Sunday, August 18, 2013

Girls Camp

Girls Camp. Here's the situation. We only have 2 young women who committed to coming, they were barely 12 and had never really been away from home. A couple days before leaving 2 leaders backed out, leaving only me and one other leader to take care of everything.  We were staying at a place called Cinnamon Creek, it's a beautiful campground on the other said of Porcupine reservoir. They do Stake Girls Camp every year because there just aren't enough girls in any of the wards. So we had to haul our stuff clear across camp with a handcart, took about 3 trips and it was exhausting. By the time camp was set up, I was so ready to go home. The first night, we made tinfoil dinners, despite my words of advice, they were made incorrectly and almost all of them burnt. We were all pretty hungry so we ended up eating muffins and cereal. I felt like a huge failure and was on the brink of tears- exhaustion, hunger and a feeling of failure is not a good combo. Also, lucky for me, it just so happened to be that time of the month, so add some hormones to that equation. By bed time I was so ready to go to bed! The first night I got to know the other leader that was there really well. She grew up in India and had an awesome life story that was super interesting, and that may have been my favorite part of all of camp. This is where I found out that she didn't have much experience with camping and I started to realize it was going to be up to me to do all the dirty work. I prayed really really hard that night for a more positive attitude the next day. About an hour into sleep one of the girls wakes me up to take her to the bathroom that was forever away. After that, I couldn't sleep much because of the wind and rain, it was way too loud.

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. 

These guys were always doing weird poses for pictures.
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.

Phoenix and Bear Lake

It has been one of my busiest summers ever, and it is finally starting to calm down. We left Havasupai to travel down to Phoenix to hang out with Nate's family. We finally made it there, and pretty much had to stay in the pool the whole time because it was so hot. You know what they say, "I'd rather be dead in California than alive in Phoenix."

There was a lot happening all the time and not much time to relax but it was really fun to be surrounded by so much family and to eat constantly. 

All the uncles kept launching children and it was so entertaining to watch them flail around in the air. 

Nephew attack!

Just some of the nieces and nephews, still missing about 7 crazy children. 

Glow stick madness at the fireworks. Phoenix sure does put on a great show. 

The "dive-in" movie was super fun. The kids were so conflicted with whether to swim and play or watch the movie, but the movie won. (kids these days) 

The last night we turned out all the lights and dove for glow sticks for hours. It was so awesome to throw tons of glow sticks off the diving board and watch them dart around in the water. So much diving and fighting under the water. It destroyed my ears for a couple days, but it was worth it. 

We made the long drive home, worked for a couple days and then took off to Bear Lake for a long weekend. Bear Lake was pretty dang, especially compared to Phoenix. It was pretty stormy the entire time and it was too not be fully clothed. We were up there at the perfect time and got to meet up with Riana and Ryan and Natalie's family. There were so many people we knew up there that weekend it was insane. 

Riana's always got the hook ups. She invited us to go boating one morning. Nate and I were the only ones who got to get out on the water before the storm rolled in. This was Nate's first time "getting up" on the wake board. What? I know, it's crazy. Ryan was the secret charm to his success, it's all about the boar driver. And now he's already better than me. Boys are the worst for that reason.  
We love being on boats. 
Once the storm started we decided it was time to go have an awkward meet up at the Innes family reunion. It wasn't near as awkward as I was expecting. Partly because I had forgotten how awesome the Riana-buffer is and also because they are the nicest family ever.. We talked and laughed like we were old friends. Nate and I both wished we were in their family so we could stay for the whole reunion. They invited us in and fed us delicious snacks and treats. It was super fun, good people are the best. 

After that, we came home, I worked for a week and then it was time for Girls Camp...

to be continued.