Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's a Hard Knock Life

Just returned home from a week at "Girls Camp." It has become a habit for me each summer to attend the churchs' Young Women's camp.
I attended 5 or 6 years when I was a YW myself in Colorado.
Back then we would go up on Colorado's Uncompahgre National Forest or Glade Park which is above the Colorado National Monument area.
It was rustic tent camping and cooking everything we ate over a fire.
It was freezing cold mornings where we warmed our clothes inside our sleeping bags before carefully putting them on.
It was getting out to start a fire for breakfast. (okay the leaders probably ALWAYS did that for us.)
It was using a cattle watering trough with cold mountain water running through it for our watermelon cooler.
It was digging trenches around our old bottomless WWII tents so that if the rain started, it wouldn't come into our tent, but run through the trench and away from us.
It was camping just with our ward girls so we had young 1st years and older councilors to do various tasks.
It was huge campfires that we sat all the way around in a big circle and became mesmerized by the embers and flames.
It was Joanne Soelberg always in charge as our YWMIA Stake President AND the Stake Camp Director for something like 17 years.
It was always (except I suppose the first year I went) having my li'l sister Camille around and all her friends to bug and enjoy.
All-Camp Photo 2009
Our theme this year was "SS Friendship", hence the nautical shirts.
Now, camp for me is up in the Santa Cruz Mountains away from cell phone coverage and some technology. BUT ...
We have cooks and a mess hall with concrete floors and relatively clean tables.
We have a rotating group of women who take turns being in charge.
We have toilets with running water that flush.
We have showers that can be gross, but did you hear me? We have showers.
We have 6 years of certification, almost identical to my childhood certification requirements.
This is a view on the forth year hike. They go between Big Basin Redwood State Park and Wardel Beach on the Pacific coast. It is about 16 miles and through redwood trees and beautiful flora and fauna.
Here are my first year girls. I say "my" because I am their activity teacher on Wednesday nights throughout the year.
Jenae is one of the Junior Staff. They are in their 6th year and help us run the place. They make it fun for everyone else.
We are filling white nylon stockings with flour for a "California Snowball" fight.
This year I am a craft lady along with Jenette Wheelwright. Our projects included etching mirrors and making small photo memory books.
Here are examples of their cute little books. They chose pictures from my computer via my camera for the friendship booklets.We also had them making friendship bracelets.Very different and very similar from my childhood.

I have come up to this camp about 10 or 12 times. I have been to camps in Oregon about 5 or 6 times. I have cooked with dutch ovens and pit cooked chickens and pork (never a whole pig though). I have been in charge of certification, councilor to 3rd years, lead the hikes, been totally in charge, now crafts. I like the girls and the women I've been able work with, but I think I've had about enough of the sleeping on the ground in a mummy bag, and having dirty feet when I get out of the shower.
Maybe 22 - 24 times is enough service for me.
That is more than 1/2 of my years consisting of a week at Girls Camp.


  1. wow I sure don't miss camp! Thanks for your service all those years! Keep it up so I don't have to go :)

  2. Looks like another great camp experience for the girls. I think Dave kinda missed going up there to do a bishopric skit this year.