The next morning we had to wake up early to go on a hike up to a mine. I was really excited to see the mine, go on a nice hike and be in the mountains. The hike was beginner to intermediate and not that challenging but the girls sure did complain the entire time. It was so for me to not tell them they were little babies and needed to "man up" because that's all I wanted to say the whole time. I tried to encourage them and be positive, but it was so hard. I do not remember ever having a hard time hiking when I was in Young Women, aren't you just always in good shape when you are that old?
On the trail. These girls make me look like a huge giant, but I'm still regular-sized.
We made it to the mine. Miracles happen.
It was so dark and cool in there, I could have stayed in there all day.
We got back to camp and played some "minute to win it" games. I accidentally dominated, but it was kind of cathartic and it felt really awesome. (Such a good leader, right?)
We sang lots of fun songs. All my favorite songs were sung to way different tunes and it was a little disappointing, not to mention I could not sing them right and everyone probably thought I was tone-deaf to the max. The second night one of the girls got super homesick and scared and wanted us to do something about it. I had no idea what to do, we only have two girls, so we couldn't stuff her in the middle of everyone. And we were not allowed to sleep in the same tent as the girls, quite the predicament. After an hour of trying to figure out what to do, we decided to screw the rules and my co-leader went and slept in the girls tent (don't tell) The next morning it was the girls job to get the fire going, as I had taught them a pretty thorough lesson on fire starting. They couldn't get it going in time to get breakfast cooked so we had cold breakfast burritos.
There were snakes all over, which completely paralyzed my co-leader and made it a little difficult to get things done. The girls were not as helpful as I had hoped and we had to beg and beg them to help with meals and clean up and all that. Once they would finally start helping, it would take them 45 minutes to do a 10 minute job. So frustrating. Since no one else knew how to start fires or the camp stove, that was left up to me. I had to collect the fire wood every night, start all the fires, cook all the food. When the winds picked up I was the only one who knew how to anchor down the shade and the tents. I cleaned out the coolers, made everything rodent-proof every night and had to wake everyone up every morning. The priesthood situation was less than ideal. The stake said they would provide the men, and we were not allowed to bring any from our individual wards. The main problem with that plan was that the men were always helping other camps, there was not enough testosterone to go around.
After so much hard work, I was really looking forward to testimony meeting. Finally, I would reap the reward of all my hard work. But unfortunately no one bore their testimony. It was really disappointing and I went to bed feeling like a failure for the second time that week. The next day we had to pack up and get out. For some reason, the stake made us wait until noon to start, because they wanted it to be as hot as possible. This was the worst day for me. There was so much work to be done and the girls would not help. We nagged and nagged but they would not get anything done. I had broken down most of camp in time it took them to pack their duffle bags. It was about 2 hours of non-stop work getting camp packed up.
After that it was time to load up the handcart again and trek it across the huge field. I was the only one strong enough to lift most of the gear onto the handcart so I had to get everything packed up for each of the trips. The girls couldn't pull the handcart alone, so we had to push on the back. There was one point where I stopped pushing for a second and the cart stopped completely. After 2 trips of that I was sweating like crazy, and so incredibly exhausted, but our ride still hadn't showed up. I started loading everything I could into my car, while the girls laid on the grass because they felt like they were going to die. By the time our one priesthood helper got there, we only had a little bit left to load in the car and head out. I drove alone because I was all out of patience and room in my car. I blasted 'girl talk' as loud as it would go all the way to the church and it was one of the best car rides of my life. Once I got to the church I had to wait for about 20-30 minutes for the other car, because they decided to stop and swim for a while on the way out. We got everything unpacked and then had to go drop off borrowed gear. I had to make about 5 stops before I could finally go home. No one was home. It's weird how mad this made me. I was so angry because I just wanted to be done. I didn't want to have to do anything for camp ever again.
By the time I got home I was exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually. That week had taken so much out me that when I walked in the door I just cried and cried for a good 5 minutes before I could even tell Nate why I was crying. I know that this sounds extremely negative, and I really hate that. I was super positive while I was with the girls and gave them all the patience and care that I had in me. I wasn't expecting camp to be like this, I didn't think it was be hard in the ways that it was hard. I was disappointed when I came home because I felt like I did my calling wrong, because I didn't learn or grow in the ways I thought I would. I am honestly still kind of waiting for the lesson in all of this. I can't really believe that I was able to do it. I guess I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. And I really hope I never have to do that again.