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Fabulous Fall Frolics


When I was in Girl Scouts, the Angeles Council hosted a “Fabulous Fall Frolic” weekend campout. Our troop was put in charge of Saturday morning breakfast and we were to feed several hundred scouts and leaders. We had come in late Friday evening – all our leaders were working parents – and we had slept out in the open because it was simply too dark to pitch tents. None of minded – we were tough and experienced at that point. We had been camping together for several years by that time and we almost knew what we were doing. When I heard the call go out for early a.m. breakfast duty, I volunteered. I was an early riser and I knew no one else would want the duty. It seemed easier to get to over with doing something I liked to do – cook – and let everyone else sleep or whatever. I did coffee, bacon, French toast, and fresh fruit for about 250 with a lot of supervision. I learned a lot and enjoyed it. The tree that we almost camped under had a rather large hornet’s nest in it and we didn’t see it in the dark. - so much for pitching tents in the dark. Later in the morning, the hornets were becoming extremely aggressive and then they suddenly went away – a very bad sign. The Forest Rangers came by within an hour and told us to pack up and evacuate. There was a large brush fire on the other side of the ridge. The minute the wind changed we were inundated with smoke. We broke camp, packed cars and trailers in record time and got out in record time. We were twenty-four hours early for drop-off and the parents were not happy until they found out why we had come home early. I remember the smoke and the smell and the cooking and that’s what the “Fabulous Fall Frolic” was to me. I am still able to fix a mean bacon and French toast breakfast but only if there are several hundred attendees and it is on an open camp fire grill. That situation just doesn’t come up very often – thank heavens!

Then there is apple picking. If one travels about 65 miles inland there are apple orchards galore. I remember stopping by the stands and smelling the fresh produce, mainly apples. My parents made this a weekend trek every year in the Fall. They also went for the dates and the figs and the pears. The ciders and juices were also very good. Now days we travel about 250 miles south for fresh apple pies. I’m getting hungry.

The best fall frolic I ever had was in the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec, Canada. It was chilly but the sun was shining through leaves the colors I have rarely seen. It was so total color, color, color on this path through the woods as far as the eye could see. We were there for the apple press. And some folks on the tour had never seen it before. I was far more thrilled with the leaves and the smells. I took so many pictures that afternoon. It is difficult to re-create the smells. We started traveling all over the US and Canada in the fall and it has yet to disappoint. Hopefully there are a lot more Fall Frolics in my future.

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