The sounds of crickets and potential homicidal maniacs filled our heads, as a we swore we heard twigs snap and the thud of footsteps.
We sat on top of our sleeping bags as we stretched “lights out” a bit further – the summer night’s heavy blanket of sticky air far too warm to crawl beneath.
We smelled of Deet and sweat, the remnants of our first day.
De-spidering our tent, my friend terrified of the daddy long legs claiming it for their own. Over forty spiders removed and tossed into the brush behind us.
Learning what a “latrine” is and reconsidering camp as a good idea.
Water balloon fight.
Fruit punch served in the mess hall.
Jumping into the cold lake and basking on the shore.
Meeting a “rival group” to be bested at all competitions and teased.
Everyone smashing s’mores together with blackened marshmallows while I stuck to my perfect golden brown ones, passing on the crackers and chocolate.
And songs. Always there were songs. Some familiar, most new.
We giggled with our flashlights as we sung a secret version of The Girl Scout song to a familiar tune – always careful to never voice the altered words in front of the counselors.
Once a Girl Scout went to camp, went to camp
Went to bed without a lamp, without a lamp
Found a Boy Scout sleeping in her bed
And this is what the Girl Scout said, Girl Scout said.
Boy Scout Boy Scout, you must stay, you must stay
You cannot go away, go away.
Because remember what the camp director said
Every girl must have a Boy Scout in her bed.
We laughed again, the idea of Boy Scouts in our beds at the age of ten still innocent and slightly revolting.
“Lights out in there!” a counselor called.
For a few minutes.
This time we clicked on our flashlights, hiding most of the light beneath our bags.
“Kelly? There’s a spider above me,” my friend squeaked at me, suddenly clamoring to get into her sleeping bag for protection.
“Please get rid of it.”
I heaved a sigh, pretending it was a monstrous chore. I crawled off of my covered cot and walked to hers, plucking the daddy long legs from above her head by its freakishly long eighth leg. I opened the back tent flap and tossed it into the bushes behind.
“No problem. That’s what best friends are for.”