Sunday, June 17, 2007

I survived!

Well I survived girls camp. I suppose all together it was a success. No one broke their leg, like last year. We took 18 girls and brought the same 18 girls home. No one froze to death, in fact no one even got sick. The camp across the road from us had girls throwing up, so we counted our blessings that didn't happen to us. The girls all got along extremely well and that was wonderful. The tent assignments that I had spent about 40 hours worrying about all worked out well in the end. Gosh, why do we obsess about things that really are not that important in the end? I felt lucky that we were in the campsite closest to the stake. It really was nice to be so close to opening and closing flag. Last year we were in the campsite furthest away and at the top of a fairly steep hill.

Here's a picture of me singing at flag, did I mention it was rather cold the first day? I have earned the name of hypothermiac, because I am always cold and wore many layers to try and compensate. Those hand warmer things are my best friend. The first night I went to sleep with one of those warmers griped tightly in my hand and I woke up several times during the night with it still in my hand. My favorite part of camp is singing the songs. Whether it be the silly ones like Fried Ham, Noah, or Princess Pat, or singing church songs around the fire there is nothing better than music and nature. It is also really wonderful to get away from normal life of cell phones and busy schedules. Camp was nice this year because we had more free time where we could be together as a ward. We had about a million different crafting supplies, and the girls had a great time making all sorts of crafts.

The first afternoon we were there, our leaders were in charge of teaching certification to 30 third year girls. One of the requirements said to have the girls spend time observing nature and then share their thoughts through drawings, poetry or interpretive dance. I hoped for lots of interpretive dancing but no one choose that option. We made all the girls walk up a fairly large hill from our camp #6 to camp #13. We brought craft supplies with us like pipe cleaners and modeling clay. This activity went better than I had thought it would, most of the girls really got into it and made some pretty interesting things. We did however have about 4 girls who thought it would be fun to climb 20 feet up a tree to do their observing. For a while it looked imminent that we would have another injury just hours into camp. We did however manage to get everyone back to the ground safely. It was fun to see what the girls had made, although several of their creations involved worms being eaten by birds. Here is a picture of me with another leader and our beautiful pipe-cleaner creations. We were glad when our certification rotation was over and on the first day. That night at opening flag we had the assignment to present the theme of "Be Strong". We asked some of our crazy 4th years to do this. We had the idea to do a take off of "Hans and Frans" from Saturday Night Live. The girls had not ever seen this, but thanks to U-Tube they got the idea of it. They wrote a very funny skit that revolved around the idea that they were here to "pump you up, spiritually". It was very funny and went over very well, although the rest of the week the other wards all just read a scripture so I hope we were not being to irreverent.

Here is a picture of all our leaders. It was great to have so much help. Especially the two sisters who were in charge of the food. I can not even begin to say how nice it was to not worry about what we were eating and who was in charge of getting the girls to make it. And not digging through the coolers to find things was also nice. Our ward had these fun shirts just for the leaders. We all really liked the camo theme. I found hats like the pink one in this picture for just $2.50 and so we got them for all the girls. Each level had a different color.

Here's a picture of all 18 girls. We loved all of them and were pleasantly pleased with how well they all got along. Aren't their shirts cute? We were slightly sad that our picture was on the second day of camp, but I think we all still look presentable.

This is me relaxing while the girls are doing latrine duty. This is also a good shot of my fanny pack. This pack was lovingly named "My Mary Poppins bag". This of course due to the fact that almost any conceivable need could be met by my wonderful pack. But onto latrine duty...Our ward has a tradition of having sort of valet service during our latrine duty time. When you come to the latrine you are welcomed by 10 - 15 girls. Someone offers to hold your jacket or personal items, someone else opens the door to the latrine and sprays it down with air freshener, before you enter someone has folded the T-P into a nice triangle, after you come out someone turns on the water for you and gets it to just the right temperature, someone offers you sweet smelling soap, after you wash your hands someone offers you a real towel to dry your hands, after that someone offers you lotion, and finally someone offers you a mint. If by chance there is a line, someone will give you a back massage with a little massage tool. The girls really get into this and it is a lot of fun. Of course there was no question-we won the golden plunger award. See next picture.
Last year we tied with another ward and we won a crown as the Latrine Queens which is really just as good. Because really it is not about winning the award, rather about the fun we all have together serving the others in our camp.
Here is a picture of a group of our girls. Notice their cute Rainbow bags. Someone donated these great tote bags, but they had a rather obnoxious drug logo on the front and back. I decided to try to cover it up and found this great fabric. I thought about going with camo, but it seemed like the Rainbow ward girls needed something rainbowish. A friend helped me to apply this fabric with wonder under. We finished all 18 of them in about 2 hours. I was thrilled with how they turned out. The girls loved them and personalized them with sharpies and ribbon. The bags were great for the girls to haul their camp manual, scriptures, and even water around all week. Yeah, I love it when a plan comes together.

This is me as my life is flashing in front of my eyes. For those of you who don't know, I am extremely afraid of heights. I don't know how they got me to do this. The girls begged me to is one reason. I can only attribute it to a lack of sleep that impaired my judgement. Another factor would have to be one of my best friends running the zip line. She can talk anyone into anything. As I stood on the top of the platform, I admit to questioning my sanity. I was pretty scared, but I did it anyway. Yeah me. I did scream for most of it and kept my eyes closed. I did open them so I could watch my landing and not hit the platform. Unfortunately when I opened my eyes all I could see was a platform that seemed forever away. The bummer part was that because of my timid departure, I had stopped quite a distance from the other platform. This meant that I had to pull myself the rest of the way. The other reason I said I would do it, was because I was assured that it required no physical ability whatsoever. This would have been true if I had made it all the way. Unfortunately my lack of upper body strength was evident to all, most of all myself. Finally after what seemed like forever the priesthood reached out and pulled me back to the safety of the ground. I have to admit that it was pretty fun and so I tried it again. This time I made it further but still had to pull myself a bit.

This is a picture of the lovely makeover I receive at Friday's morning flag ceremony. Don't I look beautiful? I did however win the loudest applause from the audience when they were asked to vote on whose makeover was the best. And the makeup did not come out of my shirt when I washed it, Oh well.

This is me bagged up and ready to go home on Friday night. We had these darn green plastic bags for our trash. They had been stored for a year out in the scout closet and they were fused together. It took something akin to superhuman powers just to get them opened. After wrestling with the darn thing for a while I managed to get it open a little and so I stuck my leg into it to help open it the rest of the way. And once I had one leg in, well I just had to see if all of me could fit. Chalk it up to lots of sleep deprivation.

All in all, it was a great week with lots of fun and little sleep. I am still trying to recover and I have slept for about 10 hours every night. Jared is gone to scout camp this week and so things are a little bit quieter. Maybe I will be able to get my house put back together. Everyone here survived pretty well. Diana lucked out because a friend picked her up at noon last Tuesday and she did not come home until 2:00 pm on Saturday. Marion was pretty busy and she was having so much fun over there, she asked to stay again each night. With Trent at work each day, that just left Jared here to fend for himself.


Lisa said...

Wow pat. You must be the most fun camp leader ever! I'm glad you survived. Welcome home.

Lutopia said...

You and the zip's just INCONCEIVABLE!