After school one day last week, Erin's girls scout troop held a final meeting as a play date and potluck in the park next to the school. The girls have been together for two years now and everyone (I think) is returning next year for their final year as a Brownie.
Then last weekend the troop got together at a local amusement park. "You used to WORK here Mommy?!?" Erin exclaimed. "That would be soooooooo cool!"
Um....yeah, no it wasn't.
Finally this summer Erin seems to have hit the critical height limit to go on most of the larger rides, including this swing ride which she just loved (she's the one with her arms outstretched).
The girls rode tons of things since most of them seemed to like thrill rides as much as Erin does. They went on several of the biggest fastest coasters and very fast spinning rides too. Sometimes the scouts joined me and John and the twins on smaller rides (the twins and Erin have a 4 inch height differential, and an even larger bravery differential.) Most often they split away from us since there were two other moms along who didn't have younger siblings in tow.
We all ate lunch together while we watched a musical show featuring the Peanuts characters, and before the show started they came into the audience and asked if either Kate or Allison would be part of the show. Kate wanted no part of that. Allison was thrilled. So John and Allison sat down in the front row in preparation for her cue to come on stage.
The show was about living on a farm and such and featured some of the hokey-est song adaptations ever. John texted me from his new front row seat, "Kill me now."
After lunch the big girls split from us again while we took the twins on some of the tamer rides and because it was a very warm day the twins ran through some of the fountains and sprinklers to cool off.
Then we caught up with the girl scouts again, or I should say we saw one mom (our co-leader) and her daughter waiting at the exit of a ride. Maya came running up to me, "Do you know where Erin is?" she asked frantically.
"WHAT?" I yelled, "She was with you and the others! What happened?"
Then her mom came over and explained to me that while the other mom and the rest of the group went into the big water ride, she wasn't sure that Erin was with them. John and I entered the ride from the exit side and made our way up the line until we found the group and sure enough, Erin wasn't there and no one knew where she was.
This place has security people all over so I wasn't so worried that Erin would be taken or harmed as much as worried about long it would take to find her (she knows her home phone number and address, but not our cell numbers) and how terrified she'd become in the process of getting back to us.
I grabbed Kate and headed to the "Lost Parents" building I noticed as we passed it a few minutes back and John and Allison stayed in the vicinity of where they last saw her to look around. Several minutes later I got a call from John, he spotted Erin with a security guard and got her. She was terribly upset and had been lost for I gather about 10 minutes. We had a simple talk about what to do if she ever becomes lost just a few weeks ago but she didn't follow my instructions, I was disappointed to learn. And I never fully pieced together exactly how she got separated from the others, but after he calmed down she wanted to stay and ride more rides, so we did.
Certainly not the best day at an amusement park we've ever had, but Erin hasn't dwelled on what happened and hasn't even mentioned it since.
Don't boy scouts learn tracking and stuff like that? Maybe the girls need to learn those skills too. I think at the very least they need to work on a buddy system concept badge.