Of Bathrooms, Moo Moos and Garlic Cheese
There were only Granny Moo Moos left at Walmart when I made a mad dash for last minute Camp necessities.
Happy Wednesday friends.
That word conjures up about as many different mind pictures as there are people on this planet.
For me it always involves sleepless nights.
I've never been a fan of camping.
And I had limited experience with camping all together growing up.
The single solitary camping experience I even remember was through my public school.
I want to say it was 6th grade but it quite possibly could have been 7th.
It was a rite of passage once in your school career to venture to Mohican State Park.
I remember getting a top bunk, making friendship bracelets with 6 or 8 strings, one side tied to the bed post and the other in my hands and mouth for tension.
Any 40 somethings remember making those?
Looking back it now seems fitting that we were basically weaving on some Indian sounding campground.
I don't remember much about this whole field trip, but I do remember rolling down the hill as a rock
I remember VAGUELY being told to act like a sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic rock and roll down a particular hill on the campgrounds.
We did this several times because either we had an uber Geologist wanna be or that counselor hated us.
I cannot decide which.
I remember nothing about this event made me want to dress in khaki and co-star in any Indiana Jones movie, though this may have been one of my best performances.
My ONLY other memory from this stint at camp was attempting to get myself stuck in a deep mud patch so Rudy Schnell would pull me out.
There you have it. I was out galavanting in mud to get a date at a very early age.
I remember one of our counselors pointing to a patch of deep mud and explaining that this was exactly like "quicksand." The more you struggled, the more stuck you became.
She warned us not to go near it and we all decided that was a good idea.
Well almost all of us.
Now this was not my original idea.
I'm usually not the creative genius for things like this, but for SURESIES I will follow you INTO your bad idea.
One girl before me ventured in and Rudy (Who I might add was pretty buff for a 6th grader) rescued her so I thought I'd give the "damsel in distress" part a "go."
After all, I DID make a good rock so this seemed like the next logical rung in my acting career.
One hightop went in and sunk and then the other and it was at this point that FOR THE FIRST time I decided to wonder if this was indeed the best use of good free time.
I also wondered why I hadn't spent more time on a long paracord survival friendship bracelet that I could use to hoist my 70 pound self out of this mess just in case Rudy was at the snack shop.
I mean no 6th grader gets that buff on veggies alone.
I sank and I sank and I thought to will some things to my friends and family but I didn't even own a jewelry box at the time and all 6th grade girls KNOW that THAT is where you keep all of your valuables.
So I just stood there and perhaps pretended to be a petrified tree?
I'm not sure but in real superhero fashion 'Ole Rudy came and with one elbow lift saved my life.
Well actually he just helped me avoid embarrassment.
And standing there on the dirt I thanked him and then went back to retrieve my left hightop still stuck in gorilla glue-like mud.
I should have vowed then and there to watch less Indiana Jones.
So you can say that Camp and me have have a "mud-hate relationship."
(see what I did there?!)
Shortly after Joel and I were married we began taking kids to Camp.
This was a horse of another color.
There were mattresses for counselors and air conditioning and even unlimited cappuccinos, which I now know are there to ease the blow of helping Junior girls try to locate their one pair of clean underwear.
FOR A WHOLE WEEK.
A whole week of your life that can never be lived again.
These are the things that 20 year-old Deena laughed at.
These are things that 40 year-old Deena decided needed heaps of Doritos in order to swallow.
These things sent me to Walmart way too late in the packing game.
After I saw what I would be sporting for nightwear I couldn't help but instinctively snatch one of each candy item on EVERY end cap heading to the check-out counter.
My two oldest with me at the time knew better than to say A WORD.
And the dear Moms of the girls I took knew me just as well as I know myself because they ALL sent me heaps of snacks.
I'm not above bribes to take your sweaty girls to camp.
No I am not.
Off we went in a stuffed church van with tums, Boost drink for Women and a hope and a prayer.
The air conditioning deciding to blow hot air willy nilly just seemed appropriate for such a trip.
Kind of like that one "friend" reminding you..... "It's all good.... IT'S GONNA BE TERRIBLE!" every ten minutes.
The kids ate their lunches they packed by 10:07 meaning they would be spending their snack shop money before the other church's kids even arrived at camp.
If you don't know what "Quack a dilly Oma" is count yourself blessed.
I don't even know how to spell this game/song that makes the "Song that never ends" look like child's play.
It was at this point in the trip I began serious intercession for a room with adjoining bathroom.
Groups of girls our size usually slept in a gym classroom and had to walk the mile of shame fully clothed to the bathrooms across the gym whenever the need should arise.
The need arises OFTEN for this 40 year old.
And so I had several prayer warriors praying that I would get my own bathroom.
Oh yes I did.
I even mentioned it in my Sunday School ladies class and perhaps a strander or two in Walmart.
Okay more than two.
We arrived, handed in permission slips from parents, counted out snack shop funds and just then as the sweet SUPER YOUNG lady began to mouth the words, "G-Y-M C-L-A-S-S-R-O-O-M" I was ready.
"I am old and need a bathroom nearby."
Yes, that is what I said before she could even finish.
This in front of God and several young men needing to check their group of hoodlums in for the week.
I gave this dear lady a look that said, "I will forever haunt your dreams" complete with twitching eyes and magically she moved me to the same type of barracks I stayed in so many years ago at Mohican.
I didn't care.
I had won the day.
I had conquered.
Never mind I have terrible bladder control, I fought the fight and had laid hold of a restroom within "Moo Moo" scurrying distance.
And all God's people said, "Amen."
I am well aware that some young camp workers may have questioned why I was downing so much sweet tea at dinners and this may be why I forfeited "Counselor of the Week," but this is pittance to me.
I am old.
I need a close bathroom where I can walk full "Moo Mooed."
And the Camp Director is getting old himself so we may very well see a new plethora of Camp awards.
The Counselor award for the closest restroom goes to........"Deena Royalty."
I know that heaven rejoices over one sinner that repents but I am telling you that my whole Sunday School ladies class had revival when they heard that I had my own bathroom.
One day you will be as spiritual as we old ladies are friends.
We got settled in and after tucking in my sheets on my double mattress I felt like things were going to be just fine.
That was until I decided to name our team.
What seemed like all 500 Junior girls after we combined churches.
The Camp theme was a Space one so I quirkingly thought up "Galax-shes"
Get it, Galaxy, Glax-she?
After all I DID have a bathroom answered prayer on my side so it just seemed reasonable to be the one to bless our team with a name.
Yeah that excitement was short lived after hearing 500 7-12 year olds chant your great idea several times a day,
And you realize that it sounds EXACTLY like "Garlic Cheese."
Interestingly enough "Garlic Cheese" never dampened my love for garlic and cheese, but it sure made for one hilarious week.
I know for a fact that this fact was the topic of much young camp worker discussions.
"You remember that lady with the bad bladder? Yeah, she named her team after cheese..."
I have officially lost all shame in my Camp game.
Our first morning while everyone was still nuzzled in sleeping bags I got a shower and decided that "Garlic Cheese" or not this was going to be a week for the Lord.
Feeling refreshed, I tiptoed over to my bunk to find that it had already been made for me.
And on top of my propped-up pillow was the dearest note and pack of goodies.
The one with the bad bladder, Moo Moo and idea for chants involving dairy products.
It was from MY junior camper.
The whole reason I decided to come- so that she could go to camp this Summer.
She knew that and had planned a surprise for me every single solitary day of Camp.
She had been saving candy, little bags and even little gifts for me to see each morning after my shower.
Can you even?
I'm so grateful that in God's providence he knew I'd need a bathroom, need a double mattress and a double blessing from my own little cheese girl to get through Camp.
Blessing in the midst of uncomfortable.
Blessing in the middle of sweaty and unknown.
Psalm 40:17 says, "But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”
While I was thinking a LOT about a bathroom, the Lord was thinking of me.
I'm not sure if I can fathom Teen Week yet, but oddly enough I'm thinking a little garlic cheese might help.