Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gopher Guts

 I got home from camp a week ago, so I've enjoyed a whole seven days of air-conditioning, internet, car, cell phone signal, regular showers, and not-waking-up-before-6:30am. Being home is quite snazzy, but there is a ton to miss about the land of mountains, creeks, french-braids, giggles fits, campfires, and campers
Every week of camp has tons of memorable, precious, exclamation-point-worthy-moments. Here are a few of the highlights from this summer. Ask me for more and I'll talk your ear off.

Adventure Course has pretty much always been my favorite rotations and now I'm one of the over-eighteens so I'm certified for the zip-Line. While I was in the crow's nest, one camper in particular was frightened to tears being so high. Talking her over the edge was incredible. Lots of deep breaths and each small step taken one at a time. Despite her nerves she held on to the tether tight and rode the zip-line. You could see her smile the whole way down. When I saw her afterwards she ran over and gave me a huge hug, she was beaming with excitement and pride. She was gushing, "Even my mom didn't think I would do that, cause I'm scared of heights! But I did it! I was so frightened but I did it anyways!" I love that camp is full of those moments when you learn you can do the impossible and that makes you mighty.
Sharing that sort of excitement with campers is one of the high points of staff. Much like when I was rushing back from a field campfire with my arms full of cowboy gear and buffalo hats, giggling hysterically and trying to outrun a seriously ominous thunderstorm. All I could think was "This is the best job ever."
Pinterest uses a chalkboard to demonstrate the brilliance of camp 

Being on staff not only involves lots-o-comfort-zone-stretching, but a good deal of silly song singing as well. (And a healthy dose of alliteration). After 13 years at camp large percentage of my brain-space is devoted to songs regarding monkeys doing everything from jumping on beds to teasing crocodiles, crocodiles who eat ladies and/or said monkeys, plus any number of cute/cuddly animals being swished by cars. Not to mention the classics about the great chicago fire or little red wagons in need of repairs. Real life should include more random outbursts of ridiculousness and rattlin'bogs.

Talking while we canoed or cooked hobo dinners in the fire reminded me how very much I adore campers. One such conversation went roughly like this:

Camper: How old are you?
Me: 22
Camper: Oh, get married!

She offered me her brother, but then decided that he was too young for me, so instead she made up a story about a hornet that went on a date with me and fell so madly in love that he stung someone to steal their ring. Mr Hornet and I got married and had lots of half-hornet-children, who would sting anyone who annoyed me (which is clearly the upside to marrying a hornet). Another wonderful camper said she could sum up what she learned from my stories as:

"Be really frugal when you travel, then spend all your money on ice cream." 

A brilliant life lesson indeed.

Wildflowers staff are seriously the best group of gals ever. Couldn't ask for better.
[Who's there? NOT LITTLE JOHNNY! hehehhehe] 


  1. I love you and this. Best group of cowgirls a girl could ever wish for.