When I was ten my girl scout troup, all decked in green and satchels, waved to our clustered parents. I remember the smiles, and what appeared to be tears as our long yellow school bus drove away. We were leaving for the whole weekend. Our homework from school was finished or put off indefinitely. We sang with excitement and as a group. Bear songs, and songs with loads of repetition. Our big haired heads and thin bodies shifted left to right in unison. We looked like windshield wipers in wigs. We had an entire weekend of camping, merit badges, games, turkey, and bagels ahead of us. The quiet of the woods. All the cute furry animals. We might catch a glimpse of a fox or an eagle. Oh, the foolishness and enthusiasm of youth. They go hand in hand like girl scouts.
It began to rain before we left the city limits. Drops began to fall against the plastic windows of the bus. “Oh, oh. Its raining” one girl said in a somber voice. “It will stop once we get there” I reassured her. The singing slowed and became jarred as the other girls began to notice the sudden coolness, goosebumps, and the descending gloom of the skies in front of the bus. And behind us sunshine and dryness. The troop leaders, and a few of the older cadets had a short hushed discussion in the front. “They are talking about cancelling the trip.” “Good Luck. How would they find any of our parents?” This was the mid eighties, and even our parents did not have cell phones. Somehow the decision was made to go forward. Our girl scout ‘trek into darkness’ had just begun.