Wow, it’s almost that time again. The time of achey muscles, insanely over-salted food, sweaty people all smooshed together in a tabernacle and of course some amazing worship and services… Yes, what else could it be… CAMP!
Because this is my last year to go to camp, as a camper at least, I thought I would do a Pre-Camp
Guide Walkthrough… While every camp is different, there are a few things you can always depend on… So, without any further ado…
North Texas Youth Camp
ABOUT: Lakeview Camp at Maypearl, TX is one of the best assembly of God camps in the nation. It will greet you with a sign, “Welcome to the Best Week of Your Life!” If you keep a good attitude, it really will be one of the best weeks of your life. Really.
Pre-camp: I guess the big thing is to pack, which I always end up doing the Saturday and Sunday before camp… I am a major packing-procrastinator. Having been to camp five times before I can help you out… Here are a couple of things that tend to be forgotten, mostly the obvious items… figuresss.
DONT YOU DARE FORGET DEODORANT.
Water-Proof makeup (trust me, just do it)
OFF! (mosquitos love campers!)
Flashlights (really come in handy)
Socks (Although to be honest, I have never worn a pair of tennis shoes at camp in my life… Ruined some flip flops? Yes. Climbed up hills in heels? Yep. Tennis shoes… never. Two words, think: “Soggy Socks”)
The final thing that is easy to forget (what with the packing, the stuffing your wardrobe into a suitcase, and the constant feeling of forgetting something) is a good attitude. Don’t leave home without it, because I will be stuck with you for five days, and if your in a bad mood I can promise nothing good will come of it.
Getting There: We always come to church prepared, drivers for people and seperate cars for the insane amount of luggage people pack. (I tend to win “Most Luggage” at the Camp Awards… I cannot help it that I need to bring all my shoes, I mean they go with my outfits, plus other people always borrow them too. It is a totally self-less act.)
When we get within a mile of camp we find, the line. The line of cars, vans, buses, and trailers leading to the camp. Then we sit in the line. Every now and then we move a few feet. Mostly during this time, we talk about how excited we are, who will get the blessing of a camp stalker this year, and memories of last year.
By the time we actually get to the front of the line, they kick us out and make us carry our bags, which mostly weigh more than the person carrying them… to a giant room, and then we sit and wait for cabin assignments. This is usually when we all complain about past cabinmates and pray we don’t get any this year.
After we drag all our junk to the cabin and all make faces about how annoying our cabinmates are, (because they are usually loud, LOUD, and giggley…) we head to get our team assignments. Teams consist of a color and an animal… I have had the red crabs, the blue rats, the white monkeys, the black beetles and the missing one is missing because these camps are so popular that one year we got wait listed and went to another camp, up in Dallas.
I am hoping to neither be black (it gets all hot, but it doesn’t show stains…) or white (I honestly don’t understand why they even use that as a color… All of camp is basically a wet t-shirt contest for the white team, and you walk outside and your shirt is stained… I never understand how). Yes, I don’t wanna be black or white. Yes, I realize I sound totally racist.
Day ONE: The mood: is excitement and joy to get away from our families (haha). No one is tired or sore yet, and even though we still get hot and sweaty, we haven’t had to use the disgusting showers yet (BRING SHOWER SHOES, do it.).
That night: Is the first service, most of the time the speaker kind of makes it the testimonial night, it’s also when you get a feel for the worship. Most of the time you don’t bawl your eyes out or anything. You also still have energy after they make you go to snack shack at 10 at night and then late night, at whenever time they feel like it. You usually get in at 12 to 2 AM and your either dead tired and annoyed because someone thought it would be funny to drink a monster 20 minutes ago, or your the one who is hyped up and everyone is annoyed with you.
Day TWO: The mood: everyone is still happy to be at camp, if not a little tired, from lack of sleep, and the fact that they have to wake up early for the first camp breakfast of the week (I usually stick with cereal.). Once you get back it’s a mad scramble to clean up the dorm to avoid the title of Dirty Dorm.
(which entails the theme song, getting sprayed down with iced lake water, and your counselor wearing a toilet seat… Maybe, we should get dirty dormmmm, don’t you think Elizabeth would look HOT working a toilet seat?…. :))) (You also have to stay up EXTRA late and do things like fill water balloons and stuff).
That night: Depending on the person, most people eventually have at least one or more emotionally draining night. That includes, but is not limited to: head aches, puffy eyes, the need for tissues, a sore throat and the overwhelming want to go straight to your cabin and skip snack shack and late night… because after a night like that no one looks good.
Day THREE: the mood: Everyone is starting to get annoyed with eachother, because after a few days on no energy, high emotions and camp food people are bound to get crabby and stuff.
That night: Basically the same as number two, except by day three your really annoyed that late night is mandantory and you swear if you have to sing “On a night like this…” one more time someone will get hurt.
Day FOUR: the mood: everyone is trying to resist the urge to kill eachother, the more social people have made friends that they spend this last day trying to hang out with… The boy-crazy girls, and the girl-crazy boys usually have someone they are semi-stalking. This is also the day of the Iron Man race… which I always find a way out of… but basically all the teams are up against one another in a marathon that’s all over camp. The winner gets some major points, which helps, out, because the whole camp is a competition to win the ultimate title of Camp Champs, and get tshirts… TSHIRTS!
that night: you sing every verse with hand motions of “On a night like this…” and know it will be stuck in your head for months… REALLY. Months. After all this is the last time you will be singing it all weeek, at least, by force. You also usually stay up later that night, being the last night and all.
Day FIVE: the mood: sad, because it’s time to leave camp. Camp is a place of sweaty- smelly guys, gross food, flag dancing, minimum sleep, waterslides, the blob, walking everywhere, competition, new friends, stalkers, changed lives and new encounters with the Lord. You cannot help but miss it.
That night: You realize as much as you totally love camp, you have to admit, even a little, that a shower in your own shower, sleeping in your own bed and finally having fast food, is a little bit nice.
(IF Your going to camp this year, or if your kid is, I suggest they start reading thier bible nightly, which I realize can be really hard. I also think it’s a great idea to pray that thier lives be changed and our youth group as a whole be changed at camp… “Ask and you will recieve”, right?)
As a camp lover, I am both excited and dreading camp. Excited for everything except what I am dreading (bugs, the showers, the food, and sweating.).
P.S. Shout out to Krystina, one of the funnest craziest people to go to camp with, you are not allowed to say “that’s what she said” again, and noooo energy drinks, or sugar, or caffiene… you are the one person on this earth who doesn’t need extra energy to get through camp.