Hygiene Kits

On our recent trip to San Antonio, I got to thinking about my hygiene kit – the bag that has all the stuff I use to get clean and nice looking. You might call it a toiletry kit, a dopp bag, a cosmetic case, or a utility kit. I was pulling out all my various kits to make sure I had what I needed for our trip, and adding stuff to it from around the bathroom, when I got to thinking, “There has got to be a better way.”

Girl Scouts are supposed to be prepared. Even though I have a pretty good packing list in my head for my hygiene needs, it would be nice to get it out of my head (I have better uses for that real estate!). And I need to start getting my children to pack themselves in such a way that I don’t have to bring backup toothbrushes. And since my husband and I sometimes like to surprise the kids (they didn’t know about the San Antonio trip until we told them to pack for a three day trip, and they didn’t know where until we got there!), that makes packing a little agonizing.

So I came up with a plan: Create packing lists for me and for my children, and then keep kits packed and stocked at all times, so it takes less than 5 minutes to get that portion of our packing done for each trip.

I started thinking about the way we travel, because that influences what you bring a lot. I started thinking about where we like to go, what we like to do, and where we might go in the future. We like to:

  • Camp (Scout style or family style) multiple times a year
  • Roadtrip to see family (some in state, some halfway across the country)
  • Roadtrip to go to fun places (like San Antonio)
  • Fly to REALLY fun places (we did Disneyworld a couple of summers ago)
  • Flying for Girl Scout related things (Utah this fall, for instance)
  • Flying for business (my husband, mostly)

Lots of variety. We don’t anticipate any international travel for the next few years, so none of my ruminating concerned that. But my thoughts led me to the conclusion that what I really needed was 2 or 3 hygiene kits, one for camping, one for road trips, and one for flights. Here’s my logic:

  1. My camping kit would ideally have unscented everything, so as to avoid unwanted animal attention. I don’t want to smell like flowers or vanilla when I’m in the woods. Also, on campouts of 2 nights or less, I shower right before I leave, and right after I get home, and don’t worry about it in-between. Therefore I don’t need to bring shampoo, conditioner, body soap, or a big towel.
  2. But I generally do like smelling nice, so my other kit(s) WOULD have flowery, sweet scented things. The main difference between a kit for road tripping and for flying is those darn TSA restrictions. And my desire to not check a bag if I don’t have to.
  3. A flying kit would be small, contain all the necessities, including supplies to make my hair pretty and clean, and makeup – just all in mini-sizes. I collect free samples and hotel shampoos for this purpose, but you can also order from Minimus, or get refillable bottles.
  4. A road tripping kit, though, can have whatever you think you’ll need in it! You have no restrictions from the TSA to worry about, all the room in your car; bring full size containers!
  5. The kids will definitely need 2 kits (Camping and other travel), but they can probably get away with not having a separate road tripping bag.

So, that’s the plan, and the logic behind it. Next post, what I plan on packing in my kits . . .

Look, they updated the site!

Since registration opened last week, GSUSA updated the convention.girlscouts.org website with some actual information. 🙂  And since I know eventually this site will disappear (or at least be replaced with 2017 information), here’s what I’m seeing as new:


They have a true schedule up, including lots of invitation only dinners and luncheons, most of which I won’t have an invitation to.  But this is what I think my schedule is going to look like, based on what I can glean from friends and what I would like to do:

Oct. 15 – arrive early, check in, relax a bit, start soaking up the lotion and drinking lots of water to deal with the desert.  My gills will not be happy, but with family in Arizona, I know how to deal with it.

  • 3-4:30pm – GSU session (Letting Girls Lead)

Oct. 16 – hit the ground running!

  • 8:30-10am – GSU session (GSLE Outdoors)
  • 10:30am-12pm – GSU session (The Highest Awards)
  • 1:30pm Hall of Experiences Ribbon Cutting (and then to the Hall of Experiences, probably my only chance!)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – Delegate Reception
  • 7-9:30pm Opening Ceremony (missed this in Houston, not missing it this time!)

Oct. 17 – time to get to work

  • 8:30am-12pm – National Council Session
  • 2-3:30pm Conversation of Consequence

Oct. 18 – rinse, repeat

  • 8:30am-??? – National Council Session
  • 2-3:30pm – Conversation of Consequence (maybe)
  • 6-8:30pm – Theme Dinners (I still don’t know if I want to do the “Outdoor Extravaganza!” or “Celebrating Cultural Arts!” They both seem very emphatic. 😉
  • 9-11pm – Adult Party (if I have any oomph left)

Oct. 19 – last day

  • 8:30-???am – National Council Session
  • 12:30pm – Closing Ceremony
  • pack up, fly home

But of course, I have no idea what my Council’s plans are for me.  Are they planning on letting us arrive a day early?  Will they pay for my hotel room Wednesday night?  So many questions still.

GSUSA has also opened up the Delegate only section of the website.  But I don’t have a password yet.  Maybe I’ll get one this week.  And no, I won’t be disclosing that information here.  Whatever it is. 🙂

Easter on the Road

7:00 am, Easter Sunday.

The kids are still asleep after a long exhausting fun day at Seas World.  My husband and I are checking email on phones and iPads and quietly discussing who would be getting dressed enough to go downstairs for the good coffee creamer (it was him).

I get a text from my mother, “OMG”.

Yes, my mother texts.

“WUT?” I text back.  No coffee = extra snark.

“Come see.  Bring the kids.”  My mom texts, but she’s not fast, so her messages are usually short and to the point.  Oh, did I mention that my mom went with us on our road trip?  Yep, she’s a trooper (literally, she’s my Troop Co-Leader).  She had a separate room, which made Easter on the road doable.

After we woke them up and padded across the hall, we were met by an excited Grandma, who couldn’t really explain what happened.  The kids quickly decided that the Easter Bunny is a crazy stalker dude, who followed us from Houston, spied on the kids to discover that they slept in Grandma’s room the night before, and left their Easter baskets and hid eggs there.  The eggs were hidden all over the room: on light fixtures, under pillows, in the mini fridge, with the free shampoo, and the hardest one was the one I posted a pic of: behind the ice bucket.

Mom also brought crafty stuff to do, just in case.  Decorating plastic eggs using ideas from here.  Duct tape wallets.   But nothing too over the top, because we had to hide it in the car from the kids.  The funniest thing to me was when we found some “bunny poop” on the floor:


I hope your Easter was as filled with fun and surprise as ours was.

So, this weekend is Easter, and my family has decided that we are going to drive to San Antonio for the 3-day weekend. It’s a shortish (3-4 hour) drive, and will be quite lovely with the highways all blanketed in wildflowers (BTW, April is the BEST month for road tripping in the Eastern half of Texas – I’ll try to get some good pics).

We don’t have family there, so we will be staying in a hotel. We’re actually going to go to Sea World.  We’re not especially religious, but the Easter Bunny does make an annual appearance, and probably will until my son is in middle school.

My question is, does anyone have any fun ideas for Easter in a hotel room?  My mother will be joining us, so we will actually have two rooms, and the Easter Bunny frequently gets confused and hides my kids’ eggs at Grandma’s house, so that is not new.  I was hoping that Sea World would have something going on, but apparently not.  And if we decide to have our usual Eggs Benedict breakfast, it will have to come from Room Service, which might be fun, but will definitely be pricey.

The good thing is that my son already begged that this would be the year we used plastic eggs filled with treats instead of real eggs that the kids decorated.  Wish granted.  But does anyone have any ideas for a little something extra to do?  Something funny, something snarky, something sweet?  Something that can be done with a kitchen or a lot of mess? 😀

Updated Packing Lists

Greetings, fellow adventurers!  Okay, so I noticed that all the lists I was giving you looked . . .well,  . . .boring.  And they were the ones I had picked up from my Council, from my Service Unit, and from across the web.

So I decided to update them!  Click the pics below to get the new, pretty, coordinating PDF packing lists.  Let me know what you think.  If someone out there likes them, I might go ahead and make other forms that go with them.


Packing List (Girl)

Packing List (Girl)

Packing List (Troop)

Packing List (Troop)

Packing List (First Aid)

Packing List (First Aid)

The Other List (Craft Box)

The Other List (Craft Box)

Camping SWAPs

Links to more ideas:

A lot of the camping SWAPs are the same thing you see twenty million times (like the bedroll and marshmallow on a stick above).  If you have a particularly unique one, I would love it if you posted a link or a pic in the comments!

Introducing a new puppy to the home pack is time consuming.



Eventually, she will be ready to go adventuring, too, but right now she doesn’t even have a name yet. 🙂  But I am spending my time time getting her outside in time, grabbing non-toys out of her mouth, and trying to get our other dog to accept her.  And occasionally I get a chance to do something Girl Scout-y.