Monday, July 16, 2007

Obligatory Camp Report

I'm back from my week of camping with 70-odd teenage girls (aka Girls Camp) and I feel like I should give you all a full report on the tomfoolery and shenanigans that went on. But you probably don't really care, do you? I doubt you care that my skin was practically pan-seared off of my body during the 100 degree/85% humidity days we had. Nor do you care that the bathrooms for our campsite were about 100 yards away, requiring a walk that resembled a Mario Brothers game: through a field, up a hill, across a road, climb over a fallen log, dodge several tree roots, find the only stall with toilet paper, and capture the princess. This made my 3AM trip with The Trots particularly memorable.

In fact, the only things I could tell you about this trip are rather embarrassing and therefore things that you'd be likely to use against me in the future. Wouldn't you? Like the fact that I abandoned showering by Tuesday, and by Saturday my hair was cemented into ponytail shape with 42 layers of sweat, sap, dust, grease, smoke and mosquito guts. Or that I voluntarily sang every camp song I knew, and even faked some that I didn't know. Or the fact that I manipulated my leadership powers to get my 9 twelve year old girls to do everything I didn't want to do myself like carry water, chop firewood, clean my dishes, and act like Sherpas bringing my camp chair and other belongings with us on all outings so I'd have somewhere to recline while they continued to do my bidding. I even made them practice their First Aide skills and dress some blisters on my feet. Feet that, given my state of dirtiness, should have required a bio-hazard suit before approaching. It was very good to be queen.

Perhaps most embarrassing though, are the cheesy little notes that I left in my girl's mailboxes. I really maxed out the cheesiness by liberally using scrapbooking paper, ribbon, multi colored pens, stencils, stickers, stamps, and shame of all shamefulness Lame Double Meanings.
  • "You're the 'Reisen' camp is so fun!" - attached to a baggie of Reisen candies
  • "High Five for Camp!" - attached to a plastic hand clapper thing
  • "Chews the Right" - attached to a baggie of gumballs
I'll tell you what, once you start down that Molly Mormon road, it quickly becomes a very slippery slope. I was glad there wasn't a scrapbook handy or there would have been some real damage done.

Suffice it to say, I did a lot of things that were outside of my comfort zone. I handled the cooking, cleaning, hiking, dirtiness, and usual camp craziness with style and aplomb. But dealing with the girls was a little more tricky. I found coddling girls that were missing their mommies particularly challenging. What do you say to kids who think 1.5 hours away from home is too far? I wanted to say, "Suck it up kid. You'll be home in 4 days, and your mom needs a break from your whiney face." Obviously I didn't say that. But I'm sure whatever drivel I came up with sounded pretty insincere. Sympathy isn't my strong point.

The best part about the Girls Camp though was the abject adoration of these little girls. They apparently loved being bossed around, and didn't mind being my personal slaves. In fact, they thanked me for it. And I got several notes such as these:
  • "You're a Flippin Sweet Camper!"
  • "You are the Best Leader at Camp! I love you!"
  • "I love you! You're the Best. And you will never look old."

That's right. I'm the Best and I will never look old. I think that just about sums everything up.


Betsy said...

Ohmygosh, Gretchen, I will be following in your footsteps with my own set of girls in about 4 weeks. I'll only be there for two days, though, so I'll have less dirt, etc. However, I'm sure I will get more than my fair share of crafts and cheesy notes (both writing and receiving). :)

erin said...

wow, i just don't even know what to say. notes with ribbons and real scrapbook paper? i didn't realize you even knew where to buy such wares.

nckuhn said...

Welcome back Mustard, welcome back.

Joseph said...

You will have to re-earn my respect after those disgusting notes.

Camie said...

That will be my own personal hell.