Sometimes, in the middle of camp, a kid will say something hilarious. Most of the time, I think to myself, Don’t forget that . . . it’s the perfect camper quote. Most of the time, I end up forgetting it. So here’s one I’ve managed to remember.
As I was belaying at our high ropes course, I asked the little boy helping me out if he was cold. I was in a flannel shirt [and freezing] and he was merely wearing a t-shirt. In response to my question, he looked at me and said, “Oh, no . . . I’m not cold. That’s probably because I’m from Alaska.” Partly to strike up conversation and partly from curiosity, I asked him how long he had lived in Alaska. His response . . . “Um . . . well, I never lived there, but my parents are from Alaska.” “Oh,” I said, “so you have Alaskan blood in you, huh?” “Yep,” he said, as if that was a perfectly normal explanation. Priceless. I love juniors.
Yesterday, I had a bit of an all-star day, myself.
It started with camp prep. I’m not really sure why, but after about 20 minutes of cleaning, my ring finger and pinky on my right hand started to swell up and were itching badly. I still haven’t figured that one out. After lunch, I went to set up our Ginormous Matching Game [one of my favorites to watch]. Unfortunately, it involves 64 buckets. The buckets tend to get stuck together, and I wasn’t in a very patient mood at that point. Sheriff Tom came over to help me, and he found a method that seemed to work. The process was to turn the stuck buckets over and step on the handle of the bottom one. Then, pull the top one up and it would come off. It worked for me once, and the second time, the handle slipped ever so gracefully off my boot and I painfully managed to smash the bucket into my forehead. It still hurts. Sheriff Tom had a good laugh at my expense as I staggered around. [I laughed, too.] But that was only the beginning.
After the game, we had our first split activity time. I took the 5 girls out to shoot wax bullets. I was a little nervous about that part because I had been sent to do wax bullets before [sort of a training time], but ended up doing the .22’s and not the wax bullets. So I didn’t exactly know how to do them. I knew the basic gist of it, but still. Now, wax bullet making consists of taking a piece of wax, putting it in the shell and fitting a primer in the other end of the shell. I didn’t realize that you can’t reuse the primers. The only problem we had was that it wouldn’t fire. About 10 minutes later, I figured out the proper diagnosis. I felt like an idiot, but the girls and I just laughed about it and enjoyed the rest of our time. Then we got ready to leave.
The Broken I truck is a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and I like to think it can go anywhere. The shooting range we were at is out by the new lake. When I went out there the last time, I had been warned not to drive through the big puddle. So I didn’t. But that was a month prior. So the puddle I saw didn’t look very deep, and I decided to drive through. And the truck sunk. I tried to get out, and in doing so, threw mud on the female sponsor in the back of the truck. Heh. Fortunately, she just laughed about it and said, “Oh, you just know how to do things the fun way!” After the girls climbed out of the back, I tried to put the truck in reverse and inch my way out. It was working well for a few seconds, but then it just sunk again. So the girls and I walked back to let someone know the truck was stuck. Well . . . 3 of the girls walked back with me. One girl was feeling awful—too sick to walk—so the sponsor stayed back with her. Yeah.
The day ended a lot better than it started. Our campfire was probably the best one Scott and I have done. The indoor campfire is really the way to go. It’s lots of fun and removes some of the bigger distractions of winter campfires—cold and wind. We did a few songs that were just plain funny and ended in lots of laughter. [Not just with the kids. Scott and I were laughing the hardest a few times.]
After a hard month, I remembered why I’m here.
And I fell in love with camp all over again.