Saturday, July 14, 2012

Camp Backlash, and catching up on the Blogfest

Howdy! First of all, I'm relieved to be home. Camp is always fun, but it has its down side. The new definition of "cankles" is "Camp Ankles", if that helps clarify. I twisted my right ankle the first night at camp. That's what I get for going out without a flashlight. Midweek, I had the crazy desire to tweet a photo of just how dark camp is, but it would be silly to tweet a black rectangle.

Just when I thought the right ankle was healing up, I whacked my left ankle with a kayak. That's what I get for trying to load kayaks onto a trailer by myself. Lesson learned.

We (the adults at camp) start out the week with high hopes and a boatload of work to do. We want the campers and PA's (Program Aides, the Girl Scouts equivalent of Camp Counselors) to have the best experience possible. We have the best of intentions, and a boatload of coffee to get us through the week. By Wednesday, we're running on fumes and in need of a break.

Wednesday is also the night that the campers in grades 3-6 get to spend the night. The week-long staff and PA's get the night off, and our replacement shift comes in to cook, run the activities for the overnight, and clean up. We get to chill. Or roast. We had a campfire and made smores.

Thursday morning is when my gasket actually blew out, and I was sent away for therapeutic reasons. I was seriously on the verge of psychosis, and had to get away. Luckily, the camp is very close to some great National Park and State Park facilities. I decided to head over to Cunningham Falls State Park. Either swimming in the lake or hiking to the falls sounded perfect. I chose hiking, since I'd still end up somewhere watery, and could swim later if I felt like it.

I drove over, looked longingly toward the Catoctin Mountain National Park on the other side of the road, and stuck to my guns. I wanted to see waterfalls, darn it. I parked, and had to make another choice. There were two routes to the falls, the cliff trail and the low trail. I chose cliff. It sounded kinda dramatic, no?

I had to stop about two minutes into my climb. Yes, climb. The Cliff Trail lived up to its name. It was steep. I kept going, and was rewarded. The other side of the mountain (read: hill to those of you who think we don't have mountains in the East) was a precipitous winding trail that mountain goats can appreciate. Even with my sprained ankle, I ran the whole way down, leaping from rock to rock. It was AWESOME!

I found the falls, splashed in the creek below, and then hiked off trail up the hill a ways to find a quiet spot to sit and read for a few hours. I was rewarded with this:

Behind my backpack there was a perfect lounge chair carved from rock, in sight of the falls. All I could hear was falling water and birdie twitterings. I sat there for about two hours, and then hiked back out.

The view from my seat in the woods. The falls are around that little hill to the left.
 The best part of this trip, my water shoes no longer smelled like the stinky lake where we kayak at camp. Their stink-free state lasted for about an hour, until I ran the afternoon kayaking sessions. I have to hose them out again. Ick.

Other random weirdness from camp:

1. The theme at camp was "Best of the West." We were supposed to be learning about frontier life and what it was like to be a cowboy. Somehow, a character was invented who took over the camp. The girls created "Bad Bart" or "Black Bart" or "Bad Black Bart" depending on who you asked. He and his gang tried to sneak into camp and steal our gold. Boy, would they be surprised to learn all our "gold" was actually fish tank gravel coated with metallic spray paint. We should have let him have it and been done with it.

We built a wagon, and the camp director painted it. After it rained, she painted it again! And we had horsies!

It was fun chasing Bad Bart all over camp, but we've never had so many skinned knees and twisted ankles .

2. We get silly when we're sleep deprived. One other adult enlightened us as to the definition of "weenus," which is the stretchy skin on your elbow. We spent a good hour thinking of ways to work it into conversation with our husbands when we got home. "Dear, we can see your weenus." "It looks like your weenus is sunburned." "I saw Bad Bart run through camp, his weenus swinging in the breeze." This was all highly entertaining Thursday evening.

3. Thursday night is PA movie night. We took the girls up to the theaters in Gettysburg, and they had their choice of three films. Lulu and I went to see Brave. I was really glad I brought my scarf to use as a blanket. The theater was really cold. I didn't need it to wipe my eyes. Much. Oh, ok. I wept. Sue me.

4. A man who lived nearby brought a kitten to camp. He caught some strays and was trying to find good homes for them. I still have his phone number. The kitten was cute. Should I call him back? Do I need another kitty?

5. I found a tree that had mitten-shaped leaves:

I think that's about it. The highlights of a very long, but immensely fun week. I intended to post this last night, and to interview the next person on the Blogfest list (Gwen Gardner), but I crashed and burned. I slept for 14 hours straight. I'm here again. I'll post new interviews by tomorrow.

I certainly got some reading done at camp, but I didn't do one lick of writing. I even brought the laptop along, but I never even opened it. Not once. I've been rewarded with an idea for a new YA novel. I'm abandoning book 3 of my current series to tackle the wilds of YA. Book 3 isn't as urgent in my brain at the moment, so I'm itching to start something new. And the New Thing has a lot of promise. And it makes me tingly to think about! :)

Thanks, and Ahoy!


  1. Congrats on finding a new idea for a novel that makes you tingly. That is seriously a good sign. Welcome back to cyberspace, too.

  2. 1. Hope the mental break was mended by the hike, if not email me...
    2. Heeheehee. Weenus.

  3. Sounds like you had an excellent week.

    (Weenus - I MUST use that word)


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