I guess the kids weren't the only ones who missed me!
And I also gained a testimony of dutch oven cooking. Friay night is Bishop's night where we have dinner brought up and testimony meeting. We had a couple of brothers from the ward provide an amazing meal for us made entirely in dutch ovens. I didn't even know you could make food like that, let alone in that vessel.
I realize this is about three weeks late, but I now have the time and objectivity to give camp an appropriate entry.
June was an exceptionally wet month, especially for Utah. (Now don't laugh, but we received nearly 3" of rainfall just in June. That's pretty good for a desert!) It was also unseasonably cool. In any other situation, I would welcome a cool, wet spring. At 10,000 feet, the rain turns into sleet and hail.
It's also colder up there. Had sunshine broken through during the day to warm us up, it would have probably been perfect. Unfortunately, it was windy and cold and wet all the time. But, as in every situation, there was a silver lining. Because of the cloud cover, the night were warmer than we anticipated. Only one night did the clouds clear and the temperature hovered right at freezing that night.
Serving simply as a counselor in the ward young women's presidency, my responsibilities were greatly reduced. I made sure no one died. I herded them from the cabin to their respective activities. I was in charge of the skit and music. I was witness to the drama that pervades any gathering of 20 young women for more than two hours. I helped dig a hole to find a leak in the newly-installed water lines.
I brought supplies so they could tease out their hair at the half-way point.
And although it was different from any other experience with girls camp, I was absolutely stress free. I was able to sleep at night (aside from the bats that were also trying to get warm and dry in the cabins). My only worry was the nest of birds that had set up in the pavillion (where we eat). The mom and dad birds were constantly flying in and out to feed the new babies. It typically wasn't a problem as they took the same path each time, staying nice and high. Occasionally, however, they would both meet at the same time and one would have to perch somewhere until the other was done. It was during these moments that a bird would have to find a place to wait--and that was usually on the window sill where I was typically near. Seldom have people seen a grown woman drop so quickly to the ground and take cover until I saw it fly away. I think it was cause for great amusement among the leaders in the stake. (I, however, still see no humor in the situation.)We had a brother in our bishopric who had always wanted to attend camp, but until he was called as a counselor, didn't have a reason. He was an amazing asset to us. Like Mary Poppins, he had a trailer that seemed to be bottomless. If we had a need, he had the tool, know-how, or solution. What a god-send he was to us.
The best part of camp was seeing Maggie serve as a YCL. She is such a natural leader. She was always front and center, bright and cheerful. She did everything she was asked to do and more. If something needed to be done, she did it. I'm just so proud of her.
While I was helping set up and break down camp, I realized how necessary my year off (and release from the stake) was. I would never have been able to give my all to the calling and the participants. It gave me the opportunity to fully recover so that I could once again serve with all I had. Maggie and I left by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, were home by 9, showered and dressed by 9:30 and still had the energy to unload the car and put things away, start the laundry, and enjoy the clean house and welcome home banner that the family prepared for us. Daily miracles and tender mercies.