Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wow it has been awhile. But we are meeting once a month and working on the denim quilts for the campers. Bonnie, Teri Cutler and I were busy this summer attending ever camp to do our craft.

I want to thank Teri for coming up to camp to help us out with the craft, and doing her life guarding at camp for swim time. This allows Tony and Jeremy free time to catch with all the camp activities. Thanks Teri

I want to thank Bonnie, I would not being doing all of this without her faithful support. Thanks Bonnie.

Monica has been wonderful in learning how to piece the denim quilts together and cut them as well a quick learner and so diligent to do anything. She is doing all the nursing home gifts at her home with her girls. This is a wonderful blessing to many homes.

Linda has knitted so many items for the boutique and campers that I am blown away how fast she was.

 Below is a story of camp written by Nitro a Faithful counselor of 3 camps this year.. I love the way he writes. He describes camp real well and tells a little about our craft.

To start with, it was such an honor and privilege for me to do three camps this summer, of which the theme was "Above the Bar."  It was an Olympic theme, not dissimilar to the games held in London.  We just didn't have all the music and fanfare.  However, we did have some tambourine and harmonica music at certain times.  And we didn't have quite the same number of fans visiting!  But there were some fans in the cabins because of the warm evenings.

There were a total of four camps.  This fourth camp was from Monday, August 6 through Friday, August 10, and was for high school campers.

Considering the weather during this fourth and final camp, the blue skies were full of blustery clouds, because the humidity, I think.  It was very tropical.  There were occasional gentle breezes, but for the most part it was warm to the point of being almost uncomfortable.  I mostly wore Hawaiian shirts, and baggy British-style safari shorts.  Anyone for a cup of tea?

By Tuesday we had some rain.  It was a glorious time with thunder, lightning, and some hail.  It began about three o'clock in the afternoon, when the "free choice/three choice" activities began.  This was the very time I had my scheduled hour and half break.  Thus, I was able to snap a few photos of the directors' kids "dancing and singing in the rain."  I captured a couple of "prize winning" photos of Luke Britton, his little sister Allie Britton, and Samantha Massa in the rain just outside the lodge.  It was picture-perfect.  The three "little campers" posed and danced in the warm rain.  The thunder, lightning, and sudden cloudburst at this moment was perfect timing...for perfect "adventurous" memories. 

The "indoor" activity at this time was "sewing."  Karen Bochinski, Bonnie Ramirez, and Teri Cutler drove up to camp to serve the campers in this activity.  Amazingly, even boys love sewing.  However, at the time the activity began, the drenching rain storm caused a power outage.  I was told it lasted only several minutes.  The power went out again later in the afternoon for a longer period, but was restored in time for the campers' Discovery Hour, about five o'clock, or so.

Speaking of sewing, I learned how to sew in...believe it or not...Marine Corps recruit training, or boot camp.  I remember it fondly...or not so we recruits were issued a small sewing take into combat with us...besides our rifles.  We were taught how to hem our combat trousers.  It's very simple and quick.  Plus we learned how to sew on buttons.  Buttons on sleeves or shirts are not critical in combat, but buttons on our trousers fly are very critical.  A broken or lost button on the fly can be replace easily.  Issued trousers can last for several wars.  Thus, combat trousers will never have zippers.  A broken zipper can never be repaired.  A war could be lost at that critical point.  (I learned everything I ever needed to know in Marine Corps boot camp.)

I did not fight in Vietnam.  I believe the Good Lord above was watching over me.

Meanwhile, back in camp...several campers went on the the rainstorm.  They returned afterwards...very wet.  Thankfully summer rain is warm.

I previously said that this was my scheduled break time.  I had been wanting to for several years...and finally did...visit the local "just out of town" Scrimshaw Shop.  I was hoping to see a vast array of tie tacks, whale tusks, etc. on display.  The proprietor had only a few items for sale, and they were highly priced.  He told me he usually carves only upon request.  I told him about my two scrimshaw tie with a sailing vessel on it, and the other with an American Eagle on it.  We had a nice chat, and I then departed back to town, and then to camp.

Continuing on about the weather, camp has an "almost" Olympic size swimming pool.  It was very, very refreshing to say the least!  I have been in some high-altitude lakes that can be bordering on the summer.  Perhaps you have heard of Lone Pine Lake on the trail that leads to Mount Whitney in California?  It is at an altitude of just over 9,000 feet.  Its water is very cold, but nonetheless refreshing...after miles of backpacking.  The camp pool is not quite "arctic" in temperature.  Nor is it quite "alpine" in temperature, but just about right for the Julian Zone, about 4300 feet in elevation.

One thing I really enjoy during swim time is doing my "Olympic Power Splashes."  (I have not yet won the Gold for this event.)  It's a matter of taking a flying leap off the edge of the pool.  (There is no diving board.)  I jump feet first, but leaning back about forty-five degrees, and falling into the water straight down, body stiff, and holding my hands over my face.  This typically results in a booming splash that at first spreads out wide, then a second splash powers straight up.   I have heard some swimmers in the past call this dive "The Forty-Five."  With careful aiming and angle, I can "hit" almost anyone nearby on the deck.  (At least that's what I'm told.) 

Here is a funny thing:  There are times at "pool time" that I tell campers not to splash me...that I don't want to get wet.  They always laugh...probably because I am already in the pool...and sopping wet!

Another event I took great pleasure in was one of the "camper time Discovery Hours."  Typically during this hour the campers will do an activity like map and compass reading; a visit to the newly built nature lodge/center for plant and animal identification; or a movie of great interest.

On Wednesday there was a special guest.  And I mean Special.  He and his pastor drove up from El Cajon...Legacy talk to the campers about his war experience.  (Counselors have a prayer and snack time during the Discovery Hour.)  I took a "leave of absence" to hear this man speak.  Leo Tuck was a Navy Corpsman during World War II...on Iwo Jima!  His story and film presentation was monumental!  He is eighty-seven.  He saved Marines' lives on that volcanic rock!  He also watched Marines die.  Everyone in attendance passed around a small jug of volcanic ash that he brought back with him when he visited there about five years ago.  I was able to chat with him, and take some photos with him, his pastor, and with director Tony Massa.  His stories of the mud Marines fighting to take Mount Suribachi were grim and sobering.  Every camper was wide-eyed and open-mouthed as he spoke.  Several campers asked some serious questions about his time fighting along with the Marines, and his time in the Navy.  He didn't make the Navy a career, but went into teaching as his career.

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