Monday, July 25, 2011

Hey Campers...

OK, I promised to post about camp, but I know that I won't be able to get the words right.  I have already posted pictures to facebook, so I won't repeat them here.   
I was introduced to Camp in 2000 by my Tri Delta sisters, but more importantly my roommate, Alisha.  As we became friends, Alisha told me one of the reasons she pledged Tri Delta is because of our work with St. Jude (our national philanthropy), and our chapter also took on a local philanthropy, Camp Smile-A-Mile (Camp SAM).  We both started going as counselors on the weekends when Camp was in session.  I fell in love with Camp immediately, and it has forever changed me as a person.  Camp is a place where I don't have to worry about what clothes I wear, what shoes I wear, what my grades are or even if someone will call/text (we have to surrender our phones while at Camp).  I don't have to worry about any of that stuff because CAMP IS ALL ABOUT THE KIDS! My needs and wants come well after everyone else's.  Aside from how Camp has changed my perspective on life, it has given me some amazing friends.  I am in constant contact with counselors and campers who have entered my life, and I can't imagine my life without them, even if I only get to see them once a year! 

On July 7th, we arrived at Camp...after lots of hugs and quick catch ups, we began getting ready for the kids to arrive.  We have a new program called Junior/Senior Weekend, a transition for the older teens.  We still have all the normal camp activities, but we also have mini-educational sessions to help transition to college and the real world.  This year we had a small group of only 25 campers, so it was nice to really get to spend time with the friends I have made over the years.  Most of the time, the campers just wanted to hang out, talk and enjoy each other's company.  I can't even begin to tell you how proud these young adults make me!  They have overcome so much in life and they are so grateful for what is given to them.  Sunday came way too soon and I miss those kids dearly!

On Monday, July 11th, the second session began, Teen Week, ages 13-15.  We had a larger group (41 kids) and of course any time you put 41 teens in a confined space drama is sure to ensue!  Dates were very quickly being snatched up for the dance, some kids were starting to pair off, while some couldn't care less about the opposite sex.  We had a great week of boat/banana rides, monkey fist making, arts a crafts, games, evening activities, swimming and dancing on tables to The Backstreet Boys.  While the days were hot and long, every short night's sleep was worth it!  By Wednesday, those of us who had been at Camp for a full week began to get a little loopy!  The lack of sleep, lack of energy and sometimes lack of sanity were always trying to pull us down, but we leaned on each other, cried with each other, laughed with each other and made memories that will last us until next year! 

Even though I live so far away, Camp is always in my heart.  I keep my first monkey's fist hanging from my rearview mirror to remind me that my problems aren't quite as big as they seem at the moment.  When I tell people that I volunteer at a Camp for children with cancer during the summers, I always get a positive reaction..."What an amazing thing you do!" "You are so good to give up your time!".  Yes, I have given Camp alot, but it in no way can compare to what Camp has DONE to me as a person, how it has CHANGED me as a person and the amazing people it brings to my life each year!  I could talk about Camp all day, but until you experience it, you'll never understand. 

Hey Campers....Hustle, Hustle, Hustle- HARD! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Here, there and yonder

Just when I thought I was safely back at home, Will tells me he is going to San Antonio this weekend for his grandmother's birthday and would like for me to go with him.  Cue me dragging my navy Vera Bradley duffle bag (and of course matching Vera bathroom bags) out of the's a good thing I love him.  At least I got 3 nights in my very own bed. 

On July 3rd, I began the long trek to Alabama.  My dad had already taken CC to his house, so I didn't have to travel with her.  I first stopped in Louisiana to spend some time with my Granddad.  For those of you who I haven't told, my Granddad was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, and apparently it's pretty aggressive.  Luckily, his treatment doesn't require chemo or radiation, the doctors are injecting meds directly into his bladder, then he has to go home and lay on his back for 15 minutes, his side for 15, his stomach for 15 and his other side for 15.  We call this the rotisserie.  He began his first treatment this week, and will get one once a week for the next 5 weeks...we would appreciate if you kept him in your prayers. 

Anyway...I spent a few days in Lafayette hanging out with him.  The day I arrived, we went to the nursing home to visit my Gram, then met up with my Nanny, my cousin Kevin and his girlfriend Molly at my most favorite pizza place ever, Deano's!  On July 4th, we headed out to Butte LaRose to spend the day with some old family friends at their camp.  I haven't seen some of them in over 10 years (since I haven't lived in Louisiana since August of 2000), and it was nice to catch up.  Plus there was some great food! 

On July 5th, I repacked the car and continued East on I-10.  As I entered Alabama, I thanked God I was heading East and not West, where the traffic was backed up over 30 miles...I might have laughed a little as I sped by the West bound lanes...
I arrived at my dad's in the early afternoon and was greeted by an overly excited CC girl.  She had been with my dad for over 2 weeks.  My dad has 4 dogs, 2 small dogs and 2 really big labs.  CC is used to being an only child.  Her days consist of an early morning nap, a mid-morning nap, a late morning nap, a short trip in the backyard to sun bathe, an early afternoon nap, chewing on a bone/playing with a toy, a mid-afternoon nap, a walk, a late afternoon nap, dinner, playing on the floor/evening craziness, an evening nap, and of course, up to bed to snuggle under the covers...sometimes even before I make it upstairs.  (She has a rough life).  Her schedule was severely intrupted while in Alabama, in fact, I'm not sure she's quite recovered. 

On July 7th, I headed up to Greenville, AL to meet up with two great friends and carpool up to Camp SAM!  I spent a great 10 days with some of the most amazing people I know (both campers and counselors).  More on that to come, I think it deserves it's own post. 

I headed back to Texas a little early due to a change in plans.  Not ready to mention it yet, but maybe soon...

Anyway, I'm back (for the moment) in my own house.  I still have a few overnight stays planned for this summer (Yearbook Camp with Amanda and 10 8th graders and CHRP retreat at church), but at least they are local!!!  Now I'm just hanging out until it's time to go back to work!