Clearly I am not going to write an insightful blog tonight. Hundreds of words have been typed and deleted. The editor in my mind has been scolding me! That is Too Depressing, what is your point? I can't believe you would even think that!
So I guess that you will have to settle with a short story:
Jessie has been posting great pictures of the Cascade area. I really love that place. For years, my sister and I attended a church camp just outside of Cascade.
I was just out of the 8th grade, that first year that I attended. I had never been to a older youth camp before and it was a little unnerving at first. They sang songs at the oddest times and made people stand up and recite poetry.
Eating in the mess hall was hazardous too. You NEVER put your elbows on the table! If you were caught, it was one lap around the mess hall. Multiple violations meant that you never got to eat your meal at all.
I didn't know anyone that first year, but I had a great time. The girls had their own cabins and the boys were located a little further down the road. After lunch, it was a mandatory rest period. However, some of the guys decided that they would start a shaving cream expedition.
They marched boldly up to the girls cabins and pulled them out. Each victim was either sprayed with shaving cream or doused with water. Needless to say, the expedition was deemed a success from the boys standpoint until they were relegated to Kitchen Duty for the remainder of the week.
They had crafts too. That first year was supposed to be a macrame belt. Mine ended up looking like a book mark of some sort.
Campfires were also very fun. They did skits and sang silly songs. But as the fire died down, the campfire leaders would transition to a quieter more reflective music.
I loved church camp. It was not only fun, but so inspiring too. We would have our morning worship high on a mountain just as the sun was coming up.
One year, we had a Camp Olympics. The opening ceremony included the running of the torch with all of us singing our camp song. The torch was placed reverently on the pole for the volleyball net and then the games began!
We formed two lines facing each other for the first two events. The Egg Toss and the water balloon toss. The teams went on to other games and the finale was a volley ball tournament. The winners received some kind of homemade medals and the losers had kitchen duty for the day.
Audrey Neiwerth made sure that any child that wanted to go to camp could. Every year, her V W Van was packed to the gills with kids, sleeping bags and other stuff. There will always be a place in my heart for Audrey. She was a blessing to us all.
After a couple years, I got a little braver about challenging someone in the mess hall. They had a camp counselor named Sally Stetcher. She was very fun. But if you could make up a reasonably good rhyme, they had to do a lap around the mess hall. So, a friend and I stood up and said to Sallie, "Sallie Stetcher you forgot your stretcher. Round the Mess Hall you must go!"
Sallie was gone from the mess hall for quite a while and all of the sudden, we heard a loud bang! And there was Sallie carrying a stretcher!" We had to take our lap around the hall next.
Great times, lasting friendships and most importantly, some of the best spiritual experiences that I have ever had.
Thank you Jessie for bringing back those great memories!