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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 

Red Dirt Love Affair

I loved, Loved, LOVED camp. Really, there’s no way for me to properly convey the tone of voice that shows the veracity of this claim, but just understand I loved camp.

I loved learning about tying knots. I loved singing songs. I loved pretending that I was the crafty type during arts and crafts time. I loved rest time when we read by ourselves. I loved hiking. I loved achieving new levels in short amounts of time. I loved everything.

I also love my memories formed over the eight years I attended camp (six as a camper, two as a counselor... seven of those years were consecutive). Here are the most vivid ones.

My Secret Garden
I went to Camp Bountiful for the first time far before girls’ camp age. My dad would work on the water pump that supplied the camp with water.

I used to wander off on these trips and once I found a hiking trail that led to a secluded campsite next to a brook (finding a brook in the desert-like red dirt of Camp Bountiful was like finding gold).

Each year of Girls' Camp I would take a few girls with me during free time to see the secret campsite. As years went by, the trail became impassible, but I’ll always remember it as a quiet place that I “discovered” and loved.

Plastic Surgery
My first year at camp was a good one. I was in a group with my cousin and a girl that I’d met the year before in GATE summer school (she later became a stripper). The only trouble was that my counselor was evil. She refused to let us have any fun at all.

One night on the way to our group’s camp from the evening program, I slipped and fell. I knew I’d scraped my arm pretty bad and asked to go to the nurse. She said “no” because the nurse was already in bed.

Imagine my shock and surprise the next morning when I found that a small stick (1/4 inch diameter, 1 and ½ inches long) had become imbedded in my forearm, just above my wrist. Not only that, but in the course of the night, the opening to the wound had healed over.

A few weeks later, I had “plastic surgery” and the stick was removed. It's a good thing I don't remember who that counselor was or I'd have held a grudge.

“And that’s news to me”
My two years as a “Big Sister” were some of the best ever. My favorite part was performing in the evening programs. I, and a couple of other girls, did a skit each night based on “Weekend Update” from Saturday Night Live. In the skit, we would recount all of the funny and embarrassing things that happened to the campers and counselors.

It was a hit. Everyone wanted to be in the “Campers Update” and everyone laughed. Ending each skit with, “I’m Kaycee, and that’s news to me, “ just like Kevin Nealon did, was the genius that held it all together.

Not Your Daddy
My first year as a counselor, when I was 18, was a bit traumatic. There was a priesthood member there (they had several on hand for the tough jobs and in case of emergencies) who went on the Level 4 hike I was a counselor for. He had a close relationship with several of the girls, probably because he and his wife couldn’t have kids of their own.

One of the girls he was close to called him “Dad” as a measure of her affection and respect. (A lot of people call friends’ mothers their “other mom” and such, so I didn’t find this part all that strange.) Some of the leaders found it worrisome.

Things got really weird when the girl was stung by a bee. She happened to be slightly allergic, so she was given a shot and was resting in the nurse’s tent. When the priesthood guy found out that she was unwell, he told the nurse that he was her dad so that he could see her.

That’s right… the priesthood guy lied to be able to see the girl who wasn't really his daughter.

After this came out, he was asked to leave and was not allowed to chaperone at girls’ camp again.

For Me
For me, camp was a great experience. There were parts of camp that were difficult. There were some things that made me unhappy every year, but I look past those things to the positives that camp brought me.

There were times in my life where I had a hard time making friends, but I always made new, wonderful friends at camp. It was a place where I felt loved, accomplished, celebrated, but most importantly accepted for who I am.

I loved, Loved, LOVED going to camp with you and Sarah. LOVE IT!! We just had the neatest group of girls. And really, the coolest. Let's be honest. 

Posted by JP

Wow... I don't remember having priesthood members around at all. Maybe on the last day, testimony night when the bishopric came up, but that is it... AND it is weird to call someone your dad when they are not your dad... creepy.

Oh the memories of SNL spin off skits… Love it!

Posted by Rebecca

I actually was the priesthood guy for a night a few years back, it was weird being an outsider at a campout. They made it very clear that I should remain on the sidelines as much as possible (which I was more than willing to do!).

High/low light of that girls' camp: white rich girls getting busted for smoking pot in their tent, then seeing them blame the poor inner city girls. 

Posted by Steve Evans

Yeah Becca, can you stop calling me your daddy, it weirds me out!


Posted by Cameron

#1... I'm totally hurt that you never took me to the "secret campsite"... I'm questioning our friendship now.

#2... I had to take over the "Camper Update" when you were no longer a big sister... let's be honest, yours are some mighty big shoes to fill... metephorically speaking.

#3... I totally wanna see the scar from that fall... I bet it's awesome! 

Posted by Sarah Marinara

JP: Oh yeah... we did. And we were.

Rebecca: If only you'd seen the comedic prowress for youself.

Steve Evans: Seriously... that happened? Well, it happened at my school the other day, but at girls' camp?

Cameron: Wake up... you're dreaming again!

Sarah: #1-It was overgrown and impassible by the time I was a 4th level, and before then you were just a little kid to me. #2-No one could have done better at the Camper Update than you. #3-You want a scar show? Anytime. I've got plenty... and that one doesn't even require me getting naked.

Posted by Kaycee

Oh yeah, it totally happened. Weird stuff huh. Except I guess it's not that unusual with today's tough kids. Those rotten kids! Not at all like when I was a scout and we would snort Tang (which I do not recommend). 

Posted by Steve Evans

I can't believe you snorted TANG©! Did it take you to the moon? 

Posted by Rebecca

Really...TANG???? ewwwwww...orange boogies!!!

I loved the skits they did at camp. Did you ever see the iron man skit? 

Posted by EJ

It was my friend Graham that did it -- I chickened out. He really tripped out, sneezing orange snot. He said it was really painful -- must be all that vitamin C. But it was hilarious!! 

Posted by Steve Evans

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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