Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camp 2009

Here's the (long) low-down:


the kiddos boarded a bus and I thankfully got to ride down with another adult (I got seriously green on last year's bus ride so I was grateful!)
We arrived WAY earlier than normal, fed the kids pizza, had a short orientation and then headed to our cabins.
I got 7th grade girls again :)
I was with 2 other counselors, but I was alone with the 18 girls for about 2 hours before either of them showed up. No biggie...I just gave them the "expectations" talk and watched them interact. They are amazing girls!
We were treated to the "Potty Rangers", courtesy of one of the girls having adorable underwear that 3 of them for some unknown reason decided should go on their heads...

(I have video evidence too...)


the first day of camp is always filled with questions from the 7th grade girls. "what do we need?" "do I HAVE to leave my shoes on the porch when I come in?" "Do I REALLY need my water bottle?" "what's the devo about?" "what's free time?" "what do we DO during free time?" "you mean I can do whatever I WANT during free time?"
Our group played sports (basketball and kickball) and won both thanks to me, really. Since our group was larger than either of the other teams, Pat and I stood on the sidelines and cheered them on.
Hailey and I saw each other twice (she's A's little sister, who had told me she was going to hang out with me at camp as much as she could since neither sibling of hers was there...but since she's in high school now and I'm with middle school that proved to be somewhat impossible)
We mined for gemstones and I got some HUGE rocks.
(the small one? apparently a ruby. we'll see.)

Oh. OH.
And I got hurt. Playing duck, duck, goose.
I'm not as young as I once was...and I have further to fall.
In all fairness, I saw that all the kids were slipping and falling on the semi-wet grass. And neither Pat nor LaJuana (the other adults in our lifegroup for the week) were playing. For good reason. And really, I thought to myself that I would probably fall but "no big deal"...after all, the kids were getting right back up!
I bounced. Starting with my knees and ending with my chest. And both were sore for quite awhile. And my knees? Still sore. According to my massage therapist (who, bless her, gave me a "love gift" yesterday of an absolutely free, no-strings-attached 90 minute massage) they're still very swollen and tender. I am STILL taking Ibuprofen.

Camp Coker Creek has gone green! Not only were there eco friendly disposable (compostible) plates and utensils, they also had "corn cups" instead of the normal styrofoam. I also noticed a significant healthy change in the menu. Whole wheat pastas, and whole wheat wraps available at every lunchtime, plus an amazing salad bar, and for the first time ever...skim milk!

Worship was led by some visiting band. The kids loved them. I listened from the front porch. Believe me, it was loud enough there :0)


Solo time with middle schoolers is always interesting. Trying to keep them quiet for 2 hours? Impossibility.
It was ok this year. Better than usual.
Doug gave me a ride up the mountain since my knees were REALLY killing me this day.
I sat and wrote letters to all the girls in my cabin. And a few extras to older girls in the lifegroup who had showed real leadership the night before.
Somehow Judy, LaJuana and I missed the lunch call...
We walked down the mountain...alone...about 20 minutes after everyone else had left.
We were talking about things going on in our church family that has the potential to tear it apart...or make it stronger. We're hoping for the latter.

(my awesome group of girls. They learned both the "zoo" game and the cup game on the same day. Headaches for Anna, LaJuana and I. I finally just joined them! Notice skunk rub-on tatoo on my arm. Abigail, our youth ministers 3 year old daughter called it a "sunk". And on the day it started rubbing off she told me my sunk broke)


Sports again. Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball. Pat and I played both of these. Anihalation was in order--we dominated in both games. And I got a couple of interceptions in ultimate! I've already told Anthony that we need to play sometime. He loves the game. I don't think it'll take too much convincing.

(We had just been scored on...I was not thrilled. And my shirt says "I heart/love boys who recycle. I can wear it...A recyles!)

Unfortunately I paid for playing the rest of the day by limping my way through activities.
And for the first day of camp I took a nap. Which was heavenly. And Hailey came and visited my cabin twice...bearing mini Butterfingers. Love that girl!
When I woke up, I ended up french braiding the hair of 4 of the girls in the cabin. Cute.
Worship, led by our student praise band, was amazing.
Quote number one from yesterday's post came in here. The girl was putting her towel on the porch and wanted to know if the bug was bigger than her fist or not, so she would know whether or not she could scream.
I told her it wasn't.
It may have been.


Our traditional day to go whitewater rafting, this year we spent it doing a service for the camp we've been attending for 9 years. We moved rocks from one side of camp to another to prevent erosion. The group I was with (all of the middle schoolers and about 50 high schoolers) was loading them into the truck. I was shocked--and proud--when instructions were being given and none of the 7th and 8th grade girls in our group screamed when the words "spiders, snakes, scorpions" were mentioned simultaneously.
By the way, we found 2 out of the 3. Snakes were hiding, but we had plenty of the other 2. Didn't even know Tennessee HAD scorpions. But we do. And they're poisonous!
We finished in less than 2 hours what it would have taken the camp staff over 3 weeks to do...and that's if they had no other groups coming in over those weeks.
The kids were pumped about it, and I didn't hear a single complaint about not rafting.

Of course this quote happened during that time:
Does anyone have a Tide to go pen? I got mud on my white tank top.
Why did you wear white on a work day?
I thought we would be doing easy stuff
We also had the hoedown in the afternoon, where we danced to our hearts content (and apparently I had NOT learned my lesson from Ultimate, so I danced anyway)
(Hailey and our favorite horse, Trouble. She's the one I rode last year. She can no longer be ridden--arthritis :()
I missed worship, because a girl in my cabin started her period. For the first time ever. And didn't want to be alone. Bless her heart. So I stayed with her, rubbed her back, and made a hot compress with a washcloth and ziploc bag.
I was glad there was only one.
Doug has to stop putting me with the 7th graders. I'm a first-timer magnet.
One year I had 3. First timers. In less than 2 days.
I ALWAYS come prepared (ha. Pun not intended, but now that it's out there I'm kinda giggling)
We packed and cleaned the cabin and spent some more time laughing and enjoying each other.


As we were stepping off the front porch to head down to the busses, massive downpour.
It only lasted 5 minutes. We were told to "hold" them for at least 30.
So we were late leaving out. And no cabin pictures (I realized this on the way home)
I had to ride the bus, since my ride had left earlier in the week. But leaving is much better than arriving--all the twists and turns at the beginning rather than the end, and my stomach has 4 hours of interstate to calm down again.
Around Knoxville I heard someone behind me say:
Hey! We're in Tennessee! We're almost home!

(we had been in Tennessee...all...week.)

Arrival at the church, hugs and "see you Sunday"s all around
I took Hailey home
And then I headed home for my post-camp routine:
drag luggage in house
greet cat
throw load of laundry in
throw load in dryer
(that last one didn't happen because I was afraid I would miss getting to Anthony's on time. His family, bless them, pushed back the departure time for family vaca so that we could have a meal together. He treated me to an amazing Italian meal, we went to Target, we kissed goodbye, and I sent him off to San Antonio. Where hopefully he's having an amazing time :)



Brooke said...

how fun!! :)

welcome back

Jen said...

What a great post to get to know you with! You have a glowing smile, and it's so obvious how much you loved camp!! Looking forward to getting to know you via SITS!!!

Teresha and Damon said...

I enjoyed reading about your camp adventure. I always wanted to go to camp, *sigh* I should have been a camp counselor. It sounds like a labor of love...right up my ally.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving comment luv, returning the favor

kris said...

sounds like a great week!! i want to ride horses (and get a free 90 minute massage!!)

Bethany said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! It's almost funny that you *always* get girls who start their periods...haha!!!! ;-)

What a great week for you, though!