I was also annoyed that it wasn't really "camping" like the Girls Camp of my youth. On my High Horse, I judged these spoiled Texans with their electricity, air conditioning, mattresses, showers, swimming pools, and food cooked for them! They were spending WAY more money than we ever spent, and there were WAY too many preparation meetings where I didn't know all the traditions and lingo. Anxiety started taking over, and I began dreading it.
As I was dripping in sweat in my 100 degree, 80% humidity house the day before camp, decoupaging this, and laminating that, I talked to my friend/cousin Sara with the worst attitude she's probably ever seen from me (except maybe when she dragged me into coaching basketball with her)! She did lament with me for awhile, but also couldn't stop laughing. With the wisdom I've come to admire in her, she gently reminded me that in five days' time I'd be blubbering on and on about how wonderful it was and cry about how I didn't want to leave. I laughed and, honestly, this time, I really didn't think that would happen. Although I had loved Girls Camp in the past--both as a girl and a leader--I was annoyed and stressed enough about this camp that I couldn't fathom having a positive experience.
- I got to know the sweetest, most obedient, valiant, fun, crazy girls I've ever met.
- I felt loved and appreciated as I served.
- I was able to reclaim the "me" that sometimes gets lost in the dizziness and monotony of motherhood.
- I testified of special truths to these precious Little Sisters.
- I bonded with other leaders, who now are part of my Stake family, rather than just a bunch of strangers I see at Stake Conference.
- I found joy in seeing these 16 & 17 year-olds find their voice and lead their little sisters.
- I felt the spirit over and over again.
Sure, no camp is perfect. It was a camp of 120 girls plus their women leaders. We had our fair share of:
- Sweat and A/C units not working
- Medical issues
- Searches for missing girls
- Nazi leaders
- Broken rules
And yet all the bad things seem to have been erased, and what lingers is a sweet place in my heart for the incredible week I've just experienced. So, Sara was right: I did cry because I didn't want to leave. And yes, I've been blubbering all day about all the great things at camp.
I'm left wondering just one thing: is it too early to start preparing for next year?