I’m back from the woods.
This weekend, I was with my youth group on a 4 day camping trip that was everything but a vacation. You know those glam-camping pictures that you’ve seen where people have everything from fur rugs to refrigerators in their decked-out tents. Well, imagine the opposite and that was my reality this weekend.
Some of the challenges were exactly what I anticipated and had planned for but it’s not possible to plan for every little detail.
Thursday, we left over 2 hours later than we had planned which meant that we got mixed in with the late crowd and finally got to our camp site almost 3 hours later I’d wanted. Setting up camp is pretty hard work and by the time we were done reconfiguring our layout and establishing our home away from home, everyone was pretty wiped out but hungry so we ate some patties and went to bed (and by bed, I mean sleeping bags).
Friday morning I had to help teach a camping skills class which involved the kids learning to bake bread on a stick over an open fire. But before that I had brought some homemade waffles that we heated up with chocolate sauce and maple syrup and ate with scrambled eggs. More activities then we made lunch, followed by even more activities and dinner. Walking back and forth from campsite to the activity center was a feat in itself and the kids tried to complain but it fell on deaf ears. That’s just comes with the terrain. Dinner was nachos with chili which the kids really enjoyed and ate their fill of. Then it started to rain and rain and rain and rain. Tents started to leak because the kids had hung things from the ceilings which pulls down on the poles and causes the water to seep in. So during the rain, I was tying tarps over tents and giving the kids instructions on how to fix the problems from the inside.
Thankfully no one got seriously flooded – well except me, since I woke up in a pool of water. Turns out in the mix, I had forgotten to fix my own tent.
By Saturday morning we were tired but there was a change of program to readjust after the rain and that extra hour or so did us good. We had a feast of fried dumplings with scrambled eggs and bean sauce. Yummy! We went for a worship service and came back to eat delicious tuna sandwiches. When the kids left for the afternoon program, I put my phone in a common area to charge since it had been dead for well over a day and started to make a Sabbath feast, camp style. While I was cooking, I asked one of my friends to get my phone for me and got the sad realization that my phone had been smashed in two places so what was an already broken-but-working screen was now a non-functional smashed screen. I decided to take out my frustrations on the food and just cooked until I felt better. I cooked two kinds of smothered pasta with beans and cheese, rice, another pot of beans and fried plantains. The kids ate until they were full and we went back to take a walk for fun activities. They played around for a while, we got ice pops from the camp store and went to bed all sugared up.
Sunday morning, our other director made us a feast of potato hash and eggs then we set to work to break down our camp site. It was hard work and hot work because a morning that started off very misty gradually became a very sunny one. When the work was almost over, we stopped and ate leftover pasta and rice and drank whatever we had left in our stash.
Our bus was late again, this time because everyone was trying to leave at the same time and there is a limit of how many buses can come into the area at the same time so we had to wait. When we got back to our drop off point, the parents cheered and gave me a bouquet of flowers. That was sweet.
Then the kids were gone but it wasn’t over because then we had to take the equipment back to the church for storage. Camping should be about the simple life but you might be surprised how much stuff is required to live that simple life.
Thankfully, everyone is back safe and healthy. I have bites over much of my body, including 3 large bites on my forehead and my left eyelid is swollen. I have a couple burns from my interaction with the camp stove and my fingers are stiff from all the cooking and washing up. There is nothing glamorous about the way I look right now but no matter how hard it is, it’s worth it. I love these children, I love spending time with them and I love seeing them use the lessons they learn on trips like these. And you know I’m almost recovered because I’m already planning the next overnight camp for sometime before it starts getting cold.
I wish I had more pictures but my phone broke so I hope I described it well enough for you to imagine it.
What was your weekend like? Best/worst thing that happened to you this weekend?Other than the blog, I’m on: Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, Bloglovin, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter