Because they do, and it's theirs.
I guess technically it's called Young Women Camp. But whatever.
I wrote before about how uncomfortable I am (about and while) camping. Yet, I went, and did so willingly. And though I was grateful to be there, I tend to take certain things seriously: things such as not wanting mice or critters or bugs on or around me or my stuff. I don't think this is unreasonable. Yet, my repulsion to such was apparently "funny" - "Ha ha, look, she hates bugs so much, that's funny." Yeah, super funny. I wasn't joking, but people thought I was, which made me more frustrated and tend to act more seriously about it, which then turned into, "Oh, not funny: she really doesn't like being here." Which was not true. Not at all. I knew what camp was when I picked it up, and I was there to participate. So kill me for falling asleep on my cot that one afternoon -- I haven't slept since 1998, so I couldn't really help myself, could I?
Moving right along: Our group of girls got along with each other fabulously and with minimal drama. There was the one girl who, as she intended as soon as the buses pulled up to our camping area, "fell" out of her canoe and into the gross "lake" (actually a pond), and the girl who disappeared at almost every turn to hang out with her friends from other groups. Other than that, our girls, for the most part, were earnest and friendly, and camp for them seemed to have the intended effects of getting them to commune with nature, and with each other, and increase their testimonies.
Sleeping at night wasn't easy for me; I was really self-conscious about my snoring, and even brought earplugs for myself and others (another benefit of earplugs: bugs and critter noises can't bother me). The first night, I found sleep to be nearly impossible, and I was counting the minutes until the sun came up. One of the nights, I woke up to the sound (after I pulled out my earplugs) of another leader screaming about a bat. She had been having a nightmare. On the last night in our cabin, I heard my daughter on the upstairs level of the cabin complaining about a spider. L.Mo called up there, "You know how to get rid of the spider? Turn off your flashlight." I think they ended up killing the spider, but the next minute brought cries of, "There's a bat up here!" L.Mo got out of her sleeping bag and marched up the ladder-stairs with her flashlight saying, "I promise, there's not actually a bat . . ." followed by her stomping back down saying, "That's totally a bat." I sat up and put on my shoes to go with L.Mo to find someone to help us -- a boy, they help with bats, right? Oh, and did I mention that this was at 12:30 a.m., and that we were scheduled to be loaded on the buses by 6:30? We walked to the cabin where some men were staying and lead them back to the cabin. After evacuating all but one actually sleeping girl, the men entered and we watched through the tiny windows as much as we could see from their flashlights as they worked to get the bat; a few minutes later, one of them exited with his coat off and bunched up in his hands. "Did you get it?" we asked. "We'll see," was his answer as he slowly opened his coat. As the bat flew out, the girls all cooed, "Awwww!" My response: "No. No! Not 'awwwww'. Ew. Ew is the correct response. That, and thank you for getting rid of the bat."
The next morning the girls worked their tails off to be the first group ready to board the buses. I may or may not have bribed them with their very own Sweet Tooth Fairy Cupcake to do so.
Another thing: remember I had worried about not having cell/email reception for the week preceding a blogging conference? Yeah. Turns out I received invitations for, and subsequently lost the opportunity to RSVP for and attend, among other things, a lunch with Jane Lynch and a yoga class with Bob Harper.
That's okay. It was worth it. I promise.
The scorched skin, the campfire smell, the exhaustion, all of it.
And, yes, I hope to go again next year.