I’m gearing up to take 36 girls from my church’s youth group camping to a place that has a trash bear. Yep, it’s true. I’m insane. Due to our size, a group of us will be sleeping in tents and we aren’t allowed to bring anything smelly. Try telling that to 8 girls who are either 12 or 13 years old. Do you realize how much “perfume” there is in products? I’m trying to figure out what to do for my nightly face washing routine.

However, the bear isn’t the scariest thing, it’s that my daughter will be there. Now that she’s 12, our relationship has become a bit strained and I’m worried that I’ll embarrass her without meaning to. Is it sad that this is my biggest fear? Yeah, maybe. I know that she loves me, but she’s my oldest and I had so much fun with her when it was just us before her brother and sister arrived. In some ways, I know that we can’t ever go back to that time and that those feelings are more one sided. (Toddlers can’t remember much, can they?) But, I’m hoping in some small way that she and I’ll bond over nature. Because of that hope, I’m willing to brave a trash bear and thirty six other teenagers.