Just Bear-ly Made it at Camp

When growing up in rural south Alabama, I attended Maywood Christian Camp every summer from the time I was ten until I was 16.

So when an op came about for me to work as a counselor in central Florida, I gave it some serious consideration. And then leaped…

Jumping from zip line.
Jumping from zip line.

Leaving Lefty (my sweet left-handed, left-brained) husband behind to fend for himself, I loaded up Princess Buttercup in the car and followed my friend and her kids ten hours to the middle of steamy Florida.

A random picture that Princess Buttercup took of me driving, white-knuckled, through Atlanta.
A random picture that Princess Buttercup took of me driving, white-knuckled, through Atlanta.

I was a little nervous about the undertaking. Would I be able to physically weather keeping up with a bunch of kids?

Apparently, God gave me the energy to do just that, and I had a blast! I taught devotionals, acted as counselor-mom to a bunch of girls (they even called me “Counselor Mom”), rode on the zip line, played kick ball (and made it to 1st base…woo-hoo!), stayed up all hours of the night, played in the bubble machine, went down the water slide, worked the snow cone machine, learned to work the pop-corn machine, sang with all my might, and hoped to see the bears.

Yes, the bears.

Allegedly, there were three black bears that roamed the camp. But I never saw them. And I was sorely disappointed. I even thought that maybe the story was something that the counselors told the campers so that they wouldn’t go sneaking off at night.

One night, I had just snuggled into my wooden bunk that creaked every time I inhaled. Then I heard an air horn. The director had given some of the counselors air horns so that they would scare the bears. I heard some shouting outside. Then I closed my eyes and fell asleep. What I should have done was tip-toe out of my cabin to take a look-see. But I was too tired.

If I had done this, I would have seen a big, black bear sitting on our cabin porch, drinking a cold Sprite. Caffeine keeps bears awake, too, you know. Okay, so I made up that last part.

But that bear had come sauntering up to our porch to nosh on whatever was in our garbage can that we forgot to bring inside.

I was floating through Facebook today and saw a picture of the bear that someone took. On our cabin’s front porch! I had to run an errand, so I decided to come back later and be able to post that picture on my blog. When I came back to FB, I could not find that picture for anything. I spent about an hour looking. If I find it again, I’ll try to retro-post it. It’s a pretty good shot of the bear on all fours.

So that’s my bear story, anyway. I took a bunch of camp pictures. The ones that I’m posting mostly have me in them. Not because life’s all about me…it’s not(!), but most of my pictures are of the kids. So I can’t post them for privacy/safety reasons. I know…not as fun as pics of cute kids, but hope you guys enjoy!

The bunks in our cabin.  Mine was wooden, but these were creaky, too.
The bunks in our cabin. Mine was wooden, but these were creaky, too.
Mess hall chairs.  These are nice.  We had wooden picnic chairs when I was a kid at camp.
Mess hall chairs. These are nice. We had wooden picnic chairs when I was a kid at camp.
I built a napkin dam to keep my broccoli juice from getting into my chicken and potatoes.  Camp food was pretty good.
I built a napkin dam to keep my broccoli juice from getting into my chicken and potatoes. Camp food was pretty good.
The sudsy bubble machine.
The sudsy bubble machine.
The pond.
The pond.
I know my place in the out field!  See me at the far left?
Counselors (i.e., “old people”) vs. campers. I know my place in the out field! See me at the far left?
But I do make a mean snow cone!
But I do make a mean snow cone!

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Creative kids.
Creative kids.
Camper-made road art competition.
Camper-made road art competition.
Princess Buttercup's team made this banner.  I'm not quite getting the creative spelling!
Princess Buttercup’s team made this banner. I’m not quite getting the spelling!
More from the campers' banner competition.
More from the campers’ banner competition.
God's handiwork reminds us of why we're all there.
God’s handiwork reminds us of why we’re all there.

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Mmm, Spanish moss is so prevalent in central Florida.
Mmm, Spanish moss is so prevalent in central Florida.

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