Every year growing up I looked forward to Girls Camp. It meant "roughing it" Young Women style. It meant playing pranks on other girls, it meant hanging with your Beehive sistas, chilling with the Miamaids, and kickin it with the Laurels. It meant planning lil' surprises for your secret sister. Wearing brightly colored bandanas. It meant going on the dreaded "hike" and giving your leaders H for it. It meant the endless annoyance of "camp songs." It meant laughs, late nights, and some serious fun. It was the ONLY time I ever got to go camping. As it is, The Chief grew up on an island and claims that he camped his whole life so why would he want to go now that he has a home with running water, a bed, air conditioning yadda yadda yadda. Fast forward to present day. I work at a private boarding school for at risk teens. I am one of their counselors, and every year we go camping. Part of our trip is a 4 day deep woods backpacking extravaganza. We carry EVERYTHING on our backs......ON OUR BACKS! The mosquitos were definitely in season....in fact I think I was almost eaten alive freckles and all. Incidentally, "Off! Deep Woods" was my new signature scent...don't worry, I rocked it. I came to the realization that as much as I deny it.....I don't like dirt. It's just so......dirty. Uphill is not always as hard as I thought it was. A good attitude and an IPOD are MANDATORY if you have 10 teenage girls hiking with you (word to the wise....an IPOD is absolutely indispensable). Sleeping "under the stars" is not as glamorous as it sounds....it's quite uncomfortable as a matter of fact..I mean I have a full size pillow top calling my name every night and you want me to sleep on the uneven, untouched, uncomfortable ground? As if. Also, it gets cold in them thar mountains, frigidly cold. There is NO cell service in the back woods so don't even entertain the thought of an encouraging text msg from your peeps. Don't even think about updating your fb status bragging to all you homies about what you're doing compared to what they're not doing. It's all very primitive in the great outdoors. However, the views are breathtaking, the air is crisp and clean, and the scent is heavenly. I loved waking up to the brightness of the sun rather than the the buzzing of an alarm. Being able to see the milky way so vividly was incredible. I was in definite need of harnessing my "chi" becoming one with nature, body, and self...highly recommend it. In reality the good definitely outweighed the bad (by leaps and bounds). I absolutely took myself out of my comfort zone on more than 14 occasions. I believe I grew from those experiences. My patience was tried and tested, along with my nerves. I surpassed a lot of the "limits" I thought I had. I learned that I can wear several hats in the same situation...that those hats can be changed at (excuse the expression) the "drop of a hat." Versatility was not one of my strong points until this trip (this is strictly my opinion). It was an excellent experience. Wouldn't trade it for anything......well maybe a weekend in the Bahamas, but you get what I mean.