Saturday, August 11, 2007

long overdue (2/3)

well, its been just packed these last three weeks. after my previous post, i was in senior high camp for a week. i had seven guys- five from IN, three from FL. it was a good week- my first with a group of campers closer to me in age. it was nice to not have to dumb things down and wonder whether or not basic words i was using made sense to them. it was a very different kind of camp, though. we had alot of free time. we split up and had options as far as what we did for morning activities. i went where i had the most guys. also, the meetings were different. we werent in shepherds hall like they had been the whole summer- they were in robeson hall. and, we werent leading worship. the evening guest speaker brought in his own praise team. they were a worship team lead by a christian hip hop artist. it was a dry week for me in worship. none of the songs that had grown to mean so much all summer were played. the tunes that were played were void of content and repeated sometimes 2 or 3 times in one day. the messages were great, and guest speaker chuck ryor hit the 5 points right on the head.
something funny happened on tuesday of this week. i keep a sewing needle on the outside of my pack weaved into one of the outside folds (the reason for that location is so i know where its at whenever i need it to mend my chacos or when mikey rips a giant hole in the butt of his only swimming shorts). in the morning meeting on tuesday i sat down in my seat, and lifted my pack and set it down in between my legs. i felt something scrape my calf. i look down and see it was the needle. i thought it was just a scratch, so i grabbed the needle to weave it back in its place, and it wouldnt go in. there were two dull ends. it took me a second to figure it out, but the needle was about 4 to 5 mm shorter as well.
you guessed it. it went into my leg.
i immediately went to the camp nurse, Dr. Powell, with my unique injury. we dug and dug and picked at the wound for over an hour, even making an additional incision with a razor blade to open up the skin above the needle. (oh yeah, no pain killer) it was no use. we bandaged it up and did our best to keep it from getting infected. it didnt get infected. the prosaic ending to this odd tale is that its still in my right calf, just on the inside of my leg directly under my knee. i guess my body blocked it off and my immune system kept it from doing any more damage. i was fully expecting to have to spend my weekend in the hospital trying to get it out. the wound healed and, if you like, when i see any of you, you can feel it under my skin. eww. gross.
also on tuesday i lost a several hundred dollar walkie talkie, puked up two chili dogs and a bag of fritos after an aggressive game of british bulldog, and lost a few straggling campers on a hike. despite all this, the Lord kept me from getting discouraged. at the end of the day i just told my floor-mate / prayer partner kieth "wow. what a weird day. i guess i'll give it another shot tomorrow." the Lord really game me strength that week.
on another note, the big senior high week was stash week. the beard i had been grooming all summer was minimized to a thick handlebar stash that connected at the points of my chin to some thin but long chinstrap sideburns that ran the length of my jawline. it was intended to look sketchy, but it actually turned out to look ok on me. i kept it for an extra week.
i made a few new friends senior high week. i had good guys, and some of them are interested in coming to RH next summer to be a CSI (Camp Service Intern). it was a good last week as a counselor at RH. or... at least, so i thought.
i was expecting my last week to be a cake walk- its Covenant Family Week. the kiddies stay with mommy and daddy and all we do it babysit them for a little while, and then run the ropes course or tubing or climbing wall. as it turns out, thats what most people did. but, a fraction of us counselors were chosen to be teachers for the week. teaching? seriously? my cake walk week turned out to be a full-blown VBS-type week. it was myself and Brynna in charge of the 7-8 yr olds. Trey and Abigail were in charge of the 5-6 yr olds. we created this massive secret agent story and system of activities and teaching. the kids all had to go through an "obstacle course" the first night as the start of their training for the week. once they completed this, they became Beginning Agents In Training (BAITs) and got their secret i.d. (it was a series of numbers and letters written on the inside of their left middle finger. it was kept hidden and secret from all others not of secret agent status, with the exception of parents and maybe siblings) i was AT88 (points to anyone who knows where thats from). Brynna was B12. i liked that one. it was funny.
so, all week long, we snuck around with these little kids "training" them in the art of espeonage, how to spell espionage, keeping themselves alive in the dangerous tricky world of being a secret agent, and many lessons from past agents like the mother of Moses, and Joshua, Ester, and Daniel, to name a few. this was all a marvelous thing that we got to do with them, creating i.d. cards and using clothes line pins as trackers and going on recon missions to find so-and-sos parents who are late to pick her up from the morning lesson. this is what we did in the morning and in the evening. in the afternoon we had to lead tubing trips or teach archery or help families through the low ropes courses. these things would not normally bother me, but this week it was impossible to plan for our next meeting and make ready our activities when the only free time we had was between 11 pm and whenever we could go to bed. oh, by the way, after the evening meeting, we all had a big group activity till pretty late. but, thats an aside. the finaly for the week was the head agent, "Z," contacting the BAITs to tell them that i, agent Scotch, had been captured by the Soviet Ninjas. yes, thats right, the Soviet Ninjas. they're dangerous and socialists and skilled in the art of fighting with a katana and blending in very well with their surroundings.
so, friday afternoon, i donned the darth vader mask and voice modifier and filmed myself as "Z" in a dark room. i told the FAITs (they had previously graduated to Field Agents In Training) what had happened to Scotch. i played some tape from a "security camera" of me sitting on the porch reading, when a masked figure dropped from the rafters above and puts me in a sleeper hold, knocks me out, and drags me off screen. it was up the the kids to find me and rescue me and detain the soviet ninja. they were armed with clothes line pins that would literally freeze whoever it was pinned to. they did this. they found me, captured the ninja, and completed the mission. i found out after i had been recovered that many of them were scared out of their wits by the video- dark creepy voiced figures and ninjas dropping from rafters hurting someone they know. looking back, i didnt make it with a "G" rating in mind. oh well. alls well that ends well. its actually good that some of them were scared. the ones that werent upset by the video consoled those who were and comforted them with the things that we learned in our Bible lessons that week. they encouraged them to save me because the things that God asked Joshua and Daniel were hard, but they did it because the loved God. and, since they love agent Scotch, they had to help save him. it was really touching. it was so worth it because the kids actually learned the lessons we taught them.
and so, camp came to an end that Friday. we cleaned up things around camp, and i wend to Asheville to pick up the counselor t-shirts that i designed. traffic was terrible. i lost 5 pounds between Brevard and Asheville because it was so dadgum hot and i was sitting on the interstate moving a foot every ten minutes. buts its all ok. i got back and we had the first annual counselor reunion weekend, which turned out to be just 2/3 of this summers counselors and no one from previous summers. its ok, though. it will pick up in the years to come. that night we went back to Dales (where we have eaten and worshipped every sunday night for the last month) and had pizza. people started trickling out saturday and sunday. it was a bittersweet time for me. it was the end of a long summer of sweet and incomparable fellowship, but the start of a new fall at a new school and an eventual return to chattanooga, my beloved hometown. but, on saturday, it would take me still some time to get home. had a few more adventures ahead of me.
those are two of the last three weeks. more later. oh yeah- cliffhanger.

ridge haven counselors summer 2007. i love them and miss them already.


Dan said...

Thank you - I have been looking forward to reading about your last few weeks. SLS

Mary Ann said...

ah chat town... here we come.