Friday, March 19, 2010


Senior Camping Trip. It was the middle word that made me balk.

Now, I'm not one of those girls that spends an hour getting dressed each morning, but I am the kind of girl that wears high heels whenever a situation presents itself (and sometimes even when it doesn't) and to whom walking down to the mailbox is enough recreational outdoor time for a week. Camping isn't really my thing. However, tied into the camping trip was the Great Race--a Senior class event that is so top secret that it's automatically intriguing. So, somehow, I found myself signed up for the camping trip and Thursday afternoon I was getting stuff together to bring with me.

At the meeting about the camp out, the event organizers warned us that we would probably get cold, wet, and dirty. THey told us to bring clothes suitable for such. That was where I ran into my first road block. I have exactly five casual T-shirts. Out of those five, only two of them are ones I don't mind getting dirty. It took me well over an hour to scrounge up another shirt I could bring, and I still had to bring one of my nicer shirts as my spare. Then came the problem of jeans. I ended up borrowing a couple pairs from my mom because none of mine were going to really work.

By the time I left the next morning, I had six bags and items. How I got that many, I don't know. Obviously neither my mom nor I know how to pack. I had two stuffed personal bags, a sleeping bag, a bag with my pillow and two extra blankets, a camp chair, and a cot. It looked like I was going on a week long vacation instead of just a weekend camping trip.

Now, I also have to point out that I love rain. It's just so soothing, peaceful, and beautiful. However, I prefer to love rain from inside. Hence, it was with some trepidation that I saw it was raining when we left for the church where we were meeting. As if in answer to prayer, though, it cleared up soon after we got there.

The group of us racers were supposed to leave around one that afternoon, but I believe it was after two before we actually pulled out of the parking lot. By the time we got to the first stop on the race, it was beginning to rain again.

I can't go into much detail about the race itself because of it's Top Secret nature, but suffice to say that thanks to the rain I got the wettest and coldest I'd been in a long time. If my teammates hadn't been so awesome, I probably would have been miserable. However, I somehow managed to have fun.

But the camping part had not yet begun. When we reached the campsite, it was still raining and, though it let up briefly a few times, it continued to rain for the rest of the night. The area around the galley and the main fire-pit was like a swamp. One of the senior's shoes sunk all the way into the mud. Around that point I began remembering why I don't go camping.

That night, though, all of us girls crashed in the same tent and despite the fact that anything said in a tent can be heard by everyone and we kept getting told to be quite, we put our heads together and talked and giggled for over an hour. It was like being back in middle school, but it was fun.

The next morning, it was still raining. The combination of cold and wet was terrible. Thanks to the Lord, though, the rain cleared up just before the second half of the race began.

In the end, my team came in third--not to shabby for always being one of the last to arrive at each destination. I found, though, that I didn't really care what place we came it. It was just a lot of fun to have participated.

The rest of that day--Saturday--was devoted to hanging out. We went to a pool that afternoon and swam for a couple hours, then played put-put golf in yet another burst of rain. It was fun. After we got back to the campground, we ate tacos provided by our wonderful cooks and then played games in the pavilion before gathering around the campfire and sending more peeps to their fiery deaths.

The next morning was freezing cold. None of us girls wanted to get up. In the end it was only the threat of the boys collapsing the tent on top of us that really got us moving. Shivering like crazy, we all got dressed and packed up our stuff, then lugged it all up to the pavilion where a breakfast of doughnuts, pastries, hot coco, and coffee awaited us.

Some of us had the starbucks drinks that were there and I choose to blame those on what we all did for the rest of the morning. As the guys worked hard on breaking down the campsite, we girls formed the Senior Squad and performed cheers for them to keep them motivated.

After all that, we headed home, stopping only for lunch at a pizza place.

As soon as I got home I took a shower and crashed, too exhausted to even say a proper hello to my family.

Even now, two days later, I'm still exhausted from the trip, but it was worth it. As I said in the first paragraph, I'm not a camping person. If given the choice between a tent and a hotel, there's no hesitation in choosing the latter. But the Senior camp out was something more than just a camping trip. I'm not really sure if I can even put words to it, but it was definitely something I'm glad I went to. I might have been constantly cold, nearly always damp, and pretty much exhausted, but I had fun, and that was something I wasn't expecting to happen.

I have a few more thought about the camping trip that I want to write about, but they'll have to wait until later. For now I leave you with, no galu govad gen. May blessings go with you.


Jake Kelton said...

I'm so glad you got to have such an awesome experience! Sounds like you had a lot of fun. Even with the poor conditions, you still managed to keep yours and others spirits up in a group effort to enjoy each others company. ^^ Hope you didn't get sick! Miss you!

Nathan R. Petrie said...

I love camping! ROFL But yeah, sounds like you had a good time!

By the way, I saw on your profile that you're a fan of Bryan Davis's Dragons in Our Midst series! Me too! I'm giving away his latest book "Starlighter" on my blog. If you think about it, stop by and enter!

Take care!