Van E. Harl

OUR DAUGHTER HAS GONE TO GIRL SCOUT CAMP

Our daughter has gone to Girl Scout camp again this year.
She will be out of the house, not very near.
She will be sleeping in a cabin, swatting the bugs
She won’t be at home giving her parents hugs.

This is nothing new for her; she has done it, since the age of six.
It’s her parents who have the problem, their emotions are mixed
They are glad she is out there, learning to stand on her own.
But even with the dogs in the house, it is awful quiet at home.

The daughter will be swimming, singing and running amuck.
Dad will be emotionally lost and for the eighth time this week, washing his truck.
This washing the truck stuff, is something dad and daughter share.
Now he is out in the driveway, with hose in hand, perfecting his “long lost stare”.

The first year at Scout Camp, was her first time away from home.
We would be without contact for a week, not even a phone.
When we took her to her cabin, we figured, take our time, make the afternoon go slow.
After we had been there 30 minutes she looked up and told us “you could go.”

This was our baby and she was sending use away.
We walked back to that dirty truck, trying to hold tears at bay.
I guess she is not a baby anymore.
At the end of camp, we are going to have a more mature daughter walk through our door.

We have been hearing of her return to camp for a calendar year.
We would look at her, smile and say “that’s nice dear.”
At two months out, she had a 60-day countdown.
Arriving at camp, I had barely turned the engine off
before she had her bags sitting on the ground.

She was back at camp and ready to get started.
But her first mission of the day was to make sure her parents had parted.
She did not want them hanging around, crowding her space.
Our daughter was at Girl Scout Camp, this was her place.

So back in the truck, moving on down the “Trace”.
No need to worry, our daughter is a camping “Ace”.
She would be at summer camp, two weeks this year.
Two weeks without her, brings a little tear.

Our daughter has gone to Girl Scout Camp to work on being a better citizen.
If more girls were Scouts, they would be better prepared at life to “win”.
Make them strong and caring women so they can lead the way.
Make them prepared to work hard, do what is right and seize the day.

Our daughter has gone to Scout camp again for the third time.
We will miss her and talk about her, but we really won’t mind.
She benefits, we benefit and so does our great land.
So with a little parental effort, School and Scouting
our daughter will be ready to make her life’s stand.

Our daughter has gone to Girl Scout camp again this year.

Author’s Note: I attended Capt(s) Tamara Long-Archuleta’s funeral, in Belen, New Mexico. She was killed when her HH60G rescue helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. I live on Kirtland AFB and the HH60Gs fly over my house everyday on training flights. At the funeral her brother had put together a video of her life. There were many pictures of her involved in Girl Scouts in her youth. I took my daughter to Girl Scout summer camp yesterday (24 June 2003). The same camp Tammy went to as a girl scout. C-130s and HH60G helicopters (the one she flew) fly over the Girl Scout camp all the time on training missions. While we were there an HH-60G flew over and I could not help think of the young Girl Scout who became an Air Force pilot. Girl Scouting had a major impact on her life. The following poem is about young girls who grow up to be strong young woman. They have to take their productive place in society. No matter how short that time is.

Memorial to Capt Tamara Long-Archuleta
Rescue Rock, Rancho del Chaparral, NM: Memorial to Captain Long-Archuleta, USAF