CAMP THOUGHTS 2011

Since I was five years old I went to family camp. I love it. I get to hang out with my Nana and Papa, and bike, and swim, and go on the trails. I know that campground as if I planned it out myself. Probably the best part this year was all the fellowship with awesome people.
I guess I should mention that I'm the only teen at this camp. (That doesn't actually work there.) Most of my company is 50+ persons. In other words I get to hear the best stories. Oh, and most of the men are retired Nazarene preachers. There are three services a day, but, as it is tradition, I usually only go to the late service.
The campground itself is old, and classic. Everyone stays in their own cabin or in the lodge. My Nana and Papa have a cabin so I usually chill in there, or at least, try to. The heat at the campground can be so intense that air conditioning feels like a warm breeze. Every minute I just felt sticky from sweat and muggy air. But, it's all apart of the experience. 
Anyway, I've decided to compile a list of Camp Thoughts, some spiritual, some just hilarious, some unrelated to camp. As a final note, I won't use names of people I'm quoting, just initials. Also, Bro. before an initial means Brother, usually a retired Pastor.

#1: I think I get along with the older generation better than my own. Probably because they have the best jokes. And stories. And their so honest that you can't help but laugh when they make fun of the food at the dining hall. B comments on the Parmesan chicken, "I think they forgot the Parmesan for this chicken." What made it even more hilarious is when Bro. L sat down and said the exact same thing.

#2: At camp you get away from the dramas of the world. The two most talked about topics was the "sad, flimsy napkins" and the signature "did they even sweeten this tea?"

#3: No T.V. No internet. Barely any cell phone reception. At least they have paved roads and indoor plumbing. 

#4: I like camp because it's kind of like it's own universe. People orbit around it at the same times every year.

#5: The guest preachers are always great. Bro. M.A. says during a sermon, "Bless his heart, and I mean that the southern way." He went on to explain that when a southerner looks at you with a smirk and says "Bless your heart" they're really saying "Oh boy, you are stuuuuuuuupid." I got a kick out of it since J.B and I have had this discussion before.
Paints

#6: Watching people freak out, I mean, becoming filled with Holy Spirit at church is definitely a unique experience. I wish it'd happen more often, other than the one time where that elderly gentleman stood from the pew pumping his fists shouting AMEN's. 

#7: When you spend time with people, you begin to pick up some of their habits. I do anyway. For example, I think I picked up some of the signs of Alzheimer's while at camp, which leads me to the reason why I went all the way up the hill to swim without my bathing suit or towel. Hopefully, those habits will wear off soon.

#8: Hanging out with older people is really interesting. Especially when noticing how they talk and inquire. I don't know how many times I heard a random persons name come up in conversation and then the question, "Are they dead?" or "Is he dead?" or "Is she still alive?" It worried me when the answer was, "I don't know."

#9: It makes me sad that I won't have funny out-house stories. Like this one I heard after dinner one night from C.G. "Well, when it was dark I never liked to go all the way to the outhouse. It was scary. And my mother had planted this huge lily tree, or bush, or, anyway, it was something with lily's. Anyway, I'd just go behind that. Mother never did know what killed her lily bush." And then, laughter.

#10: I love it when the old men crack jokes at each other. My favorite come back was by the D.S. (District Superintendent of the Georgia Nazarene's) he'd say, "Now don't pick on me, I have a wife!"

#11: Camp meeting, where hugs and smiles are never in short supply.

#12: At camp meeting we don't go to the church, we go to the Tabernacle. I hear stories all the time how the now closed-in, air conditioned, Tabernacle used to be open except for a back wall behind the platform.

#13: When the Nazarene's come, it rains. Every year at camp it pours one day, and this past week was no exception. Bro. H.G. mentioned that the neighboring "farmers should thank those Georgia Nazarene's for bringing the rain!"

#14: I sleep on an air mattress in the "living room" of the cabin. It slowly deflates throughout the week, I never complain. It's part of the experience. Besides, last year I slept on the floor!

#15: Having a building on the camp ground named after your own Papa is pretty cool. The dedication ceremony was neat, and the family didn't have to pay for lunch!


#16: I cry when loads of people lay hands on each other at an alter call for someone who needs help. The most emotional part is when they are praying. All the people gather around shouting their own prayers. It's overwhelming. Just because you can really feel the presence of God.

#17: Maybe I like the older generation better because they 1) Don't care too much about worrying what other people think. 2) They are more experienced and not foolish 3) All they want to do, really, is have fun. Even if that is just a nap or sitting outside listening to the mocking birds.

#18: Awesome testimonies in church really get the people going. Like E, who came before the church congregation and told everyone about his previous addictions to alcohol, cocaine, meth, and everything else. And how he tried to commit suicide. One day he woke up without a craving for drugs. God had spoken to him. Told him to go to the church down the street. It was the Nazarene church in Fitzgerald. Now he has a family and no addictions.

#19: Bro. M.A. telling a story as an opener to his sermon, "An elderly woman on one of the last pews in the church stood up and said, 'Well, I got my autopsy on Tuesday, and I just want to praise the Lord that everything came back negative!"

#20: In the cabin my night light is the street lamp next to the cabin. The orange light pours in trough the windows making every object like a shadow.

#21: The magnifying mirror in the bathroom can be both entertaining... and scary. One minute it's like a fun house, and then next it's like, "What's that doing there?!"
#22: Laying awake at night can have you pondering many things. Like the scary stories an old friend  once told. D told me that a sister of a witch lived in one of the cabins behind the Tabernacle. And that people could hear the witch and her sister fighting. Even after they died. To make it even more eerie that cabin is on the edge of the woods which dips steeply into a swamp.

#23: Then remembering that other story D told me. The one about one of her friends staying one the the girls cabins, which is filled to the brim with bunk beds. One night that girl saw someone outside the window, and when they all woke up she wasn't there.

#24: THEN  remembering when my two cousins and I were IN the girls cabin conveniently located next to Nana and Papa's cabin. Of course, I couldn't sleep because of those stories so Nana came to my bunk and prayed that I could get to sleep. I was about 8 when that happened

#25: I had the realization that BECAUSE Maggie is a pekingese shih tzu mix, it makes her a Pekishih! Notice the resemblance to pikachu.

#26: We're all in the dining hall having dinner. It's raining outside. Someone has a huge umbrella open in the dining hall. B says, "I guess we didn't realize it was drippin inside."

#27: The title for a philosophical book about jeans would be Carpe Denim.

#28: Nana and I just got the microwave in the kitchen working again. I sit in the living room with Papa while Nana works on Papa's snack. Nana comes into the living room talking about the microwave when Papa interrupts her saying,"You got that heated up yet?!" Nana says, "Well, yeah." while walking back to the kitchen. Papa looks at me and winks.

#29: Quotes from a sermon, "Well she says, 'That's not the kind of people we want at our church.' He replies, 'Then WHAT kind of people do you want?!'" The point of his sermon was accepting all the people that come into the church.

#30: When I'm in the kitchen in the cabin with the kitchen light off, Nana will come in and turn on the light while saying, "Let's get some light on the subject."

#31: An elderly gentleman, S, always has a certain type of mint in his pocket that he gives people. And they are THE BEST MINTS EVER. I have never seen them in a store. They're not even like pepper mints, and the wrapper has precious sayings on it like, "I love you." So cool. 

#32: I tell B about my going to swim and forgetting my bathing suit incident and she said, "You shoulda just gone skinny dippin! Was there anybody out there?"

#33: It's been a great camp trip, I'm looking forward to next year.


Papa and Nana

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