Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Week and Wilderness Ridge

Okay. Here's the Wilderness Ridge info. Last week, Sunday through Friday, I went to Wilderness Ridge to work in the kitchen. My little brother Michael went for the week, and since he gets homesick easily, he wouldn't go without me. I just absolutely love that place. If you don't remember(or perhaps I've never mentioned it on here!), thats the camp where Stephen(my brother who passed away) worked and it was like his second home. My family has been going and volunteering there for many, many years. Well, I decided the year after Stephen died that I wanted to go up there and work at least 1 week every year just so that way I can remember the place he loved, and help with a ministry that he loved. I also just go cause I love it there too. 

Like I said, I worked in the kitchen. Sandy Hunt, Sandy Watson, Kathy, Betty, and Hannah were all there. Sandy W was basically just there for serving and cleaning up, but I had such a good time with those ladies. I just love getting to be with... let me say... advanced in years... ladies. They have such a zest for life, and are crazily wise and fun to talk to. 

Hannah(Albers) was there, and she's just a grade younger than me so it was fun. Our families have similar age/sex kids, and we've all been friends for years. Normally I'm "paired" with her older sister Clare and Jaclyn hangs out with Hannah, but it was nice to catch up. They moved to Austin when I was about 5 or so,  but we've still all been friends. They are one of those families that you don't get to see very often at all, but your families have been friends forever. It was a lot of fun to get to know her a little bit better though, especially since we don't normally do things together. She is such a sweet girl. 

We baked a ton, and it was so hot! With no air conditioning, 100 degree weather, and baking all day with two commercial ovens on, its easy to say that it got pretty miserable. I loved it though. I can put up with it for a week to be with those ladies and serve along those guys. One thing I enjoy about working during the summer(vs. retreats in the fall/spring) is the fact that we don't have to do dishes! The SALT(Servant And Leadership Trainee?) crew does it for us. Those guys are a hoot! They are all 15-17 or so, and they are silly as can be. The ladies get a little frustrated with them at times, but I enjoy seeing the guys be like that. When girls and guys are together, we just act a little different! Not bad different, but just different. Since I'm the odd one out, and theres about 70 boys(and men) and 10 ladies(only 2 "girls"), we're so outnumbered that they act like they do with just boys, and we just deal with it. I like seeing that side of them. At times, it can be quite disgusting at times, but us girls can be gross too! 

I think people tend to think I go there just because of all the boys, but I honestly could care less. They are just friends to me, and its not like I'm going to get to know them! They all live in Austin(for the most part)! I'd have to say Jay, Jacob, Matt(Daniel E's friend), Daniel E(Ellen's brother), Jesse, Stephen, EJ, Joel, Chris, and Daniel H were my favorites to work with. There was also a camper(I guess he's 12 or so? 10? Idk) named Zach who was just hilarious. We have this thing, and always give each other crap and mess around with each other. He always says I'm mean to him, but I think he's only saying that cause he enjoys it? I guess I need to tone it down next year. I don't know if he's serious or not. I'm completely kidding around with him,  but I'm not completely sure if he knows that or wants that. He was there last year, and we did the same thing, but I just don't know. I don't want him to be turned off of the camp by me. This sounds so serious now that I'm writing it down, but its really not. Also, Aiden and Rodney were just the cutest little guys. I hope they never read this! They are both like 7 years old, but they are the cutest things you've ever seen. There was also a little asian boy who was too cute, and he would ALWAYS be the first one in line for dessert. I wonder if he even ate lunch or dinner? I honestly don't know. 

Hannah and I talked about a girls camp all week long. You see, this camp is just a boys camp in the summer. During the school year, they have retreats, and they'll have Father-Daughter retreats(our church went there for one in March), but during the summer it's only boys! I love working with the boys, but I want to go to camp there SO bad! The Albers have been involved in the camp just as long as we have, and Hannah has always wanted to also! I'm guessing everyone thinks girls would be too prissy and just plain too girly to go to a "wilderness" camp, but I think that most girls would have a fun time. Yeah, it depends on the girls, but I think we'd do the same things but just in our girly version(with makeup on, and slowly and cautiously). On the retreats the girls always have fun, so hopefully we convinced them to consider doing just one week (or a few days as a trial) for girls. At the very least, they'd have the daughters of all the people who have been involved for forever(like me, my sisters Jaclyn and Julianna, Hannah, her sister Clare). That would be 5 girls, and they've put on a camp that small before!

Oh... there was a big storm heading our way when we were there! There were tornados in Austin and all, and we were prepared to wade it out, but by the grace of God it died down and missed us. The camp could've really used the rain, but we were glad to be safe.

Another highlight was swimming in the pool. I've probably gotten to swim in that pool probably twice in my life. During the summer they don't really let girls go swimming cause all the boys are in the pool (and normally I'm the only young girl working. I've never gotten to work with Hannah before... so I've never asked), but Hannah and I got to go swim! After we had been swimming for a couple hours, the SALT crew came and got it, and that was fun. Unknowingly, the storm was on it's way so we had to get out of the pool after a few minutes. :-( Next time I guess.

Oh! Isabelle got to come spend a day with us too! She's Todd's daughter, and the directors(Sandy and Ron Hunt) granddaughter. She is 4 or 5, and just too cute. We had a lot of fun, and Hannah and I took her swimming. She LOVES swimming. Her sister is deaf, so she knows ASL too. It was fun to use my limited knowledge with her.

Now I'm back to my time on the beach! I'll update you when I get back!

Much love, 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Festivities have Begun!

Yes. I know, I know, it has been incredibly too long since I've updated... Don't judge me. 

Summer's here! My festivities have begun! This past week I've been at Wilderness Ridge working in the kitchen. I'll have to give you the lowdown another time. 

I went to the Austin area last Saturday(the 6th) to go to Krause Springs for my friend Shannon's birthday. I drove(since I needed the car to get to WR), and Shannon, Hannah, and Kara all rode with me. It was a fun little road trip. All of us, along with most of Shannon's family were there, and we had a fun time. I accidentally, somehow, got algae in the bed of my toenail(sorry for that visual), and we ended up having to cut off most of my toenail to get it out. Who knew a freaking toenail could hurt so much and take 3 hours to fix? Well, I don't know if it really took that long, but it sure did feel like it! It still hurts over a week later, but its healing up pretty nicely. After that, I made the mistake of pulling Kara into the pool. Not a good idea. NOT a good idea. She was so upset with me, and I still feel bad about it. We were hanging out last night, and she told me she already forgot about it and was over it, but I still feel bad. Our relationship was growing nice and steadily, but then I did that. I guess its not that big of a deal, but I'm just such a people-pleaser, and I don't like people being mad at me. 

The next day, on Sunday, I left a little early to go spend some time with my friend Ellen. I don't know if I've mentioned her here before, but she's 13 and we're buddies. I was her counselor at camp last year, and she just has two older brothers(who work at WR), so I'm her big sister/mentor/friend. She(and her brother Daniel) is a redhead, so we have that little connection too. Their family is awesome, just an example of a functional, God-loving, each-other-loving, family. Anyway, I picked her up from their church, and we went to the mall. We didn't think about it beforehand, but there was practically nobody in the mall cause it was a Sunday morning, and most places were closed! We just walked around for a while, got a pretzel to share(I've never had a soft, Auntie Anne's pretzel before. They are scrumptious!), and then went to Wal-mart to walk around some more. I couldn't really recommend places to go since I don't know the area, but she didn't really know what she wanted to do, so thats what we ended up with. We were supposed to go eat somewhere, but we ended up just going back to her house and eating there. I had never been to their house before, and I loved getting to see her room, see her parents and one of her brothers(Patrick) again, and spend some more time with her. I just love that girl to pieces. 

From there, I went to Wilderness Ridge and made it there in the nick of time! Actually, Ellen's brother Daniel worked at WR the same week as me. It was a fun weekend, and a great precursor to my week at camp. 

Tomorrow I'm off to Port Aransas with the youth group at my church! I'm so excited, but it doesn't seem like it should be here already! Maybe I'll write about WR if I have some down time. I like to just sit on the balcony, listen to the waves on the beach, and write, so we'll see. 

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