Girl Scout Kayaking Adventure

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A group of Girl Scouts go kayaking down a river. Two girls get lost on the trail of the river, and have an adventure of their own.

Submitted: July 09, 2012

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Submitted: July 09, 2012



A/N: This story is part true, part fiction. I did personally go on a kayaking trip, but a lot of the stuff that happened in this story is made up.



It was a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon. Scout campers were starting to arrive for their weeklong stay of summer camp. Parents were unloading vehicles, kids were yelling to each other; some were greetings from last summer, others were from the end of the school year. Staff were helping direct parents t where their child's belongings went to be taken to the campsites. Other staff members were guiding families and their campers to where the child was staying for the week.

One of the most anticipated programs that week was the kayaking program. There were twelve girls that signed up for the adventure, and the staff fought the week before on who was going to be the counselors in that program. The program consisted of learning the basic maneuvers for the kayak, and on Thursday, the girls and staff would be kayaking down the river that was located by where the instructors were based. The staff wasn't looking forward to the hour long drive to get to the location, but they knew the journey ahead of them would be well worth the road trip.

After the girls were settled in their tents, they gathered at the unit shelter to go over the rules of the camp. One of the most important rules was that the girls were to have NO whistles, as they were used in case of emergencies only. If the girls were to use the whistle in a non-emergency, they were going to be sent home. The staff also emphasized the buddy system, in case someone got hurt. After the rules were read, two girls were selected to go to camp council before dinner. Camp council was used to select themes for meals throughout the week. The two girls selected from each program would write down each theme, take it back and vote with the girls in their group. The most voted for themes would be the winners for that week's meal times.

Dinner time came real quick. Grace was sung before every meal. This was done to have some fun, but also to respect those who did grace at home. As dinner was being served, the winners of the themed meals were announced. This week’s themes were the backwards meal and the Hawaii themed dinner.

After dinner, the campers went back to their campsites. The campers had time to converse and get to know each other, while the counselors finished the plans for the week. Snack time came around 8 pm. traditionally at this camp, s'mores were always the Sunday night snack before bed. After everyone had their fill, it was bedtime. Everyone had an eventful week ahead of them.

The next morning, the camp woke up and headed to the mess hall for breakfast. Most of the girls were groggy. For some, it was their first time camping away from their parents. For others, their minds were racing with excitement of what they were going to be doing during the week ahead. Yet others were up most of the night because they have never camped in the woods before and they couldn't sleep because of the new sounds they experienced their first night there. It was rather quiet, except for those who wanted to share their first night experiences.

After breakfast, it was time to take on their first day of adventures at the camp. The Kayaking group, which expected to be tackling the white water rapids on Thursday, headed to the pool for a morning of swimming.

The campers and counselors went into the changing room, and then went to the pool area and sat on the benches waiting to be told what to do next. The lifeguards came out and explained that the campers had to take a swimming test. The campers had to know at least the basic skills of swimming to go on the trip Thursday for safety reasons.

So each girl was called one by one to take their test. If they couldn't do any of the strokes, they got a red swimming cap and had to stay in the shallow end of the pool. If they could do some of the strokes, they received a yellow cap and could go as far as the 5 foot deep section of the pool. If they could complete all of the strokes in the swimming test, they received a green cap and could go anywhere from the 3 feet deep to the 9 feet deep section of the pool. The 9 foot deep section even had a diving board for the girls to use.

Some girls got green caps, and others got yellow. Fortunately, no one got a red cap, so they all were able to go on the trip. After the swimming tests, the girls were able to swim until lunch time.

After lunch, the kayaking group went down to the arts and crafts building to make a craft. They spent their time making a monkey's fist necklace, and even exchanged with each other, as the monkey's fist is a symbol of friendship.

Then, they walked down to the archery range. Since the kayak instructors weren't coming till the next day, they were engaging in other activities to keep the girls busy. They learned the rules of the archery range, picked out bows, put on protective gear, and took turns shooting at the targets.

Dinner time came, and it was the backwards meal. So, everyone ate desserts first, then the main course, and then sang grace. After dinner, everyone went back to their campsites.

The group of kayakers, who were in their own secluded area of the camp behind the mess hall, decided to finish off the evening telling stores before bed. They agreed to four girls telling stories Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night, and that would take them till bed time.

So the counselors put everyone's names into a hat. They picked four girls for that night to tell stories. As each girl came up to tell a story, they put the piece of paper with their name on it into the fire, as if they were starting a tradition. The campers had their snacks as they listened to the stories.

The first girl up was Maria. She told a story about Molly, who was a bear that guarded the camp they were staying at. The bear would ward off people who weren't supposed to be on the camp property, or evil spirits who wanted to play dirty tricks on the campers.

Next up was Sophia, who told a story about friends who stayed at another camp. The one girl didn't want to go in the first place, and the other spent her entire summer there. Once the girl that didn't want to go realized how much fun this camp was, she didn’t want to go home once the week was over.

Third up was Amanda, and she told a ghost story about a boy who died while on a hunting trip with his dad. The boy was destined to be sure his ad got the biggest buck out there, and the dad did so in the boy's honor.

Last up was Michelle, who wasn't very good at telling stories. She knew she had to come up with a very good story, because she thought the last three stories were amazing. She thought long and hard while the others were telling their stories, but she was having trouble coming up with anything. Then a story came to her.

Michelle's story was about a girl who wasn't very good at anything. She managed to get by in school, but never really stood out. She had very few friends, and they all had excelled at something, like sports, school, or music. The girl just couldn't find her "gift." Then, she discovered writing, and she became a famous author, having best seller books worldwide.

After the stories, the campers and counselors went to bed. They knew they had a long day and week ahead of them.

The next morning, the camp met at the mess hall for breakfast. The girls in the kayaking group were excited because they were starting their experiences with the kayaks today. They were disappointed to find out that they wouldn't be starting the learning experience until after lunch because the instructors wouldn't be showing up until then. So, after breakfast, they went for a hike around the lake.

When they returned from their hike, it was lunchtime. The instructors were standing outside the mess hall, and had lunch with the campers. After lunch, they kayak group headed to the pool. After everyone changed, they went into the pool, having exciting reactions to seeing the kayaks sitting around the edge of the pool. They were instructed how to pick proper fitting life jackets, and how to put them on. Bill, who was the lead instructor, demonstrated how to get into the kayak. Steve, who was the assistant, helped the girls one by one into the pool with the kayaks. Since the pool wasn't very big, the girls had to take turns in and out of the pool s they could all get used to being in the kayaks. They were having so much fun; they didn't realize they were there until dinner time.

After dinner, the girls went back to the campsite. Again, the counselors built a fire and picked four girls to tell stories. The girls told stories about ghosts, magic, and love. After they were finished with the stories and their snack, they went to sleep. Everyone fell asleep pretty quickly, because they were tired from that day's adventure. They didn't realize the next day was going to be more intense yet.

The next morning, everyone get up for breakfast. The kayak girls were especially excited, because their big trip was the next day. They were ready to learn everything possible before their big trip. It was all any of them could talk about during breakfast.

Afterwards, the girls went to the swimming pool to change into their swimming suits. Then, they walked down to the lake to start with their lessons in kayaking. The girls became comfortable paddling forward, backward, and even sideways. They even learned about the Eskimo roll before lunch. They had four hours to goof around, so they could get it out of their system to learn some new techniques before dinner.

After lunch, the group went back to the lake. Bill had demonstrated how to turn into a circle with only paddling on the side of the kayak, to turn the boat in that direction. The girls took turns trying the technique. Nichole's turn came up, and she didn't do so well at the technique. She ended up flipping her kayak. She tried the Eskimo roll, but couldn't keep herself from flipping back under water. So, she pulled herself out of the kayak, and came up for air. She was starting to freak out, because she didn't like the feeling of sinking into the bottom of the lake, and didn't want to be bit by a turtle. At that time, Bill and his daughter had made their way to her. Nichole pulled herself onto the daughter's kayak, which was almost like a raft, while Bill and Steve emptied the water out of her kayak. By the time it was emptied, she got back into her kayak and they tried some more maneuvers.

After dinner, the girls went back to the campsite to continue with their stories. Nichole was the last one to tell a story. She was a resident camper, and she learned a lot about the camp while spending her many summers there. She remembered being told of a spot on the camp called echo point, and she told that story.

Nichole's story was about a girl that went to that very camp they were at. The girl didn't want to go, but her parents wanted her to have a new experience, and basically made her go for a week. She did not like to socialize, and she hated the idea of sleeping in a tent with three other girls, and she despised bugs. Her parents still made her go anyway.

The girl ended up staying in one of the campsites out past the lake. They had just finished their rest hour, and were on their way to the craft building. As they were passing by echo point, they stopped for a moment. One of the counselors explained why they stopped. Each girl had the chance to yell something and to listen to it echo off of the mountains on the other side of the lake. Katie, who was the one who didn't want to be there, yelled "Katie go home!" and all everyone heard echo back was "No!" So, Katie stayed the rest of the week, and actually found out that she enjoyed the camp and was glad that she got to make some new friends. She ended up going back to the camp for a week every summer after that.

Everyone applauded Nichole's story. Some of the campers even came up and thanked her for sharing a part of the camp history with them. The campers all went to bed, thinking about Nichole's story.

Thursday morning had finally arrived, and the girls from the kayak group awoke, all with a spring in their step. They knew what today was; today was the day they were tackling the river, and everything that it threw at them. They were ready to take on the biggest adventure of the week.

After breakfast, they packed their lunch, went back to the campsite, and packed their things. Then, they practically ran to the vans, and traveled the hour to the place where they were going to start their trip down the river. While waiting what seemed like a never ending hour, the girls chatted with each other, and even sang along to the radio when their favorite songs came on.

Finally, the vans pulled into the parking lot where the instructors' kayaking tours met and everyone jumped out.  As they looked around, they noticed other groups arriving as well. They were able to distinguish who were locals and who were tourists like themselves. They were in awe by the beauty of the riverside, and the nature it had in store. The girls could barely contain their excitement.

Not long after arriving, the girls met with their instructors, and were on their way to start the adventure they had been waiting for. The group walked down to their starting point, loaded their kayaks into the water, and they were on their way.

As the group paddled to the middle of the river, they paused for a moment to take in the nature around them. The trees were like giant music boxes that were filled with life and color. Birds of all sorts were able t be seen flying from tree to tree, singing their songs as they went along. An occasional chipmunk or squirrel was spotted scurrying along the embankment lapping up some water along the way.

After everyone was in the water ready to start their adventure, Bill and Steve joined the group to lead them down to their finish point. At first, everyone was taking a leisurely pace; as they wanted t enjoy the calming waters and the peaceful sounds of nature surrounding them.

As the sun rose higher into the sky and bellies started to grumble, the group decided to pull off on a landing in the middle of the river to enjoy their lunch. As the girls sat and ate, they talked about the mild rapids they already maneuvered through, and the more fierce ones they were anticipating to come. They talked about the fish they saw pop out of the water, and how the one girl even picked up a water snake on her paddle. They even spotted a black bear mother and her cub drinking from the riverbank while they were eating. They even witnessed the cub catch a fish for lunch.

Soon, the group was off again to finish their expedition. No one was more excited for what was in store more than Nichole and Michelle, who were the most adventurous out of the entire group. They lead the pack after lunch.

"Don't get too far ahead girls, there are some rough waters ahead," Bill called to them.

"Sure thing," Michelle called back.

"We will be sure not to stray too far ahead," Nichole agreed.

As the group continued down the river, the rapids became fiercer. They tossed and turned the kayaks, and caused some of the girls to spin completely around as they traveled through the windy part of the river. As the river came straight again, one of the camp counselors noticed their group was two members shy of when they started that morning.

"Has anyone seen Nichole and Michelle?" Spike asked.

Everyone looked around, confused. They were enjoying themselves so much on the rapids; they hadn’t noticed that the two girls disappeared.

"Isn't that their kayaks over there?" Mushroom, the other counselor asked.

Everyone turned and looked where Mushroom had pointed with her paddle along the embankment. There were two kayaks there; the two that Nichole and Michelle were using. So, everyone paddled over for a closer look.

When they got there, they noticed the kayaks were flipped over, and the paddles were lying on the ground next to the kayaks, but the girls and their belongings were not. They skimmed the general area of the woods, but could not see the girls.

"Nichole? Michelle?" Spike called. No answer came back.

"What do we do now?" one of the campers asked.

"Well, they will have to be looked for," Bill said. "I don't want to ruin the trip for the rest of you, but these girls need to be found."

"Well Bill, if you and one of the staff members want to search the woods, I will radio it in and guide the rest of the group to the end of the tour," Steve said.

"Ok. Which staff member wants to search the woods?" Bill asked.

Spike agreed to stay and search, while Mushroom went with the rest of the girls and Steve to finish kayaking down the river.

For over an hour, Spike and bill combed the woods. They called and called for Nichole and Michelle, but could not get a reply. Suddenly, Spike stumbled upon a clue.

"This is crazy," Spike thought aloud.

"What do you mean?" Bill asked.

"This." Spike held up a piece of paper. It was from a tablet that was sold at the trading post at the camp.

"What does it say?" Bill asked, walking towards the counselor.

"It says, 'Hey guys. This sounds really weird, but we met a Native American Indian. He took us to his campsite. We will meet you before loading the vans to go back to camp. Nichole and Michelle,'" Spike read aloud.

"That is weird. What does it mean? There are no Indian tribes in this area," Bill said.

"Don't know. They can't be too far off though. The ink on this paper is pretty fresh. You can tell that I smudged it at the top of this." Spike showed the ink had been smudged at the top of the page, and the same color of ink was on her thumb. He knew she was telling the truth, because the backpacks they had were with their kayaks, so she couldn't have written it herself.

"Nichole and Michelle, where are you?" Bill called. Just then, another piece of paper appeared, this time falling from the tree branches above them, like magic. Bill picked up the paper.

"We are being brought back soon. One of the tribe members is bringing us back."

"How soon? The vans are leaving now!" Spike yelled into the woods. Another piece of paper fell to their feet. Spike picked it up.

"The Indian guide is bringing us back now. Meet us by the kayaks at the embankment," Spike read.

Spike and Bill raced back to the embankment, hoping they would find the girls safe and sound. When they got to the boats, no one else was there. They were really frustrated. Just then, Steve came over the radio.

"Hey Bill, have you found the girls yet?" The radio blared.

"Not yet, but we have a good lead," Bill answered back.

Suddenly, Spike and Bill heard some twigs break behind them. They spun around, thinking it was a bear ready to attack. They looked, and realized it was Nichole and Michelle walking back to the boats.

"Oh, thank goodness we found you two," Spike sighed, relieved.

"Were we really gone that long? We had such a great experience and we want to share it," Michelle said.

"That's right," Nichole went on, and she turned to face the empty space next to her. She had a flabbergasted look on her face.

"What's wrong?" Bill asked.

"Our guide," Nichole replied. "He is gone. I wanted to thank him or showing us the way back."

"Well, it's getting late, and we should be on the road soon," Spike said.

"Right, let’s get going, so we could get you girls back to camp," Bill agreed. He radioed Steve to let him know the girls were found safe and sound.

So everyone gathered their belongings, got into their kayaks, and finished their journey to their ending point on the river. Finally Spike, Bill, Nichole, and Michelle met up with the others from the camp and they ventured back to the Girl Scout camp. Nichole and Michelle, who were each in separate vans, told the tale of how they visited an old Indian tribe and how they were welcomed as gifts from their spiritual leader. They were guided through the village, met with all the villagers, and learned their way of life. They learned to respect the earth, and about all of the nature around them. The told the other campers how they learned that they needed to respect the land, or else it would be out to get them, and it wouldn't be in a good way.

When the vans pulled back into the camp, everyone was quiet. They were thinking about what Nichole and Michelle had to say. The vans had pulled into the parking lot, and the girls got to the mess hall just in time for dinner. After dinner, the girls had time to rehears their song they were going to sing for the last night campfire. The last night campfire was for the entire camp to gather around, sing a selected song or two, and also was filled with stories, and memories from the entire week that had passed. Nichole and Michelle were also able to come up with a shortened version of their story to be able to tell to the camp. They didn't care if the camp believed that they had really gone on this special adventure, but they wanted to share their experience.

The campfire lead late into the night. Afterwards, the camp went back to the mess hall to have their last bedtime snack for the week. The campers reminisced on their week, and mingled with their friends from their group and friends they made from the other groups. They said their goodbyes to their favorite counselors, as they didn't know if they would get the chance to the next day, since they needed to pack up the next day, and finish last minute chores around their campsites so it was the way they found it when they came the previous Sunday. Finally, the counselors called their groups to go back to their campsites to go to sleep.

The next morning, everyone in the camp met at the mess hall for breakfast. Despite having an extra hour of sleep, they were all still exhausted from the night before. Not a single camper could stop talking about Nichole and Michelle's story that was told at the campfire the night before. The campers, and even some of the staff, just couldn't come to terms with the fact that it was a true story.

Nichole and Michelle exchanged addresses before departing after lunch. They made sure to write each other often during the school year, and during the summer. The girls' story was told for many years after, even after the girls became counselors at the camp. The story was passed down for generations. So, every week, every summer, until the camp closed, the story of Nichole and Michelle was told. Only Nichole and Michelle knew the whole truth to the story, but the tale never changed. They made sure of that. When Nichole was property director and Michelle was camp director, they made sure to write it down in one of the storybooks that stayed at the camp, to be there even after they were unable to attend summer camp anymore.

© Copyright 2018 nikitasnape. All rights reserved.

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