Monday, July 21, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly at Camp

I really had a wonderful time at camp. I loved it. Even though I was stressed right up through the drive there, that feeling of angst went away as soon as we got to camp and started setting up. I had a great time, and I think most of the girls did, too.

This year's camp was different than anything I have ever experienced, either as a leader or as a girl myself. It was a ward YW camp, not a stake camp. So all the planning and set up and cooking and activities and supplies and equipment was up to us. With just two of us really doing the work, it was tough. It didn't help that one of us was out of town for half the summer and the other of us' husband is gone. But we did great, if I do say so myself.

The Good:

Bellows was the perfect place to stay. The beach was beautiful, the camp area was shady and grassy, and it felt very safe. Some beach areas in Hawaii don't feel as safe, but I was able to sleep well - and that is extremely rare and important to me. Remember me yelling for dad to save my life in the middle of the night on Mt. Adams? yeah. that kind of thing still happens to me... but not this year!

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay was so fun. You should go there if you come visit Oahu. But if you are coming with a group, do yourself a favor and don't mention that little fact to the ticket people. They have crazy rules about groups there. I should add that to my bad list, but it turned out good in the end.

The hike to Maunawili Falls gets an A+. A week before camp, we set up a compass treasure hunt along the trail to the falls. The girls followed the clues along the trail, collecting little star beads in the YW colors. Brilliant. Swimming in the pool at the foot of the falls was cool. The girls jumped off the rocks into the water. I did not. The hike seemed to be the girls' favorite thing about camp.
Watching the sun rise in the East. Wow.

Catching crabs on the beach after dark.

Singing silly songs around the campfire. This is a secret that I have wanted to save as a surprise for when Nathan comes home, but I have to write it here, so if you are reading this, Nathan, cover your eyes. For fun this summer, Hannah's piano teacher taught her how to play the guitar and she took a little break from piano. Hannah is a genius and picked up chords in like a day. Watching Hannah play guitar by the campfire with all the girls singing along was so cool. (The day we got home from camp we had to rush over to the Haleiwa Arts Festival so Hannah could perform with a girl band. She played guitar and sang her little heart out. I'm hoping someone will email me some photos of that so I can blog about it properly.) Anywho, the campfire songs were great. You never know if the girls will go along with your ideas, and I was a little nervous that there would be some 'tude about singing, but I was wrong....the singing was fun!

Having the best babysitter ever taking care of my little kids. Cammie was a dream come true. She doesn't believe in television, and my kids were in craft heaven all week. They love her and are dreaming of the next time she gets to babysit.

The Bad:

Bellows is a military area and to stay there with a bunch of non-military people was complicated. I had to gather a load of information and fax it to the security people a few days before camp. Unfortunately my fax was lost and it took 4 trips to the gate (15 minutes from camp) to sponsor people on, and 4 more trips to the security office to get it all taken care of. Grrrr.

Planning and buying and organizing all the food is a daunting task. It is so hard to know how much food to buy. This year was easier than last year, as I made an awesome spreadsheet last year, but it was still hard. And though we did a better job this year splitting up the cooking between years, I had a hard time letting that task go. It didn't help that I seemed to be the only person who was capable of looking through the coolers and boxes to find the different ingredients.

A giant centipede in the middle of the night. Eeek!

The Ugly:

One of our leaders was a little bit left-over happy. She just could not let the leftovers go. That made for some ice chest challenges. Peach cobbler rewarmed and served for 3 days...Gha.

Girl trouble on the mini-golf coarse. I was having a fabulous time swinging the club when all H.E. Double Hockey Sticks broke loose. One girl called another girl a mean name, that girl started to have a panic attack, no one would take the blame or apologize....oh the drama. All the drama made our YW leader have a bit of a break down, too, which was surprising. What would camp be without the drama, though?

The bites on my belly. On about day two of camp I started to notice a couple of bites on my belly. When we got home and I saw myself in the mirror I almost started crying. I look like I have a bad case of the chicken pox. I'm told to keep cortisone cream handy and they should go away in a week to ten days (I hope it's gone before Nathan comes home...maybe you shouldn't read that part, either, Nathan.)

I heart YW camp!


txmommy said...

yeah for camp! and for Hannah! and that Nathan comes home in a few weeks!!
Sounds great.

Food is always hard, as are girls, sounds like you did great!

Mary said...

You made it! Great job Wendy! I was thinking of you and how much work it sounded like was ahead of you with everything that goes with girls camp. It sounds like the "Goods" really outweighed the "Bads" and "Uglys."

The treasure hike sounds really cool. But I'm confused about watching the sun rise in the west. West? or East?

I am muy impressed with Hannah's new skills!

jmcb said...

Wendy, your camp sounds like it went well. I am glad for a great babysitter. If you only had one breakdown drama in your camp then you did really well! I can remember having a breakdown with the girls in my cabin/tent at camp Liahona because the girls would not take their turn cleaning the bathroom - toilets. They had a maid at home who would do that!

wendy said...

txmommy - yippee!

mary - whoops. Rises in the East, sets in the west... we can't see the sunrise here on our western side of the island.

mom - luckily we didn't have to clean any bathrooms...we did have to cook and wash dishes though. I miss the "cookies".

Anonymous said...

Wow Wendy the Supermom and Super YW Leader! Sounds like you all had fun. Thanks for checking out our trip blog and commenting...Nate did too. Compass hike sounded pretty great.

Amanda said...

Wow Wendy! You are amazing!!! It sounds like it all turned out well, despite the few challenges.

How cool that Hannah has learned to play the guitar! :)

Yay for Nathan coming home soon! :D

Steph said...

I think that Hanna's guitar playing is cool too! I tried to play the guitar, but alas my violin fingers will not cooperate or coordinate to make chords. Wah.
Sounds like it was fun and you did a great job. I liked the drama description, it made me laugh although I'm sure it wasn't fun to be in the middle of it.
I hope your bites go away! said...

way cool!

glad you had so many awesome fun moments. sounds like the good stuff definitely outshined the icky stuff. at least one drama melt down is so totally normal.

hearing about the guitar and singing moment with your girl was so neat. awesome that she is sharing her gift with all of you.

welcome back, kathleenybeany :)

Mary Peterson said...

Sounds like girls camp was a success. I am excited to hear about Hannah's guitar playing. If I remember right, doesn't Nate play the guitar too? They could play together when he gets home! I'm so excited for you to be getting him back home soon! I love reunions!!!

Tori :) said...

I wish I had got to go to girls camp in HAWAII! That's so cool.

Suzanne said...

It sounds like everything turned out well, even though there were some moments of stress! Yikes about the spots on your belly. Hopefully they go away soon. And playing in a pool under a waterfall just sounds surreal to me. Wah! I want to come to Hawaii! :D