*note: all posts this week (Sunday - Thursday) are scheduled posts. I am WAY out of cell phone and wireless network range. I love your comments and will look forward to reading them when I return on Friday!
My first camping experience with the youth group at Woodmont was...interesting. I had no desire to actually volunteer with the youth group-- I worked with middle schoolers every day! So when I was invited to go to camp I hesitated. But truth be told, I got bored in the summers and then they dangled the prospect of going whitewater rafting in front of me and I jumped at it.
(Incidentally, Anthony tells me he noticed me at camp that year. He was interning, and since they're busier than anyone else on the grounds we never really talked. But he says he thought I was "cute". Heehee)
Anyway, I rode up with my friend Vera, and when we got there we had a small orientation in the retreat center. Keep in mind that I knew NONE of these students.
Doug reads off my name, along with another adults name and says "oh, but Lora...Angie will be here tomorrow afternoon. You're on your own tonight"
And then he reads off the name of 15 7th and 8th grade girls and says "Follow Lora to the Eagles Nest"
Well...I had no idea WHERE that was, so thankfully a camp staff member joined us on the hike.
It had been raining...no, POURING. And the Eagles Nest just happens to be a part of Indian Village, the group of cabins on the very tip-top of the campgrounds.
We had a looooooooooonnnnnng walk.
And true to form the middle school girls were quite vocal about it. It was muddy, they were tired, their bags were getting dirt, how much further.
I finally turned around and said something on the order of "Keep that up and your cabin's nickname will be the Whiners."
They shut up.
(although I felt awfully bad that that was their first impression of me)
We got to the cabin, made introductions, and because few of them wanted to sleep on a top bunk I got the honor.
We turned the lights out about midnight, just as the storm started.
A few minutes later I heard frantic whispering. I turned around and saw 3 of the girls huddled in the center of the room. "What's wrong?" I ask, and they respond "Nothing, nothing. Go back to sleep."
So I did.
I rolled back over, waited for about 3 minutes until the frantic whispers continued growing and turned over to say "Seriously, what's wrong?"
"We're scared of the storm."
So I drag myself out of bed, walk onto the front porch with them and assure them it's just a thuder and lightening show, nothing severe.
They don't buy it.
(and we WERE isolated in a dinky little cabin at the top of a hill. I can't really blame them for a bit of freakout)
I finally said the only thing else I could think of (I'd tried praying, hugging, reassuring...nothing worked.)
"Well, why don't we all pull our mattresses off the bed and sleep on the floor together."
And somehow that was the magic statement. 4 matresses magically fit in the space that about 2 and a half should have, and all the girls were asleep within moments.
I should have left my matress down there. It was the best night's sleep I got all week. Silly metal creaky bed frames.
(Lots more happened that week that I'll share in time. But suffice it to say at the end of the week I told Doug "I think I'd like to start working with the teens.". He was estatic. :0))