I love girl’s camp. I’ve loved it ever since attending as a Beehive where we dug latrines and boiled water from the river so it was clean enough to drink. I loved it as a Mia Maid when we hiked six miles to our campsite with packs full of freeze dried food. I loved it as a Laurel as we laughed harder planning our skits than we did acting them out. As a leader, I love watching the young women experience the love of God in the middle of His creations.
And I love testimony meeting by the campfire – it is the highlight of the whole week. The campers are smelly and dirty and we share tender moments that brought us closer to the Creator. It’s always the best part of camp.
I just got back from girl’s camp last week. It was the best one I’ve ever been to. I loved every minute of hiking, eating, crafting, laughing and learning. It rained a bit each day, but the sun always won out and even though we were soaked to the bone on one occasion, we were dry an hour later, thanks to the July heat. An hour or two before our campfire testimony meeting was to take place, the rain threatened to visit again. But we started anyway. There is always that awkward pause waiting for the first person to stand up and say a few things. I figured I’d relieve the silence and go first.
Not too far into my comments, I felt something drop on my head. I thought to myself, “Is that a raindrop? It feels more substantial than a drop of rain and the clouds have cleared.” Then it occurred to me to look up. I was standing under an aspen tree. I used to like aspen trees. A dozen branches up, there was a tiny bird. I used to like tiny birds. That tiny bird in the aspen tree had just…how do I say this…had just pooped on my head! The dropping somehow navigated its way through all the leaves of the aspen and landed on my unwashed-for-three-days camp hair! Once I realized what had happened, I leaned my head forward and asked, “Did a bird just poop on my head?!!!????!!!!!!????!?!”
The other campers confirmed the bird had indeed used my head as a lavatory and laughter erupted. I yelled, “Somebody get me some paper towel and a camera!” My daughter came to my rescue with paper towel and another Mia Maid snapped a picture. We laughed more. Once the clean-up was done and the laughter had settled, I said aloud, “Now, where was I?” Before I could jump back into my comments, one of the leaders said, “I hope you girls noticed how Sister Weeks handled this situation. She didn’t get embarrassed, she just laughed along with us.” It was a kind-hearted comment and it gave me a little extra courage to finish my testimony.
As I reflected on that hilarious, but potentially mortifying situation, a light bulb came on in my head and my heart. I realized the reason I wasn’t completely red-faced after bird droppings fell on my head in front of EVERYONE during a vulnerable moment was because they love me and I know it. I was surrounded by love. Not one of the young women, leaders, Bishopric members or their wives were laughing at me. I’m confident not a single person was happy it happened to me or thought I was getting my due. I was in a circle of people who care about me and I care about them. Only love and kindness existed there. I was safe. Safe to laugh, safe to have something embarrassing happen and not be embarrassed, safe to continue with heart-felt thoughts. And it was all because of love.
I feel grateful to live among people who love deeply. I hope I offer that same type of love in return.
Blog to you soon,