|Similar to the pathway we built. This one doesn't look quite finished, but you get the idea.|
We woke up at 7 am on Thursday. I felt great! Who said you were tired at Girls Camp?? I had gotten to bed relatively early (12:15 am), and that was definitely the most sleep I got the whole time I was at camp!
Anyway, we got ready and visited the Mess Hall really quickly to see if we got anything in our mailboxes. I think we all had a few notes, and I got a box of Whoppers from my Secret Sister! (Sort of like Secret Santa. Super fun! The day before I had received some knotted ponytail elastics and Sour Patch Kids flavored gum.)
As we were walking back to our cabins, we heard someone yelling through a megaphone to wake everyone up. On our lanyard schedules, they had forgotten to add Flag Ceremony, so almost everyone was still half asleep. We ran back to our cabins and alerted any stragglers, and made it to flag just in time.
For breakfast, we were treated to a delicious waffle bar complete with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate syrup! Plus bacon! It was SO good!!! Girls' Camp food is the BEST food! After breakfast, we slathered on bug-spray and sunscreen and filled up our water bottles for the three-mile hike.
The hike only took about forty-five minutes (maybe?). It was quick and easy! We stopped about halfway through and did some of our camp certification. We learned what to do if we were lost and how to preserve food. Then we finished the hike and had about fifteen to thirty minutes of A/C time - I mean, CABIN time - before meeting as a level at the Emerald City to learn to tie knots and talk with other first-levels about the nature we'd seen at camp so far, including on our hike. Except for the lake, that was basically a lot of pine trees, pine needles, and pine cones. Lots of pine. Gotta love the South!
When everyone was finished, we gathered in a circle and played games like 'Indian Chief'. That used up the rest of our level time, and we had another hour of cabin time. Our cabin played some more games and ate snacks we'd acquired from the camp store the night before.
Lunch was turkey sand 'witches', fruit salad, and animal crackers. Sadly, my animal crackers got soaked in watermelon juice. Ick.
After lunch, we got down to business. First we went to crafts, where we had forty minutes to make two different bracelets. But I am pretty inept in the craft department, and it took me most of the time to just learn how to start a paracord bracelet. So I was the last one to get my bracelet singed (holds the ends together) and my level accidentally left without me and one of the YCLs!
Luckily, one of the leaders from my ward/cabin found us and drove us around the camp till we found our group. They were learning about what to do when someone is choking and how to perform the Heimlich, so they demonstrated that for us quickly. We had some extra time, so we learned camp songs for a few minutes before going to...Shooting!!!!!
Shooting was purely for fun. Okay, maybe it was so we could learn how to use the guns, but it wasn't certification or anything. We didn't shoot anything bigger than a BB gun (at least I don't think we did), but we had fun for forty minutes learning to cock, pump, aim, and shoot the guns, and that's what matters! Then we rode back in the bed of a pickup truck (one of my favorite modes of transportation!!!) and went to Service.
We built a path!!! Well, part of one. Have you seen those cool-looking railroad tie steps? That's what we helped build! It was hard work. We had to move the gigantic railroad ties - with sometimes as many as six or seven girls helping - and put them in place, cut roots out of the way, level dirt, and more. But we had so. Much. Fun. It felt so good to be of service and to know that, every year we come back and use that path, we helped build it! It was so cool to work as a team and help to get something important done!
But it was dirty work! When we finished, we all had dirt in our lanyards, shoes, and gloves. You know that gritty, sweaty, AWESOME feeling? Yep. But it was nice to go back to the air-conditioned cabin and bask in the joy of something as unpretentious as washing your hands!!!
We stopped at the camp store on our way to the pool. Oh, standing in that line...in that humidity! Just five minutes and you have sweat pouring down your face! Anyway, it felt lovely to jump into the cool water of the swimming pool! But we only swam for about thirty minutes because we all wanted to get back and shower.
Oh, the simple glory of a hot shower! I happily washed away all the dirt and all the sweat of the day. But there was still a lot of day to go. Flag Ceremony, then spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. AND green salad! I was SO happy to see vegetables - I couldn't believe how much sugar I had consumed just in the cabin alone! And then dessert after 2 or 3 meals every day??? Next year I'm packing celery.
Thirty more minutes of free time before we went back down to the Emerald City for the ward skits. There were nine skits, one performed by each ward or branch attending, and each one was awesome! Each ward picked what they wanted to do, and each one did a great job! (Although, I have to say, ours may've been the best. :))
After every skit, we headed to the Destiny Program in the Rec Room. They showed several video clips about mothers and motherhood and our potential in those roles. Of course, it made a lot of people homesick and I may or may not have shed a few tears. But it helped me to gain a greater appreciation for my family and my mom. Here are the video links:
World's Toughest Job | Mothers and Daughters
We finished Destiny and wearily walked back to our cabins. Of course, as soon as I got ready for bed I was no longer tired! We read our scriptures, wrote in our journals, and again went to the other cabin for ward time. We began with a devotional on 'happy people' and listened to an audio clip from Mormon Channel.
Then we played 'Mafia', which is a super fun game, especially with a big group. All three of the Mafias, including me, ended up all sitting next to each other! It was a fun, exciting game, and everyone was sad to go to bed at the end. But our cabin didn't actually go to bed. When the game ended, it was after midnight, but none of us were ready to hit the hay quite yet. We stayed up playing games and singing camp songs for at least another hour before finally deciding to go to sleep...