This past weekend I accompanied my Brownie troop on our first overnight camp out. To be fair, we stayed in a shelter and there were bunk beds. We didn't go hard core yet with the tents. But there were bugs, we had to walk in the dark woods to reach the bathroom facility, we brushed our teeth outside because the sink in the shelter was filled with beetles, and sleeping was uncomfortable. That's pretty close to the real deal.
In just about 15 hours of adventure, I learned a few things:
1) I am WAY too old to pull an all-nighter. Once the girls settled down and fell asleep, one poor thing coughed the night away. Then the tooth grinders started in with their enamel destroying cricket chirping. I stared at the ceiling and prayed for a sleep that never arrived.
2) I don't recover well from a complete lack of sleep. The whole next day I was dizzy, and shaky, as if I had consumed a 12-pack of Mountain Dew. I was not fit for driving, or even sitting and watching my kids' sporting events. I will not receive Mother-of-the-Year for nodding off at a soccer game with an umbrella in my hand for shade.
3) Bugs are not my favorite. Because there was a chill in the air in the evening, I had not bothered with bug spray. I therefore spent the entire night of awakeness scratching at phantom bugs I was certain were nesting in my hair and crawling through my sleeping bag.
4) S'mores are delicious. This is obvious, but it amazes me how they continue to excite people of all ages at a camp out. The promise of s'mores always makes people happy.
5) It is ridiculous to get excited about sleeping on a bunk bed at a camp ground. The truth is that they are not any more comfortable than the ground. Seriously. They feel like stone, and yet noisily springy at the same time. Also, I found myself checking the mattress for bed bugs, then the frame for bunk bugs, then the wall for wall bugs, the air for all other bugs. So many bug possibilities (see comment 3).
6) I need to figure out something for my daughter's tooth grinding problem. Good heavens, I thought she might break her teeth. I'm a grinder and wear a sweet mouth guard at night. I need to look into something for her. It was a horrible sound worse than the old standard of nails on a chalkboard.
The girls all want to know when we are going to do "real" camping with the tents. Sigh. I need to prepare myself for this. My husband suggests ear plugs.