away, they were all inaccessible for the duration of the night.  I had camped on my own, in a thunderstorm, and survived.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, prompt #3, Steppin Outside the Box.


  1. Stopping by from Mama Kat's!

    I'm sure you're glad you went! Sounds like a scary, but fun experience! Way to go!

  2. Girl, I used to blog and now reading this sort of thing is making me want to get back on the wagon! What a great story and you should be proud!

    Again, Elisa, not anon. :P

  3. Elisa, get it going! I bet it would be a blast to read.

  4. Camping is so over-rated! More power to ya!

  5. Snap! That's awesome! Bet you're glad you went!

    I'm stoppin by from Mama Kat's!

  6. Ha! Sounds like that's out my element as well! Great post! (stopping by from Mama Kat's)


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