By the end of our first day at Camp Crescendo, the girls in my Brownie troop had decided to kick the asses of some girls in Brownie troop 909. Especially Stephanie, the leader of their lily white group. She was a condescending punk, and even treated her own brownie buddies like they were second- class.
I am a leader of Brownie troop 808, but I wasn’t sure about attending Camp Crescendo this year. In fact, I almost didn’t. Just too much crap going on at home.
My fifteen year old, Danielle is three months pregnant. Yeah, nice going, huh? And Avery, my “sweet” sixteen son, was sent to a correctional facility after his umpteenth breaking and entering offense. He assures us that he never stole anything, nothing was ever reported missing. He just enjoyed the lame-brain idea of sitting around some rich person’s living room, drinking their booze and watching cable shows on their flat screen TV. When I asked him what in hell’s name he watched, he said mostly cooking shows. So, go to cooking school, I told him.
I blame my husband. Cam wanted to raise them more liberally, without any consequences when they’d mess up. I tell him this is his fault.
“Gee, thanks,” he says. “What’d I do?”
“You wanted a family,” I remind him. “I would have been fine without them.”
So maybe I choose Camp Crescendo as an escape, or my penance for feeling guilty about a lack of mothering instincts. It sure is lovely here: the ancient woods and freshwater Fox Lake. We bunk in log cabins, the cool air seeps in through the cracks at night, which I love. The hoot owls sound eerie, magnificent. And the girls are really nice. Polite. I usually catch up on the latest Steven King novel. Mostly I can get away from the shenanigans at home. An entire week with mostly strangers.
But the second morning, by the end of our first group exercise, even I wanted to poke Stephanie’s eyes out. I wondered how long before one of our girls took the first step.