Our sessions began even earlier this morning and I came away with loads of new ideas from the “Camping Beyond the Basics” session.
We started trying to identify tree leaves using a dichotomous key (sort of like a flow-chart). Apparently I’m not very good because I got more than half of them wrong, but I think girls might have fun with the activity.
Then, we talked about alternative ways to start a fire. I even got to try making a spark using flint and steel. Now I want one!
Afterwards we discussed many interesting cooking methods, some of which I’ve tried before (buddy burners, milk cartons, tinfoil packets) and tons that I now want to try (garbage can chicken, box ovens, chocolate fondue on a buddy burner, cooking in a pit, etc).
Lastly, we tasted some pine needle tea out of a Kelly Kettle and it was quite delicious!
Then, I had to rush up to my room to finish packing my bag and bring it down before the closing ceremony so that we were all checked out.
During closing, they had us discuss different things we had learnt over the weekend and think about what we will be able to bring back to our own units. We finished up by singing “Go Well and Safely” before grabbing lunch and heading to the airport.
Somebody apparently needs to teach the hotel about math because I waited 25 minutes for a shuttle that comes every 20 minutes, but I still made it to the airport on time. I made it to my gate without much trouble (other than the long wait at security) but shortly after we were supposed to board, they announced that the flight was delayed for an hour due to fog. I didn’t worry too much and buckled down to get some schoolwork done.
Unfortunately, about an hour later, they announced that the flight was cancelled. Apparently, all of today’s flights to Sudbury and Thunder Bay were cancelled. One from this morning actually got all the way to Sudbury before they made them turn around and go all the way back to Toronto without landing. there were three more flights tonight, but I didn’t like my chances since there was no guarantee that the weather was going to get better and since there were 3 plane loads of people trying to get home.
So, the Guider I was travelling with (Jillian) and I headed over to the customer service phones they told us to use and tried to rebook for tomorrow. The first time we tried, we got lovely music for a few minutes before it all went silent. The second time, the phone told me that the number I was trying to reach did not exist although I hadn’t dialled a number…It was supposed to be a direct connection.
So, Jillian wandered over to the customer service desk and I left her in line while I went to find a pay phone (I didn’t take my cell with me to Toronto) and called my family friends who live in Toronto to see if we could spend the night there. Since they are basically family there was no problem and I went to join Jillian in line confident that we had somewhere to stay.
By that time, she had called her boyfriend in Sudbury who decided he was going to drive and pick us up. For the record, it’s about a 4.5 hour drive in each direction. About 2 minutes later, we found out that he couldn’t borrow his mother’s car so we were back to our original plan.
Still standing in line in hopes of getting our ticket reimbursed, we started up a conversation with the two women in line behind us who noticed we were wearing uniforms with “the Brownie cookie logo.” Apparently that proved that we weren’t serial killers and they asked if we wanted to share a rental care with them back to Sudbury. After a couple minutes hesitation (you aren’t supposed to get into cars with strangers after all) we decided that they looked fairly harmless and that at least we’d better together. We both really wanted to be back in time for class tomorrow morning. Plus, we were saving Girl Guides money. They could get money back for the plane ticket and just pay for our portion of the rental.
The drive up went very smoothly. I’m happy to say that they weren’t serial killers either. I got lots of reading in the car and we finally made it home a mere 5 hours late.
Moral of the story: Always travel in pairs and in your Girl Guide uniform!