Friday, October 03, 2008

And now we know the reasons why

Top seventeen reasons someone (meaning ME) is not cut out to be a camp counselor. Or to go camping. Or perhaps even go outdoors. Ever.

1. Remember how I said I thought I would enjoy hiking? Well, the first day was fine. But no-one explained to my thigh muscles how they would feel the next morning, with two more days of hiking to go.

2. It is damn near impossible to take quality photographs while sweat is dripping in the one good eye you’re keeping open in front of the lens.

3. I do not enjoy the stickers (teeny tiny poke-y tumbleweeds???) that attached themselves to me. Especially my socks. By the dozens. I mean, I was like a magnet for those stickers.

4. When a centipede lands on the head of one of your campers in your cabin and all the girls are squealing like banshees and pointing and jumping all over and you’re looking around for someone to kill it and you realize, “Holy Crap, **I** am the grown up here and will have to do it myself.”

5. I stink at every single activity. Archery, target shooting, fishing, identifying fossils, spotting wildlife … you name it, my only useful capacity was to take photos of *other* *people doing those things well.

6. Having the class asthmatic pass me on the trail was a little humbling.

7. None of the kids in my group wanted to stop and wait while I whined about the stickers in my shoes.

8. Because when the student behind you in the canoe is trying to do a fancy dig with his oar and accidentally flips a huge wave of water in your face and you yelp a bad word, you will not be setting a good example.

9. Cell phone going off during campfire skits: (see bad language example of number 8.)

10. The HELL!?!?! Seriously, what is up with those stickers?!?!?

11. When you’re perched on the side of the mountain trying to take a good picture, and your brother in law asks, “When you fall, which do you want me to save, you or your camera?”

12. When you realize that honestly? The camera is more valuable to you.

13. You do not find coyote poop as fascinating as ten year olds do.

14. Much to your shock and dismay, there is not a Sonic at the top of the mountain.

15. Listening to the Burrito Song for two solid hours on a bus will make your ears bleed.

16. When a wasp buzzes right by your ear, and you slap it away, that is perfectly acceptable behavior. Unfortunately, if you slap it onto the arm of the mom sitting next to you and it stings her …. You probably have not made a friend for life.

17. When climbing the steepest hike of the week, and you ask the coach, jokingly, if you are the fattest, most out of shape parent who has ever attended camp as a counselor …. And he has to think about it.

**disclaimer: I’m kidding. Well, about some of it, anyway. I really did hate the stickers poking me through my socks, and the centipede thing was pretty disgusting, and I felt bad about the bee sting, but overall, we had a great time. No-one had to push me, pull me, or in any other manner help me up or down any of the trails. I had seven of the most pleasant, agreeable, cheerful 5th grade girl campers in the history of camping, and enjoyed my time with them immensely. (Again, except for the centipede episode.) The weather could not have been better, I greatly enjoyed getting to spend time with my brother in law, watching Kellen learn and have fun with his classmates and friends in that environment was wonderful, the other parent-counselors were fun to be with (except for whoever put Vaseline on our doorknob and our toilet seat and if I find out who that was there will be hell to pay …….) and best of all? There were s’mores. Quite frankly, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Kellen, fishing. This was before the entire hour of fishing passed by without him catching a single fish. The look on his face afterwards was perhaps not quite as cheerful.

Kellen, hiking. Please take note that if I'm *above* him, taking his picture, I get credit for climbing the same damn mountain.

My nephew ---- the second most cute kid there this weekend.

OK --- here's the story behind this picture. While I don't consider myself a hypochondriac, per se .... I *do* make sure I'm prepared at all times, for all circumstances, with a veritable cornucopia of drugs in my purse. Tylenol, benadryl, immodium. Well, actually, those are the only three I carry. Plus a couple of Excedrin Migraine, when it's necessary to pull out the big guns. If one of *those* medications won't take care of what ails you, then you're sick enough you should go home. But at all times, I've got it covered. EXCEPT for the week at 5th grade camp, when you (I) follow the counselor instruction note and carry a back-pack instead of a purse, but you (I) won't realize until you (I) actually GET TO CAMP that without your (my) purse, you are (I am) also without any of your (my) trifecta of pharmaceuticals. So after a night spent feeling as though my allergies had been assaulted by the great outdoors, no caffeine in 24 hours, and crawling out of bed at 7am to pound on the nurse's infirmary door begging -- BEGGING -- for some kind (ANY KIND) of headache medicine .... *THIS* is what I looked like. Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

They next day, after mooching Tylenol from the nurse, a Benadryl from one parent, two Advil from another, and my cabin-mate parent finding me a Diet Dr. Pepper (thank you God, for Jacob's mom Shannon) I was raring to go! And just in time, too, because forty little kids were waiting for me to NOT find them any fossils.


Tammy said...

I am absolutely about to pee in my pants! Man you made a boring day end on a high note! Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

I am not a big fan of camping either. Well unless it's in a huge, a/c included RV! That's my form of 'roughing' it! LOL you are hiarious and tell it like it is. I can hear myself saying the same things!
claire in tX

Amy said...

This is great! You go girl.

Mama Bear said...

So funny! And you managed to put on makeup at camp? God bless you! I can definitely feel for the puffy allergy face - my eyes swell shut in the right (or wrong!) outdoor atmosphere. So glad you enjoyed yourself and I'm sure Kellen will never forget it.

Amy said...

I think that Sonic at the top of the mountain sounds like a good business proposition for you.

mom25in5 said...


Besides laughing my pants off because this is one trip I would seriously bribe my husband to go on..I couldn't get over how grown up Kellen looks! How funny is that? I've seen your pictures, but for some reason in these he just looks, well, like a young man. No more little boy. When did that happen?!

I'm glad you both had a great time-and from the huge smile on Kellen's face it looks like he was glad his Mom was with him. Hugs!


Is-there-a-bug-they-bring-home-I-don't-have-to-get?-Mom to:


Alisa said...

Glad you had fun. I'm sure the girls had a blast with you as well. I know I would have! Except, I would not have made it up the mountain because you would have had me laughing too hard.

Stefunkc said...

You survived! So good to hear. There were bets being made:) Just think, when you go again with Kendrie you'll know all the things you need to take!

Jacqueline said...

Too funny! I thought I was the only one with a pharmacy in my purse...however, due to way too much experience, I now remember to transfer from purse to purse or purse to backpack.

In any event, glad you had a good time...looks like so much fun!

Cate said...

I love to mountain bike. I love to hike. I love the great outdoors. I hate camping with every piece of my being!

Now, I have to go get ready. I'm guiding a ride this morning.

Cathy said...

Is Kellen that tall or is he standing on a rock?

Looks and sounds like it was fun!

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

Sounds like you had a great time. You get to do it all again when Kendrie's in 5th grade!

Pam D said...

On our first (and potentially last) Cub Scout family campout last spring, we got the tent up (it actually raises like an umbrella; no poles to thread!). We realized that the campground was smack in the middle of one of the lushest poison ivy patches known to man, so I spent the afternoon TRYING to herd the kids onto the few narrow paths that weren't loaded. We had a good dinner, and a great campfire, and we settled into our "6 man tent" (right; if all six men had their arms and legs sawed off... maybe). The 58 year old husband, 48 year old me, and 8 year old son, and a latrine that was about 100 yards away UPHILL in the dark. Yay. But it got better. We were camping on a cove of a lake, and a party boat came by every 15 minutes til well after midnight, blaring music and spewing obscenities. Finally, they either drowned or found a place to park it. But no, wait, it got even BETTER! A rogue thunderstorm blew through, and between the wind and the rain, I really wondered if we were going to survive intact. Being the experienced camper that I am (right), there were several items that were up against the tent fabric, so it leaked, and the three of us squished together in the middle and tried to stay dry. Finally, the storm passed.. and then I heard a little voice next to me say "Mom, I REALLY need to go to the bathroom!"
We've not been camping again. I feel your pain!

Anonymous said...

You are brave! As we "speak" I'm waving bye to my husband and 8yr old son off to Cub Scout Camp-out and I go out w/ the girls! Glad you had fun bonding though...I do love shooting guns and hanging out by the campfire but just sometimes I need to be a girl!

PS: I would have waited w/you to get those spurs out of your socks... ;)

Meg from Ga

Dianna in Louisiana said...

You're a GREAT mom Kristie---- I'd have probably taken full advantage of the headache and went home!!!!

new mom in law said...

The closest I want to come to roughing it, is a black and white tv in a Holiday Inn.

Jeanette in GA said...

ARe those RED highlights I see in your hair???? Or is it the sunlight?

Alice said...

This post made me laugh, because I can so relate (I really do like to camp, but I'm not the best nature girl out there.)

I think you're adorable in your pictures.

Cara said...

We call them 'stick-tights'. When my daughter (now 16) was 2 we went hiking in the woods and she came out completely covered in them. She thought they were bugs and FREAKED OUT so we are trying to pick them off one at a time! It only took a few seconds of her screaming at the top of her lungs for us to jerk all her clothes off while we tried not to laugh.

Anonymous said...

I think you might be ready for Survivor...well maybe not, but I love looking at the pictures. They are always great and it looks like you and Kellen had a great time!! (((HUGS)))
Lisa D from Hamilton, OH