Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 213

The only way I have to do this story justice is to write it.  I went to camp.  I hadn't been back for twenty years.  I know that I have let some of you read my short story I wrote about that experience at girl's camp two decades ago, but all humor aside, that was a pivotal time in my life.  I know that those "glory" days if you will I had to experience before I went through one of the most trying times a few months later.  Clara Bella Fire Woman was the epitome of all the strengths I had and how much I was looking for acceptance and found it in such a dramatic fashion. 

The fire woman was popular.  She was sought after and wanted.  The girl who moved away from all of that was not.  She was alone...again.  So I went back this time as not even a leader, as a spectator, a friend, a woman who has crossed mountains since that frizzy haired little girl of years' ago.  The girls cheered when I got there and I got strapped up ready to dazzle on the zip line.  I had never done that before and it was exhilarating.   Being with the girls was incredible, being with the camp directors who are dear friends was amazing.  There were some politics and I'm not going to go into all that here, but this was the opportunity for me to face that head on.

There was a talent show the first night.  All the girls and even some of the ladies were running up to the front.  I couldn't get up.  What could I share?  What could I do?  I felt frozen and content to just sit and watch.  The girls were begging me to get up, giving me ideas.  "Do Shakespeare like you did back in high school" (how did they remember that?)  "Sing a show tune" (huh?)  Suddenly, my buddy A, 14 going on 35, grabs my arm.  "You are an actress.  We are doing improv right now."  The girls shout out scenarios and I just knew my heart was afraid.  There were a couple of people in the audience that frightened me, that I felt don't like me at all and so I felt like I was suspended in the moment, not daring to believe what was happening.

My friend C stands up.  She knows me well.  "I want you to share the Fire Woman story."  Suddenly, it fell into place.  I wasn't there for the two people in the audience who gave me pause.  I wasn't there for me.  I was there for these girls.  My mouth started moving and I gave my story.  I had to water it down a bit and let the girls know that all the pranks I pulled weren't something they should do, but I told my story.  The girls loved it.  They all stopped and took turns naming themselves different camp names and someone came up and gave me the headdress they gave to the game winners and it ended up being the culmination of the evening.  The girls surrounded me and asked me to play games with them, visit their tents and I realized that there was an energy there, that maybe I was an energy there. 

The next morning was the devotional.  I mentioned how I was preparing.  I prayed that morning in our tent.  I told Him I was there and willing to say whatever he wanted me to say, but that I needed his help in reaching the girls.  We all sat in a circle.  I told them the rest of the story.  How after I left camp I would move and leave all my friends and even what I felt was like my identity and would  feel utterly alone and how I learned that the Savior was my shelter during that awful storm.   I bore testimony of Him and then I talked to them about how they too can be shelters for each other.  I testified and shed tears and felt the spirit.  I had done what I came to do.

 Bro. P and Bro. B were there for me to hang out with and share stories over meals and to cheer me on.  I rocked the hike and wore myself right down, but spoke to the person I needed to clear the air with all the way back down the mountain.  It was healing.  I realized that we just needed to talk to each other and I saw the world from her point of view and maybe she saw the world from mine and suddenly the politics were over, maybe not for others, but for me.  I realized that I don't have to belong to one "group" or another.  I am a free agent.   I choose to get along with everybody. 

I was able to talk to the girls one on one and I realized that I am in the calling I need to be in right now.  It is not YW's at this time like I originally thought.  I love the girls, but the time is not yet.  I am so blessed.  The Lord knows what I need to help me grow.  He constantly gives me opportunities to stretch outside of my comfort zone. 


  1. This was a great way to begin a Sunday. I was thinking of you a lot as you were "roughing it." I am so glad the air is free and clear for you now. I love the "free agent" thing. Always felt like one myself, especially in jr high. So nice to have something to call it.

  2. I'm glad you shared your story. I loved reading it a while back. I'm glad everything worked out so well!