"How was Girls Camp?" they ask. I see in their eyes that they're silently laughing that I had to endure three full days in the North Carolina woods with 19 teenage girls, where the temperature floated in the 90's, and the rain fought valiantly one evening to make us pack up and leave. They're visibly surprised when I respond, "It. Was. Awesome."
I love camping. I seriously, seriously love camping. I love the dirt and the tennis shoes, the tents and the dew-damp pillows, the trees and the bug spray, the pony-tails and naked eye-lashes, the tripping over roots and murderously late bedtimes, the sitting in the dirt and eating tinfoil dinners, but most of all, I love the bonding that seems to happen among the campers.
We camped right near a lake that held water almost too warm to be refreshing, but perfect
for playing. We swam across that lake at least once a day. And, as long as no one mentioned the f*i*s*h word, I was quite happy and content to bob along and pretend that we were the only moving things around.
I have to tell you, though, that I felt quite unprepared as I watched the other leaders start taking multiple trips from the cars down to their condo-sized tents with their arms full of the necessities of life for three days. We had three huge tents for six leaders, so they didn't have to spare any comfort due to space! Double-decker queen-sized air mattresses, cots, full sheet sets, plastic bins full of clothes (and one leader brought at least 5 pairs of shoes!), makeup, hairdryers, a card table and chair to go between two mattresses, rugs to put inside the tents, mirrors, scissors, blankets, pillows, shower caddy's, rotating fans and buckets full of snacks. I sheepishly picked up everything I brought with me in one load - a sleeping bag, a pillow, a duffel bag, and a camping chair - and plopped them inside my tent. While they were all busy setting up their fortresses, I rolled out my sleeping bag and pretended to keep myself busy by changing the orientation of my pillow.
As much as I teased them for it, however, I will readily admit that I was a huge
supporter of the rotating fan that kept our tent cool at night.
And, of the yummy-smelling Bath and Body Works soap next to the water spicket.
And, of the Chick-Fil-A that was hauled in for lunch one day.
These ladies know how to CAMP, my friends!
The camp theme this year was Survivor, and each ward chose a survivor location. We picked the best one - hands down!
We all got colorful sarongs, flowers to go in our hair, and we learned how to hula. It was so much fun!
We painted faces,
Can you figure out what's wrong with this painted rock (other than the fact that the word 'DOWN' is crunched at the bottom)? It took me 20 minutes. TWENTY!
But when I figured it out, I laughed super hard! The girl who made it laughed pretty hard, too. :)
One of the funniest moments was when several girls had to sing 'Ring-Around-The-Potty' as they danced in a circle around it. Punishment for leaving personal items and garbage cluttering the table overnight. One girl had left 6 items out...she had to stand inside
the potty while the rest of them sang the song. And oh, it was nasty. I was very grateful that by some miracle, all of my belongings made it into my tent before the collection was taken!
But, I think the best single line I heard the entire time was from Brooke:
"OUCH! My hair is caught in the zipper...I need help, you guys!"