Sunday, March 22, 2009

into the woods

town for Girl Scouts! (It's cookie season. Make sure you buy a box and support your troops!)

We had different groups of daisies and brownies who we would take around outdoors so they could start building up anticipation for overnight camp! We learned to cook over a campfire, how to start a fire (with lint and egg cartons), outdoor safety tips, and of course take hiking trips into the local state park.

Yes, I led a group of eight, 6-year old girls into the woods....what a crazy idea. Thankfully, I still had a fairly decent repertoire of camp fire songs to get us to the creek. As we marched on the trial they'd follow along with the Rickabamboo song....and I would make crazy motions. During this time I must have stepped in a nest because when I got home I was covered.

not with poison ivy
not with poison oak

but with


that's right. Ticks. Crawling, bloodsucking, faceless , merciless ticks.

Fortunately, most of them were only baby seed ticks. These kind of ticks do not require tweezers to pull out, but rather some form of strong tape. I prefer packing tape. It's clear, and holds well, but doesn't get all over the place when trying to tear off. Don't think I got away that easily because there were definitely some momma ticks in places that are too inappropriate to mention for a blog.

I stood in the bathroom crying in sheer terror. Having just learned of the diseases ticks can spread I cried my eyes out. My mom, being so patient and kind, took off every tick with tape and tweezers. She held my hand as I stood there shaking, and crying, naked. She made a call to my aunt. (Short bus' nanny) Who was an expert Girl Scout camper. We continued to peel, and of course in the most disgusting way, save.

*note* You do want to save your ticks for a couple of months in case you do get sick. Doctors can test the tick and you for lime disease or whatever infection you may have.

By the end of this traumatizing moment we had counted 144 ticks. 144!!!!!

Do you know how many that is in the world of a 13 year old girl who was going to be a cheerleader?

I had recently discovered two piece swimsuits, and was ashamed to show myself at the pool. I laid awake for hours at night trying not to itch. Crying in the night my mom would come into my room and sleep on my trundle just to keep me company.

It took a long time for those tick bites to go away, and the memory of those ticks will forever be in my mind.

If you're wondering about any possible Psychological effects, only one:

Massive use of bug spray whenever out in the woods. I am personally responsible for destroying the ozone.

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap, I do not remember this monumental event from your childhood. I was probably too busy being a self-absorbed college student. The day after we had a news story break here in St. Louis about a guy with Lyme disease who went in and shot up a bunch of people at church, we found a tick on Claire's back. EW. Glad you survived the trauma.