Winter Camp Report
March 11, 2009
I spent the weekend as a camp counselor for our church’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader’s Winter Camp. It was unbelievably fun. Not mellow and restful. But definitely fun.
I loved connecting with my cabin of six fantastic girls. We sang, did Bible lessons, talked about spiritual things, played silly group games, ate mediocre camp food, laughed, hiked, spotted several deer, tried out archery, made a few crafts, and generally had a great time. It was refreshing and inspirational, especially as the camp speaker kept emphasizing, “Our future is in this room.” It made me want to keep pouring my time and energy into children – my own, of course, and others when I get the chance.
The last activity we did before eating lunch and loading up on the buses to come home was “The Counselor Hunt.” Now, I was a Rookie Counselor. Most of the counselors there have been counseling camp for several years at least, and this was my first time with this age group. The Counselor Hunt is an annual event and the kids love it. They send the counselors out to hide (within bounds) and then release the children to try to find them for about 30 minutes. Counselors found accrue points for the opposite team, and ones left unfound add points to their own team. All weekend I kept scoping out spots to hide, but was quite sure I would not be able to achieve concealment for long.
I thought of climbing a tree, but none of them “in bounds” seemed thick enough to avoid detection. Finally I settled on a ditch that ran nearly though the center of camp. I crunched down through the leaves and found a pile of fallen tree limbs. I then wedged myself in as far as I could and zipped up Dave’s borrowed jacket (sort of beige in color) around my knees and up to my chin. So, I was curled up in a ball and squeezed in among the foliage. Every time I so much as moved my head twigs snapped and the leaves rustled. I thought I was doomed for instant discovery.
I heard the children be released from the chapel to look for us. Screaming voices, running feet. In my peripheral vision I could see campers in the distance and could even hear snippets of conversation. “No, no counselors here,” and then retreating footsteps. I imagined myself a hobbit, hiding from the Nazgul.
Bottom line: No one found me! I felt a ridiculous amount of pride about this. I emerged, stiff and sore from long laying in an uncomfortable position in a ditch trying to avoid being seen by 8, 9, and 10-year olds. Surely my sense of triumph is not commeunsurate with this accomplishment. But still, I have it.
If only I could discover an equally effective hiding place in my own home for those times when I need concealment from the demands and complaints and needs of my children…