(Actual excerpts (and drawings) from my junior high journal.—Pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out so I can’t be arrested for any of these shenanigans!)
We took off early this morning for Brighton Camp. I love being in the mountains! The hike up Hernia Hill was a lot easier than I remembered last year. Someone's little sister came along this year...complete with a plastic purse.
|Cherubic Little Sister|
Our counselor is Krispie (as in Krispie Kritters cereal). She’s fantastic. She has a steel-string guitar and can play almost anything on it. The latrines are called Skunk and Daisy.
Two of the really popular girls are in our unit. Believe it or not, the four of us have a pretty good time together. We had a little dispute over the bunks though. We settled it by taking turns and rotating who sleeps on the top bunks every night.
In the afternoon we hiked down to Silver Lake, and after a couple of other games, we played “Grunt, Piggy, Grunt.” (Everyone sits in a circle, and someone is blindfolded in the middle. The blindfolded person sits on someone’s lap and says, “Grunt, Piggy, Grunt.” The person whose lap it is says, “Oink! Oink!” and the blindfolded person has to guess who it is by the sound of her voice. )
Now that in itself is hilarious. But Patches (the other counselor in our cabin) decided to play a joke on one of the girls who was “it” (blindfolded). Every time that girl sat on someone’s lap, Patches would run and stand behind that person and say “Oink! Oink!” so no matter where she sat, she always heard the same voice oinking back at her.
At dinner we had some rangers come, and Pippin came out in a sequin gown singing, “Here comes Smokey Bear, here comes Smokey Bear. He’s got a hot date. Here comes Smokey Bear, here comes Smokey Bear. He made the rangers late.” (Sung to the tune of “Here Comes Santa Claus.”)
We went on a breakfast cookout this morning with Dusty’s unit. It was awful. The only thing worth eating was the sausage. I wouldn’t have been able to guess what the pancakes were if no one told us beforehand.
I ditched the craft house this year and brought along my sketchpad instead, to draw the mountains and the trees. Then I went out on the cabin porch and wrote in my journal for a little while.
This morning we had certification. Second Years had to light four types of fire. Marie and I stuck a couple of matches under our pine needles, so ours just flared right up while everyone else was struggling to get a flame. Mine was a regular bonfire!
After certification was First Aid. Then we had our lunch cookout. It was fantastic. Marie and I are now the designated firebuilders, so we don’t have to do any of the other chores. We had triple-layer pizza in a dutch oven, salad, garlic bread, and chocolate pudding cones. Krispie and Patches got in a chocolate pudding fight and starting smearing each other with pudding. They looked so gross afterward, everybody took pictures of them.
We were supposed to be painting rocks for our “Brighton Buddies” when we noticed some girls were burning garbage in the incinerator, so we snuck away and tossed some firecrackers in the incinerator. That was a blast! (Literally.) No one was harmed in the performing of this prank.
Then our unit challenged the other unit to a game of “Paper Charades,” where you run into the counselors' room to get a word, then run out and draw your clues instead of acting them out. (I guess this was pre-Pictionary!). Then we had our dinner cookout—Cheeseburgers. It was good, too.
Tonight we had an Indian Ceremony on Century Rock.
This morning we left on an all-day hike. To start us out, Trix read something Helen Keller had written: “If I could see…” Then we split up into partners. One was blind-folded and the other had to lead her, and describe things for her, and let her feel things, etc. I had to lead Marie first. Then we traded places and she guided me. It was great.
The hike wasn’t very hard at all. We went up past Twin Lakes to the saddle and Twin Peaks. It was really beautiful all the way up, but whoever said “the best view is from the top” knew what they were talking about. I wish everybody in the world could have the chance to see that. Notice everything and appreciate everything. That’s what the things in nature were put there for.
Since this week was “Easter Week” at camp, we all made “Easter Bonnets” and had a parade. Pippin was the commentator, and the camp directors were judges. Marie made a tin foil soldier helmet and won first place in our unit.
Most of the skits were really funny, but the only one I can remember is ours. You can tell I wrote it, just by the title—“Senior Citizens Romper Room.” I was Great-Grandma Julie, Carolyn was Bigga Momma Stroganoff, Marie was “Mrs. Butterworth,” etc. We started out with “Sharing Time” (Show-and-Tell). Marie used Ember’s “Angry Doll” and said she used it when she was mad instead of yelling at her grandkids. Carolyn had a stuffed frog and said it was an old family pet they preserved after it died. Somebody else had a traffic sign and said they picked it up as a souvenir when they were crossing the plains. After “Sharing Time” I said, “We’re ready, Grandma Music,” and we sang:
When upon life’s mountain you are over the hill
And you think the time has come to start your will
Count your many grandkids, name them one by one
Trying to remember them is lots of fun!
Then I announced that we were going into the kitchen for warm milk and prune juice.
After dinner and skits we had Testimony Meeting (where we share our spiritual feelings). We all went around the circle saying whatever we wanted to, and everyone started crying, and blowing their noses (except for me). I wasn’t going to say anything, because I really didn’t have anything to say that would benefit anyone, but everybody else did, so I decided I’d better. I talked about my experiences in Washington, D.C. and people I’d met there, and their view of Mormons. One of them asked if I was in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! When I was almost finished, something came over me and I couldn’t say anything else. Not even “Amen.” That night I think I prayed more sincerely than I ever have in my whole life, and I just started to cry, and I couldn’t stop. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before.
Our cabin was the only one that didn’t get TNT (Tops and Tidy). We all had to go up and finish cleaning it after lunch. I was in charge, but I couldn’t see anything wrong with it, so we just moved all the sleeping bags off the front porch, and it passed.
At the farewell assembly, all of the counselors sang. Then Petunia bore her testimony, and Pippin told the legend of the Pine Cone. Then the counselors said goodbye and passed out the name sheets (with all of the counselors' real names—Krispie is Holly Richards. Her younger brother goes to our high school next year.) Everybody started to cry—then they sang some more and we got on the bus.
The bus driver got mad at us because we were singing two different songs at the same time at the top of our lungs. This is one of my favorite songs (the one that really made the driver mad, too):
Old Mr Jones, he had troubles of his ownWhen we got to Marie’s church, her brother Mark rode over on his bike and picked up our duffel bags. (Thanks, Mark!) Then Dad picked me up at their house.
He had a yellow cat that just wouldn’t leave his home
He tried and he tried to give the cat away
He gave it to a man who was going far away
But…the cat came back, the very next day
Oh, the cat came back
you know they thought he was a goner but
The cat came back
He just couldn’t stay away…
no, no, no, oh-oh-oh-oh, no, no, no, no…
The old man next door said he’d shoot the cat on sight
He loaded up his gun with nails and dyn-O-mite
He waited and he waited for the cat to come around
Ninety-nine pieces of the man was all the found
The H-Bomb dropped just the other day
Somebody was trying to blow the cat away
China went, Russia went, and finally the good old USA
Everything was dee-molished…
I keep thinking about last night’s Unit Prayer at camp. Krispie talked about a lot of things, but the thing I remember best is a story she read. It’s like a journal of a baby before it is born. You should have heard that story when Krispie read it. It really changed me.