By: Lillian Grace J.

This year I attended the Outdoor Blast 2018. This event was an annual fun and training filled weekend for adults but this year older girls were invited to come for the day on Saturday. Our leader brought this opportunity to our troop meeting and we picked the activities we wanted to do from there. We chose Gourmet Outdoor Cooking, Fire Starting, Lashing and Archery. I took away so much information from these activities!
On Saturday, we started with Gourmet Outdoor Cooking, which was great because that meant we were cooking our own lunch. For this course everyone took care of camp kapers then we got straight to work on our lunch. My group worked on garlic bread made in a box oven and rumaki that was made over hot coals.
The garlic bread ingredients consisted of garlic salt, Pillsbury biscuits and olive oil. The rumaki was created with bacon, wrapped around a piece of pineapple and a water chestnut that was cut in half.  Our gourmet cooking class was pretty productive as every group had something different to contribute to the meal.

For lunch we ate turkey, a green bean casserole, garlic bread, and a mashed mixture of marshmallow and sweet potato inside of an orange. And eclairs!

We even had this dish called bags of gold, which was tomato soup with biscuits in it. The biscuits were filled with cubed cheese! So when you bite into the biscuits it feels like a dumpling filled with warm, melted cheese. I was so delighted when I tasted that little cheese dumpling.
After lunch we moved on to our next activity, Fire Starting. While I did not have much success in the fire starting activity, I still learned many things. An instructor explained the different ways to start a fire, just in case we needed it in a life-or-death scenario. Or if we forgot matches. She showed many different gadgets that we could buy that have fire starters in them. I wanted to pull up the REI app right away, and fill my cart with survival necessities. I did practice starting a fire with the help of a Girl Scout in my troop. We tried and tried but we couldn’t get our lint and sticks to light. Yes, our fire consisted of sticks in a frame formation with lint in the middle, it was pretty amusing to look at. We tried to light the fire using a magnifying glass but it did not catch the sticks or the lint on fire.
We soon moved on to our next activity, which was Lashing. In this activity we learned the art of lashing. Lashing is a way of connecting two things using knots. It was wonderful to be able to create a God's-eye, (I've always wanted to do this, but I never knew how.). So we wrapped yarn around a stick at least eight times before it actually looked like a God's-eye. I was just so filled with glee. I think I got a little too excited because I finished my God's-eye that day.  
Our instructor also showed us how you can use lashing in the wild. The instructors showed us how to construct a table out of sticks, and how to hold up a pot with a teepee shaped formation of sticks. Both of these formations were held together using twine and the lashing technique.
Our final activity was Archery. I totally forgot we had archery, but how could I? I say that because my mother was one of the outdoor trainers and she was so happy to be at Archery. It was pretty cool seeing the protocol for setting up the bows and how to shoot. I rarely get to partake in fun events such as archery. When our outdoor trainer was running through the different steps, my allergies started to show. I started sneezing, my nose became painful to the touch and my head started to hurt. This is because of the evil pollen that is everywhere in Atlanta in the spring. I sat back tired, in pain, and wondering why I ever hated naps as a child because I really could have used one right then. I decided not to participate in Archery but I watched and learned anyway. It was kind of hard to see if the girls made it onto the platform because the pollen made my eyes a little blurry. After the girls took turns shooting, we started cleaning up so we could head back up to the Pavilion.
Before we left each class, the instructors handed out the cutest little swaps. When I got back up to the Pavilion I raced to my mom's car and I had a nap. Well of course before I could take a nap, I got my participation patch after I turned in my paperwork.
Looking back on the Girl Scout Outdoor Blast 2018, I am really proud that I attended. So many girls miss these wonderful opportunities to have training. Outdoor training will be needed if Girl Scouts want to become some type of Outdoor Specialist or want to lead fellow Girl Scouts at camping event. This information will last a lifetime and I'm so glad that I went.

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