Camp Rucker

Earlier this spring an unfamiliar number showed up on my caller ID. As I usually do, I let it go to voicemail…call me suspicious but I just like to know who and what I am dealing with when I answer. You feel me?

Well lo and behold It was a member of the stake high council asking me if I would be available for a week in July to be the girls’ camp nurse. I’m pretty sure my first thoughts went a little something like “oh h-e-double-hockey-sticks-no. A week of camping? And sick young women? And dirt and bugs and campfires?”. As I am sure you have put together by now the great outdoors are not my forte – and most definitely not for anything longer than a 48-hour time window.

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While all the terrors of mountain living were prancing across the stage of my mind and laughing at the knot in my stomach, I vaguely remember hearing myself answer “well, yes! Of course! Count me in!”. It would appear that I am my mother’s daughter – no just isn’t a commonly used word in my vocabulary.

As the months passed and my dreadful fate loomed on the horizon…I started to actually get a little excited. I mean the girls in my ward are awesome. I love chatting with them and soaking in all of their teenage-girl enthusiasm and gossip. Who doesn’t love a good love-triangle drama? Especially when it isn’t their own?

IMG_3666 IMG_3664 IMG_3663Then July 22 came and I found myself packing tin cups, bug spray and other unfamiliar camping paraphernalia. We met at the stake center for a little debriefing and lice-screening (seriously) and then we were on our way to Rucker Lake. Three hours, a bag of peppered jerky and a cliff bar later we arrived. Sky-high trees, a lake of the deepest blue and framed cabins made me feel a little like I had traveled back in time. This was no ordinary camp ground…it reminded me an awful lot of the camp in the Parent Trap. Quaint as can be.

Well the week passed without too much of a hitch. Two trips to the hospital, a couple hundred bug bites and an unfortunate break-out of head lice were the most serious incidents. The food was fabulous – the kitchen staff aka “cookies” slaved away and my hips are about 10 pounds happier. Early morning dips in the lake earned me the “polar bear swim” badge. But the best part – getting to know the girls and women in the stake. All in all it was pretty fantastic. My testimony was strengthened and my moral batteries were recharged.

Shockingly, I have already volunteered to go again next year. What can I say, I value unpredictability. IMG_3658IMG_3660 IMG_3659



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