Some of my favorite memories growing up were my annual camping excursions with the other church youth (aka LDS Girls Camp). I built a lot of friendship and always had fun – even though “fun” was oft disguised as leaches, torrential downpours, unforseen snow storms and injury. But they were great “character building experiences”.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend camp, but this time as an adult leader. I learned last time we went camping when I tried to put the food up nice and tight to keep it away from bears that we actually don’t have bears in Australia so I only had to look out for dangerous snakes and spiders. Luckily all we encountered were mozzies … a lot of mozzies. We set up tents on Friday night just in time for our campfire pizza to arrive (Dominos) and rugged up for bed. Then we had a wonderful nights sleep of wind and rain. Thankfully our mad tent pitching skillz kept us dry through the night.
Saturday was full of honing our camping skills (in the rain & thankful I brought my gumboots). The girls learned first aid, knot tying, bed roll making, emergency preparedness, and some competitions to test them. Then the rain (finally stopped) for 5 minutes and we all ran out into the sun. It reminded me of this scene from Portlandia:
Then the sun finally came out for good and some of us went for a bit of a walk … and found a tire swing! I can’t underestimate the joy of finding a tire swing amongst a dreary rainy day. It was the best present ever – even including the part where people fell all over in the mud attempting to swing on it. That night we enjoyed a campfire complete with skits, songs and s’mores (the most important “S’s” while camping … those and dry shampoo).
Thankfully Sunday was sunny (as per it’s name). We had a nice church service in the morning with crafting activities in the afternoon. For the evening we had a progressive dinner where each of the groups provided part of the meal. We made the best camping dessert ever (thanks Pinterest!). We filled waffled ice cream cones with choc chips and marshmallows, wrapped them in foil and then grilled them. They were ooey gooey warm goodness. For the evening we had a beautiful fireside devotional.
Of course because of the fun new friends everyone made at camp the last night the girls
giggled and whispered quietly played games, laughed loudly and screamed a little bit (from fear of bugs) in their tents. Normally I would care about the commotion but I was too busy thinking of the summers I spent at camp doing the same thing (just in an American accent and afraid of bears).