Fortunately, for everyone involved some of my Sister Leaders (yes, we really refer to ourselves like that) volunteered to chaperone Junior Drench Camp, which only left the little matter of preparing our group of nine year olds to be self-sufficient in the wilderness for a period of approximately thirty-six hours.
Sister Leader Sara, who knows how to pitch a tent, divided us up by skill set. Guess what I got? Cooking!
Maybe I underestimated my uselessness in the event of a Zombie Apocolypse because cooking is something I can do. In fact, I love to cook. I'm the kind of person who makes holiday meals from the recipes in the pages of Bon Appetit or (the sadly defunct) Gourmet Magazine. Someone who loves to cook as much as I do should easily be able to lead a meeting where a bunch of nine year olds prepare a meal.
I started by lowering my standards. The girls weren't going to recreate a Jamie Oliver meal in the wilderness. They just needed to eat. Something filling and substantial that would please even the picky eaters. I settled on tacos, corn bread and something called pudding cake that, according to the recipe, can also be cooked over a campfire.
My plan was to break the girls up into three groups. Each group would be given a recipe. They would make a shopping list, then we would go to the local grocery store where they would find all the items on their shopping list (while keeping track of how much each item cost so as to be able to ask me for exact change), return to my house, prepare the meal, set the table and eat.
Fairly simple, right? I told parents to drop their daughters off around 10:00 and pick up at 1:00, assuming that the girls would probably finish early and have a little play time afterwards.
On the eve of my first 2011-2012 Girl Scout meeting I experienced a first. My plan was working. I was calm. I was collected. And, I was even looking forward to the next day. Maybe, the whole fake it 'til you make it, play to your strengths thing was going to transform my most dreaded time of the year into something fun?
Stop by on Thursday. I'll have all the details of the meeting. Plus pictures of the girls in action.