Week 4 and somehow I had the foresight to not haul all my stuff up out of the valley before finding out where I was going to be spending the next week. As it was, the powers that be liked me so well in Silver Spur that they just kept me there. And I didn't have to haul all my stuff back down to the exact same location.
Except this week, they threw me something new. An LIT. For you camp-lingo uninformed, LIT stands for "Leader In Training". Theoretically, your LIT is a younger staff member who will one day be a cabin leader, and who will currently act as a mature second-in-command to help lighten your work load while getting a taste of what's coming. In reality, according to a good number of the cabin leaders that I have spoken to, LITs just make you want to push them off the top of the iceberg. Happily, I had a very good LIT. She will make a good cabin leader.
Week 4 was Junior Week, meaning all my campers were nine or ten. And to make up for the one spare bed I had in all my cabins up to this point, Silver Spur was now overloaded so that my LIT had to sleep all week on the floor. She was a good sport.
Twelve girls living in one room. No bathroom. And still no locks on the outhouse doors. I am starting a campaign (and trekking to the Ranch House for hot showers). In addition to the twelve of us, at least three of the girls had a habit of transmogrifying into the "Sleeping Bag Monsters" Wushy, Bob-She-Mo, and Ducky every single time they had a hint of cabin free time.
I was starting to flag this week, so my LIT really proved to be a lifesaver. For some random reason, my left knee started aching and getting stiff and otherwise acting up, which is weird because I have never before injured it or suffered something like it. Yet for a day and a half I was wrapped up in a tensor bandage, wondering what went wrong. Then it got better (lots of people were praying). Then I got a sore throat and woke up all blah-like. I was sickish all day, but recovered well enough to still have fun with my girls. I wasn't the only one with health issues. On the last night, one of my girls said it was really hurting her to breathe. We took a couple trips to see the nurse, then I stayed up with her outside after lights out, talking with her about brothers, video games, stars, and poop until she felt it clearing up.
That night she dreamed about a rather tragic RollerCoaster Tycoon experience of mine I had told her about. I felt oddly flattered.
The weather was ridiculous. The first two days were humid and hovered around 40 degrees (celsius). The nights weren't any better. Our cabin was supposed to have a fan in it, but what a time to discover it was broken. We finally got to sleep on top of our bedding, half-naked, with the door open wide.
I am immensely proud that we managed to keep all our girls from getting heat stroke and/or sunburns. That is an accomplishment, if I may say so.
The days after that were all very cool (we spent some nights shivering) and interspersed with heavy rainstorms. The MUD! The horse corrals were almost knee deep with grossness in some places. Oddly enough, I was apparently one of the three non-riding staff with the brains to wear rain boots.
By this point, I think I have memorized the entire DVRC repertoire of wide games:
1. Sticks and Stones
2. Kiss Me, Dear
3. Capture the Flag
Plus, one "wide game" of free swim. Day after day for weeks without end. With younger kids we sometimes play "Going Bananas", and there's been the occasional new game that a program director will try, but they are few and far between.
The musical repertoire may be stuck on repeat, and the food menu is getting a little slim. I guess that's how camp works, though. Kids remember things from last year and want it the same way the following year. If you change things up too much, it may be fresh and appealing for the staff, but the kids will feel totally disoriented.
I liked all the girls in my cabin, and we had some great devo discussions. And *three!* girls made first-time commitments to Christ! I loved hearing them pray, and the different perspectives with which they understood things. They had so many questions on the technicalities of guilt and forgiveness.
Despite the rougher bits, I enjoyed this week quite a bit. I feel like my girls actually matured a bit through the week, which made me pretty proud of them. And I was super encouraged by the way they all treated my grandma, who was working at the DV kitchen that week. They went out of their way to wave hello to her, and were constantly commenting on how she's always smiling. It made me happy. All the same, I am glad to have this week off. I need the time to recover. Then, back to DVRC again for another 4 weeks!
If I don't post again until September, don't be surprised.
Camper, praying: God, it might sound weird, but thank you for letting Eve sin. It wouldn't have been any fun being like robots all the time.
Camper #2: I'm so glad I came to camp! I'm learning so much - I didn't know these things before! I want to be a counsellor one day!
Waiting for the hayride.