Category Archives: Camp Life

Never Pee Alone

At this point last week, I was wandering around a campground hoping someone would eventually notice me missing and come find me. 

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, cloud, outdoor and nature

For the first, and last, weekend of the summer, all 14 of us interns were in town. We decided to then all leave town and go camping in Buena Vista, Colorado. 

Image may contain: sky, mountain, cloud, tree, outdoor and nature

As those who know me well, or not so well, know, I’m not a big camper. But I did spend all of last summer as a camp counselor in a wilderness camp, so I thought, how hard can it be? I felt particularly scornful of the mattress pads and tents. I was a real mountain woman! I did not need such luxuries! (Though I’d take ’em!) 

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Sunday morning I woke up and needed to do my business. I started walking away from the campsite to find a convenient bush…and kept walking…and walking…and eventually it dawned on me that I had no clue where I was. 

Image may contain: mountain, sky, nature and outdoor

I listened for the sounds of my somewhat loud compatriots but could not hear them. I looked for familiar landmarks but suddenly felt unsure. Was the house on the hill behind us? Or did we drive pass it when entering the campsite? And where had that river come from?

Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, plant, tree, grass, outdoor and nature

I considered my options carefully. I could follow the river but, as there was definitely no river by our campground, this would get me nowhere. I could sit in one place and wait for someone to find me. However, I was not confident they had even noticed I was gone yet, or would think to walk this far out in search of me. Further, I was not dressed for the heat and already felt myself sunburning. 

Image may contain: mountain, outdoor and nature

Worse, the only thing on my feet were cheap, Wal Greens flip flops. Every rock and thorn punctured them and went straight into my foot. No matter how judiciously I avoided the cacti, they somehow found me. 

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

After wandering for what felt like days but in reality was only 30 minutes, I realized that if I could find the road that looped around the whole campgrounds, I could find our specific campsite. So I shoved my way through the brush until I located someone else’s campsite, and from there the road. I started walking on it until I heard distant shouting. Up on the largest rock they could find stood three of my fellow interns shouting my name. 

Apparently, they were the 4th group sent out in search of me. 

We made it back just in time for breakfast! 

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, plant, mountain, outdoor and nature

Moral of the story? Always take a buddy when you have to pee.

Advertisements

A Summer of Camp

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, outdoor, nature and text

I am currently flopped on my bedroom floor staring at pictures from camp and trying not to cry. It is an unnerving experience. I didn’t expect this sudden, unexpected influx of emotion. Camp was wonderful, but come August, I was ready to leave. I arrived desperate for a break and camp gave me just that. It gave me time to recharge and refocus. By the end of the summer, I felt energized and eager to tackle the world (or at least, law school.) I was ready to go. 

Biking

Perhaps because of this readiness, I didn’t mourn leaving too much. I knew I would miss several of my fellow staff members, but I’ve said goodbye to people before. It was a great summer but one that had now come to an end. I was happy to stick all my emotions and thoughts into a “Summer 2017” box and move on with life. 

mountain view

I guess, though, that I should have realized that a summer like I experienced needs to be processed through. It needs to be remembered. The good, the bad, the fun, and the painful…all those things are valid and part of my experience. White water rafting, hiking, horseback riding and big base kickball, those are things I did. Me! The girl who previously ranked hiking alongside cavities, or rush hour traffic. 

Hiking

Turns out, I really like mountain biking and kayaking. I love the mountains. I’m not half bad with kids (though I’ll never be an elementary school teacher!) I really like Idaho and Montana. I proudly wear Chacos. You know, before leaving I wrote a blog post where I said, “At the risk of sounding cliche, I’m also excited to find a new side of myself.” Turns out, I did!

Eating

Camp was everything I hoped it would be and more. I found a new side of myself. I relaxed. I was challenged. I made friends. I learned to live more freely and more fully in the moment. Going forward, my hope is that the lessons I learned and the peace I experienced over the summer will stay with me. God is good. It was wonderful to be daily reminded of that this summer. Whether in the mountains of Idaho or the streets of Madison, may I always remember that God is at work and that He will accomplish great things. 

I worked here.jpg

(Photo Credit goes to Joe Jank who did an amazing job with pictures this summer)


Camp Life 101

Welcome to summer camp, future counselor! Here are a few tips – 

1. You’re going to get a camp nickname. Embrace it. Just imagine yourself as Wasabi from Big Hero Six…

(Incidentally, my camp nickname is Kindle.) 

 

2. Walking, running, jumping…you’ll be doing it all! However, you’ll also be eating camp food which is chalk full of carbs. The camp life isn’t as healthy as you’d think. 

big hero 6

 

3. To be a good counselor:

YAS Mulan/BH6 crossover

 

4. This is how you and your fellow counselors actually look:

“ Phone Backgrounds → Big Hero 6 ”

But this is how campers see you:

Big Hero 6

Embrace it!

 

5. Some campers are going to love you. Others…less so.

Of course this would happen... I don't know who to feel sorry for though, baymax or rocket...

Regardless, love them all!

Tastefully Offensive on Tumblr, briannathestrange: Baymax from ‘Big Hero 6’ is...

 

6. Sometimes camp life is like this:

I just saw this movie, and this guy is awesome!

But it quickly becomes….

Big Hero 6

Be flexible. 

 

7. Always follow the Rule of 3 – never be alone with a camper. It gives you better odds when running from a bear

 

7. Camp life can be exhausting…

Big Hero 6 = Love.

And a little bit crazy

I love crazy! Big hero 6 Hiro and Hanz Literally died laughing xD

But it is always worth it!