When some of my fellow Scouters broached the idea of another virtual camp, I was pretty reluctant to spend a weekend attending one Zoom session after another, no matter how invested I might be in Scouting.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there’s no way to truly recreate the camp experience when we’re all logging in from our sofas. And that might actually be the key: virtual camp is an entirely different undertaking that shouldn’t be compared to a weekend of traditional Scout camping.
To begin with, rather than finding the perfect site on which to pitch a tent, Leah decided which corner of her room would be the ideal place to set up her super hero lair.
Of course, Leah felt that her DC Super Hero Girls should be honorary members of her newly formed team (along with the purple caticorn, for reasons she didn’t want to share).
I will happily admit that by the time Leah’s lair was set up, I had managed to get into the camp spirit. This was probably helped by the fact that I had a near constant supply of coffee for the weekend.
Next up was designing a super hero costume — Leah’s was a mishmash of old Halloween costumes (Supergirl and Wonder Woman) and she painted a giant gold cursive “L” on a t-shirt for a little branding of her newly minted identity: Lucky. (A friend pointed out yesterday that Leah’s “L” evokes memories of Laverne and Shirley, another dynamic duo!)
As a Scout, Leah was required to submit her menu for the weekend, for which she was supposed to take the lead in preparing (and cleaning up). Thanks to her skills, we feasted on apple scones, pizza bagels, and grilled cheese sandwiches. I think Todd was feeling left out of his regular camp cooking duties, because he surprised us Friday night with homemade crackers, along with freshly baked bagels for our pizzas on Saturday.
When Leah wasn’t busy cooking (and cleaning!), there were lots of other activities to participate in: she made snow blindness goggles from duct tape and paracord, an emergency balaclava from a t-shirt, and a winter emergency kit filled with all kinds of things she’d need if she found herself stranded in inclement weather.
There was a scavenger hunt that had Leah searching for much-needed items, knots to learn, super hero exercises, and even a family hike (we opted out of the hike but it looked like everyone else had a great time based on the photos we saw). Saturday night’s campfire featured the talents of many youths and was followed by snacks and a viewing of The Incredibles.
By the time camp concluded on Sunday morning, Leah and I were happily camped out. Everything was put away in record time and then we were able to sit and chat about what we enjoyed most over the weekend (Leah loved the knots and I thought the meals were top-notch). While virtual camping is never going to be a replacement for camping together in person, this camp allowed us to be wise in the use of all resources during this time and helped each of us realise our potential as a pandemic super hero.