Bibles and Bug SprayWhen I was 10 years old, I went to church camp. I don’t seem like a camping girl, but my best friend, Kemi, who also attended my church, was going. At first it didn’t seem so great, having church like 3 times a day and living with the elements for an entire week. Sooner or later, however, I actually became fond of the whole thing.
To prepare for the trip, my mom bought me a bunch of useless junk to bring and even took me to get my hair braided for the first time! She was more excited about it than I was; I think it was because she had one less child in the house for a week.
It was about a two-hour ride to the boonies in Eastern Virginia. We first took a bus, then a ferry for the last part of the ride. Our bible study leaders gave us old bread to feed to the ducks, but some girls got hungry and decided to eat the bread. Surprisingly, they had strong stomachs and didn’t get sick!
When we got to camp, instantly everyone got disappointed. Our faces were priceless; it was as if we had all been robbed at the same exact time. The cabins looked as if they were made in the ‘60’s and not used since then. Basically, it wasn’t like the church described or like any of the pictures shown.
Boys were all in one room and girls in another. The first thing the pastor warned us was, “If you roll in your sleep, don’t sleep on the top bunk.” He said this because, real shocker, there were no rails on the bunk beds.
Every day was the same routine, waking up early, eating meals, and having church every other hour. The only change to our routine was occasionally swimming in the pool. Now, hearing that this camp actually had a pool was very surprising. Of course, there was a twist to this surprise; horse flies always would make regular visits to this pool. There was an unspoken ritual for everyone to immerse themselves in the pool when you were within couple of inches of the flies. Some people had a delayed reaction to the sight of these pests and those people got bitten. My friend and I were one of the few who, by the end of the week, were untouched!
There were also many funny stories that came from my first and last time at camp! One of my favorites is when I woke up and saw my fellow camper, Nicole, in the bottom bunk with her camp leader mom. I said, “Nicole, why are you sleeping down there?” She simply replied, “I fell off the bed.” My friend and I burst out laughing, maybe because the pastor spoke about that the night before or because, literally, no one heard her fall!
I learned a lot from camp, not things I can use daily, but things I will never forget. For example, the outdoors is not made for me, you can never get enough church, and advertisements are made to mislead naïve children.