// summer camp | pt. two //

hello, my friends!

the second part of my adventures at summer camp is here!! make sure to read part one here.

« day four | wednesday »

there was an enormous tulip-tree moth at the dining hall the next morning.

there were waterfront games that night. each campsite entered girls into the competitions, such as climbing the iceberg, relays, the rubber ducky race, swamping a canoe, etc. the only one i was in was the canoe swamp. all i had to do was sit in it, squished up against other girls, until the canoe got too heavy and filled with water.

newlon won the aquatic games. :D

for the search, survival, and rescue badge, we had to spend wednesday night sleeping in the woods in makeshift shelters. the one izzy and i made looked a bit like this, but shorter. so after the waterfront games, we changed into dry clothes and headed off to where we had built our shelters earlier that day. sleeping in the woods was a little bit awful and a little bit insanely exciting.

we took a night hike out to indian point, a peninsula in the lake. i laid in the dewy grass and watched the sky and the lights reflecting off the water while our leader talked about stars. then we went back to our shelters and started a tiny fire with flint and steel.

a normal exchange between izzy and loren that night:

me: you know those baby pictures, where you can see the baby’s feet, and the parents’ feet are on either side?

izzy: i guess.

me, patting a pack of uno cards on the ground between us: this is the baby.

izzy: stop being weird.

me: i’m not being weird!

alex, our leader, in the distance: shut up and go to sleep!

« day five | thursday »

the next morning, we tore down our shelters and went back to the newlon campsite as soon as it was light. most of us went directly to the showers. and that, my friends, was the last shower i had at camp. :)

the evening vespers was that day. we met at a tiny chapel, where the pastor talked about what it means to serve God and others.

so do not fear, for i am with you;
do not be dismayed, for i am your God.
i will strengthen you and help you;
i will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
all who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.
those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.
for i am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear;
i will help you.

isaiah 41: 10-13

there was a campfire that night. one of the leaders always saves the ashes and uses them in the fire the next year. he said that there’s over one hundred years of scouting history in the ashes.

they had tons of s’mores supplies for us to use, including giant marshmallows and candy bars. s’mores are delicious.

for entertainment, the campers sang, told jokes, did skits, etc. our friend bella taught us the rooster song, which is probably the greatest camp song i’ve ever  heard.

i had a chicken
but no eggs it laid
i had a chicken
but no eggs it laid
until that rooster
came in my yard
and caught my chicken
completely off guard
we’re having omelets
we never used to
until that rooster came in my yard
we’re having omelets
we never used to
until that rooster came in my yard

look it up on youtube so you can hear the rest, it’s such a thought-provoking song.

« day six | friday »

friday was our last full day at camp, and i got a few cute pictures of the friends i made.

lily & bella.

arm throne.

piggyback ride.

parents were allowed to visit camp that evening for dinner, another fire, and a talent show.

the audition skit.

 F.U.N. song on an electric ukulele.

F is for friends who do stuff together
U is for ukuele
N is for nose picking, sharing gum and sand licking
here with my best buddy

“ALEX is long gone when he left us in the middle of the woods for his car!”

every year, this troop rewrites a taylor swift song to be about that week of camp. this year’s was the song trouble.

i’ve got my ticket for the long way ‘round
the one with the prettiest of views
it’s got mountains, it’s got rivers, it’s got sights to give you shivers
but it sure would be prettier with you

cups // anna kendrick

look at the staff GO.

it’s a lie, it’s a lie. ships ahoy, ships ahey, ships a hi-hi-hi!
oh, i’ve sailed the seven seas and i’ve sniffed the salty breeze,
but i never, ever, ever saw a mermaid.

there was supposed to be a meteor shower that night, and a lot of the girls were going to sleep on the plaza and watch the sky. but it started pouring, so we camped out in the dining hall instead.

leftover s’mores supplies were laid out on the one of the tables, and my brilliant friends decided to do the chubby bunny challenge. they were not very good at it.

it was a rather nice night, really. there weren’t many girls on sugar highs this year. the cook made calzones for our midnight snack and we watched the secret life of pets. i wasn’t really paying much attention to the movie. i was too busy drawing a girl named mary and cuddling with my friend brie and listening to her talk in a southern accent. she kept mentioning how tiny and what a great cuddle buddy i am, and she tried to take me home with her the next day.

izzy and i stayed in the dining hall until about 1:30 a.m., when we left to sleep in our own tent.

« day seven | saturday »

and then, of course, the saddest part of camp: the day everyone goes home and you don’t hear from each other until the next year.

someone told us that the trading post was giving out free slushies, so izzy and i stopped there on our way to breakfast. being polite and grammatically correct, i asked the staffer, david, “may i have a cherry slushie?”

and what did he say?

“no, you may not.”

he was laughing until he saw my expression. hurriedly assuring me that he was joking, muttering to himself that he thought i had been going to punch him, david gave me my cherry slushie. :)

i had been eyeing a pocket knife all week. it was one of those pretty rainbow ones. the guy at the trading post refused to sell it to me, because he overheard a conversation with izzy that went something like this:

“ooh, izzy, look at that rainbow knife! you can murder your enemies with sparkles and joy!!”

apparently, he didn’t trust me not to stab someone. fair enough. i eventually convinced my mom to go buy it for me, but it was sold out by that time. maybe next year.

breakfast that day was soggy mini powdered donuts and apples. we exchanged email addresses and social media usernames with our friends, and then izzy and i were on our way back home. i think we both slept most of the way.

i got a new totem necklace from the trading post! last year, i got one with a white tiger charm, and my 2017 animal friend is a spider.

according to the slips of paper that came with the necklaces, the “attributes of  TIGER include: passion, strength, stealth, adventurous, spirit, unpredictable, self-control, independence, charisma, valor, intuition, devotion and solidarity.” “SPIDER characteristics include: patience, infinity, creativity, artistic expression, and the web of destiny.”

after returning home from an exhausting week away, most normal people would crash and relax/nap for the rest of the day. but, as we all know, i am not a normal person. so what did i do instead of resting? something slightly crazy and borderline extroverted. my friend’s birthday party was that day, which i didn’t know about until i got home. i had to take a super quick shower and go meet up with my friend, because her family was nearby getting kittens. i spent the rest of the day with her, trying to make fondue for her cake. no rest for the weary. :’)

xo

loren

Advertisements

// summer camp | pt. one //

hello, my friends!

here’s the promised post about the week i spent at one of my favorite places, summer camp. there are lots of photos, just a warning.

i may have mentioned at some point that i ran a 5k with my friend izzy the day before we left for camp. well, i got blisters on both of my heels from that. so keep in mind that while i was making my way around camp, i was limping and in pain and getting blood all over my socks. :)

« Day one | sunday »

this is the second summer i’ve spent at camp. it’s for boy scouts, but they allow my scouting group, ahg, to use it for one week. it’s a few hours away from where i live, and i don’t really remember much of the drive up there. i do know that izzy and i spent a long time trying to tune this ukulele that is absolute trash. it’s red and plastic and sounds horrible.

when we got there, we had to go to the admin building to sign in, where we were given those blue wristbands that are impossible to get off. then we went to find our campsite. we stayed in newlon, just like last year.

i think i’ve complained about the tents before, but i’m going to do it again. they’re made of muddy green canvas with duct tape patches over the tears. they’re not waterproof at all, and if you don’t cover it with a tarp, you will be soaked by the storms. the corners of the tents are open and you have to bring your own rope to tie them closed with. the cots are uncomfortable and saggy and have questionable stains on them. you have to search the tent at night for bugs and squish them before you can go to bed. we found spiders, an egg sack, camel crickets, etc.

we shared a campsite with a troop that we made friends with last year. izzy and i were reunited with our pals beth and alex, which was really exciting. we had a campfire and s’mores that night and hung out with them then.one thing i love about making friends at summer camp is that they haven’t heard any rumors about you that might taint your image, and even if it’s been a year since you’ve seen them, you can pick up right where you left off like no time has passed at all.

our friend emily wasn’t there, and i was a bit disappointed about that. apparently she didn’t want to miss one week of swim practice. hopefully she’ll be there next year.

izzy and i picked a tent that was a few yards away from the rest of newlon. we called it our hermit tent.

once our unpacking was done, izzy and i headed down to the lake for the swim test.

i’ll be honest. i’m not that great of a swimmer. i thought i was going to die when i did it last year. in order to pass, you have to swim 75 yd. of a forward stroke, 25 yd. of elementary backstroke, and then float for awhile. it was much easier this year, though. i’m not sure why.

after the swim test, we headed up to eagle plaza. that’s where they do the morning and dinner flag ceremonies and make announcements before every meal. the announcements were long and dull and it was always hot outside.

the meals were served cafeteria-style. you would find a seat in the dining hall, wait for your table to be dismissed, make a mad dash for the kitchen, and stand in a line as long as the building.

and now i will complain about the food.

the soda machine kept breaking. i actually ate salad while i was there. they served unidentifiable canned fruit for nearly every meal. the juices flooded the plate and made the sandwiches soggy. the only time they made an effort to keep the sandwiches dry was when the parents came for dinner on the last night, and they wrapped them in foil. they gave us chicken biscuits for breakfast one day, and to make it slightly different from the chicken sandwiches we had eaten for lunch the day before, we were given little packets of jelly. JELLY. ON CHICKEN.

after dinner, a silkscreening station was set up, so we could make our own camp t-shirts. i got my mom to do mine for me, so i didn’t have to stand in line with over ninety girls.

need to check the weather at camp, but don’t have internet access? no problem. the overstreet weather rock has got you covered. according to the wise, all-seeing rock, it poured the entire night and my mom marched us up to the dining hall at one in the morning so we wouldn’t get electrocuted in our tent.

izzy read part of a book to me that night: heap house (the iremonger trilogy) // edward carey. it’s one of the most bizarre books i’ve ever read, but i enjoyed it quite a lot.

dark. darker than any coal hole i’ve ever seen, so little light from the clouds above. and cold with it, colder than any winter day when your breath makes thick clouds and the puddles have all iced over and it hurts to touch metal and you’re huddling and shivering though you’ve put so many layers on and you think you’ll never ever get warm again. colder than that. and hopeless, without any hope at all. and the feeling of being dead. of being lost from everyone. buried alive deep down and no one to know it. and the feeling of uselessness, of being broken and alone. in the cold darkness. that’s how i felt.

i’ve been put out, i thought.

i’ve been snuffed out.

i’m not alight any longer.

« day two | monday »

the next morning, we woke up incredibly early, when it was still dark. if you want to shower while at camp, you need to get up and into one of the stalls before the rest of the girls wake up, or else you are out of luck. i remember that last year, you could spend twenty minutes sitting in the 7 a.m. chill while waiting for a stall to open up. it took forever for the campers to get ready because they liked talking to each other while showering.

the newlon side of the bathhouse had freezing water. it was warmer to stand outside in the rain than to get in those showers. that’s why i only showered twice the entire week. i’m good at hygiene.

after breakfast, we went to our first class, fishing. then to shooting sports. then search, survival, and rescue, and then lunch. (i’ll be talking about the badge classes in another post.) we had a few hours of free time after that, which izzy and i spent walking around camp and taking photos.

we found this millipede by the newlon campsite. i think it’s a polydesmida, but  i’m going to call it halloween.

there’s a bouldering wall that i’m actually quite good at. the most difficult bits are getting around the corners and this one stupid green fish handhold.

what a lovely face. 10/10.

lakeside trail.

to the waterfront.

we found this weird tree by the lake. it looks like a candy cane to me.

the dock in lake dillon.

where the boating equipment is stored. 

this thing is called the wet willie. it gives you a wedgie.

this is the iceberg. they didn’t have it set up last year. getting your legs out of the water and into a handhold was the hardest part, but after that, it’s a fairly easy climb to the top, where you slide down the other side.

boating.

i was really excited to see the jellyfish in the lake, but i didn’t get a chance to canoe or paddle board out to where they are. i guess it didn’t really matter, since no one at camp had seen the jellyfish this year. they must have died.

« day three | tuesday »

the next day was the dutch over cook-off. izzy and i made a brownie cherry cobbler, adapted from this recipe. we practiced making it at home before camp, and it took us over three hours that time, so we made sure to start cooking it early. there were a few dads who had volunteered to cook the desserts for everyone, but my mom insisted that we make it, so it wouldn’t get burned like last time. (last year, we made a disgusting s’mores concoction. it was so hot that it melted a judge’s plastic spoon.)

the cobbler finished cooking just after dinner had started. we grabbed some food at the dining hall before following everyone back to the campsites for the judging. there were seven cobblers, i think: ours; a s’mores thing; chocolate, strawberry, and graham crackers; peach, cinnamon, and blueberries; and a few others that i don’t remember.

a lot of girls mentioned that they liked ours the best, without knowing we had made it. our friends were convinced that we were going to win. they didn’t announce the winner until the campfire on friday night. it was the chocolate strawberry one, which i didn’t actually think was that great. it was too dry, and the strawberry tasted like those weird candies that you never buy but somehow have anyway.

we had a cinematography class that day after dinner. i liked it quite a lot — all that camera stuff is fascinating to me — but everyone else said it was a bit boring. izzy actually fell asleep.

we’ll have to stop there, or else this will get way too long. but the next part is written and ready to go, so that will hopefully be up soon. and if you want to read about my camp experience from last year, click here.

have any of you been to a camp this summer? if you did, i’d love to hear your stories in the comments. :)

xo

loren

Storm Song

Hey, guys! In my scouting program, American Heritage Girls, I’m currently trying to earn my Freshwater and Marine Biology Badge. And let me tell you, it is HARD. But my favorite requirement so far was definitely the one that allowed me to write a short story!

 :

via

Storm Song

A young man was aroused late at night by the storm raging outside his beach house. He tried to go back to sleep, but the din of the waves wouldn’t allow it. Finally, restless, he climbed out of bed and padded across the carpet to the window that faced the sea. Black clouds crowded the sky, and the darkness was pierced periodically by splinters of lightning. The agitated ocean churned and frothed. And in the gloom, the young man spotted something moving in the surf: a shadow dancing on the waves.

            The tumult caused by the storm suddenly increased tenfold. It was all he could hear: howling wind, rolling thunder, shifting tide. Mixed in with the uproar was a fair voice, singing an alluring melody. The song whisked through his mind until it was all he could think about.

            The young man’s feet stumbled toward the door. He burst into the tempest. The freezing rain soaked through his clothes and skin, until he was trembling uncontrollably, but the man staggered on. He had to find the singer. He stood on the beach, letting the wet sand squish up between his toes. “Where are you?” he cried frantically. Desperate tears streaked his cheeks.

A shadow drifted toward him, walking through the shallows. It seemed to almost float above the water. The song became deafening, and the man knew: the shadow was singing.

The swirling sky above parted just enough to let a beam of moonlight slice through the night. It illuminated the shadow, and the young man could finally see: it was a woman, with jet black hair. Her tresses formed a curtain over her face and trailed in the water at her feet.

The woman pushed her hair out of her face. She had ethereal beauty: porcelain skin, bottle-green eyes, high cheekbones, and delicate features. In a silvery voice, she said, “I am De Marea.”

The man wobbled toward her, his hands outstretched. The woman gave him a thin smile, and a great wave reared up behind her. It crashed over them, leaving De Marea unharmed, but sweeping the young man to his death.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had a fun time writing that. ☺ And I made up De Marea, just so you know.

Loren

AHG Summer Award Ceremony

1-dsc_0433

My American Heritage Girls troop’s first meeting was about a week ago. There was a summer award ceremony and a crossover ceremony.

An award ceremony essential: a cute way to present badges. As the internet yielded no ideas that really clicked, I came up with my own presentation. Since several of the girls in the troop went to AHG camp this summer, I suggested that we present the awards on little paper tents.

To make the tent, draw the shape on a piece of colored paper (I filled the whole sheet with one tent). Draw the opening of the tent with Sharpie. Attach the badges with tape. I put Service Stars on the tent flaps, and badges and Fun Patches on the main body.

Loren

AHG Summer Camp

 This summer, I was able to go to a week-long camp for my scouting program, AHG. The camp had about forty girls, most of which were from various parts of my state, though there were a few girls from other states.

2-DSC_0427

When we arrived at camp on Sunday, we checked in, then went to pick our tents in one of the camp grounds. The floor was dirty, spider crickets and other bugs found their way in daily, but the tent felt homey by the end of the week. My best friend Izzy and I slept in the tent above, while our moms, the leaders of our Unit, slept in a tent that they brought.

1-DSC_0194

The Dining Hall was a busy, loud place. We went to it three times a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which were all surprisingly good, considering that it was camp food.

2-DSC_0379

We did the flag ceremony twice a day.

The camp offered several badge options each day. You chose beforehand which badges you wanted to do.

1-DSC_0110

My friend Alita from NC.

On Monday, I took Photography. A professional wedding photographer came in to teach the class. She had us take pictures in the Dining Hall, pick our three favorites, and then the class would critique the photos. She talked about her job and showed us her website. Then we paired up and took pictures of each other, which I wasn’t too excited about, since I’m camera shy.

3-DSC_0161

On Tuesday, I had Archery. The teacher, a kind old man named Brent, said he had been teaching archery to scouts for seven years. We learned the parts of the bow, but spent most of the day firing arrows at the targets. I hit the bulls eye several times! By the end of the day, my fingers hurt from pulling back the bowstring so many times, but it was worth it.

6-DSC_0193

5-DSC_0178

1-DSC_0216

Wednesday brought Canoeing, one of the toughest badges I did that week. We spent all day out on the lake, learning the parts of the canoe and the different strokes. My favorite part of that class was when we got to capsize the canoes. The cool water was refreshing, after baking in the sun for hours. But doing canoe rescues — specifically the T Rescue — was really hard. Maybe it was because the canoe I shared with Izzy kept rolling over in the water; it wouldn’t stay capsized. Maybe it was because a fish bit me while I was in the water.

A cool thing about the lake was the freshwater jellyfish! They were tiny, and resembled contact lenses with tentacles. The jellies didn’t sting, so I scooped some up in my hands and watched them swim around. If you don’t know what freshwater jellyfish look like, look it up on the Internet. They’re pretty cool.

2-DSC_0217

Thursday brought Emergency Preparedness, the last class of the week. The camp’s EMT taught it, and she showed us how to splint broken arms, make a stretcher, deal with heat stroke, shock, hypothermia, and more. We spent about three hours learning CPR, which was a bit boring and really hard. We watched a CPR video by the American Heart Association and practiced on dummies. Now I’m certified at CPR!

My favorite part of the class was learning self defense from a taekwondo master.

1-DSC_0393

Thursday night was the Dutch Oven Cook-Off. Every troop made a dessert. Izzy and I made a soupy s’more-like thing.

2-DSC_0394

On Friday, I went on an all-day canoeing trip down a river. I sat in the middle of the boat for part of the trip, which was unpleasant because all the water in the canoe puddled around me. Everyone got tans and/or sunburns. That night was the campfire; my friends and I did several skits and a song.

Everyone brought blank T-shirts to silk-screen the camp’s logo onto. On Saturday morning, when the T-shirts were dry, I got lots of campers to sign my shirt!

1-DSC_0304

For the Our Feathered Friends badge (which I didn’t do), macaws and other exotic birds were brought in. My friends and I went to look at them during lunch.

2-DSC_0322

3-DSC_0328

Look at how many different colors are on this bird!

I was allowed to hold a bird, which I wasn’t too thrilled about. It was giving me the evil eye.

6-DSC_0343

My friend Emily with a macaw on her shoulder. She looks like a pirate!

7-DSC_0352

Although it rained a lot, it was in the 90s all week, and bugs were everywhere, I had a great time at summer camp. I earned a total of five badges: Photography, Archery, Canoeing, Emergency Preparedness, and Bible Basics — a group of girls earned that one during free time. I made a bunch of new friends and hope to go to camp again next year.

Loren

Ponyo Movie Review

For AHG’s Creative Writing badge, I have to write a review of a movie. I chose . . . PONYO.

Image result for ponyo film poster

via movieposter.com

Ponyo Movie Review

I saw this movie at the library and I thought, Hey, this is by Ghibli Film — they made My Neighbor Totoro, right? (Did not actually see that movie, but whatever.) I was expecting it to be a cute little movie about that red thing on the cover. The DVD case said something about it being based on The Little Mermaid Maybe there will be mermaids in Ponyo! I hoped eagerly.

Let me tell you everything wrong with this movie. One, what the heck is Ponyo? The little boy in the movie, Sosuke, says that she is a goldish, and only one person in the entire movie seems to realize that she has a human-like face???

It’s never explained what Ponyo is, why she has so many siblings, why they are all trapped inside a bubble deep down in the ocean, and why her father (who has long hair, tacky style, and wears makeup) is evil.

The only character I liked in the entire movie is Sosuke’s mom, Lisa (though why her name is Lisa and her son’s is Sosuke, I will never know). She was very realistic, what with getting so angry at her husband and all that.

OK, basic plot summary: little fishy friend Ponyo gets swept up onto shore and is captured by our lil’ man Sosuke. Ponyo’s dad sends evil water blobs to capture her; eventually, Dad takes her back to their undersea bubble home. She says that she wants to go back to Sosuke because she loves him; when Dad says “No way, hun,” she sprouts chicken legs and arms and tries to run away. Dad imprisons her and then leaves. Ponyo and her numerous siblings (who all look exactly the same) break out of their fish tank-like home. Ponyo touches some forbidden magic elixir, her siblings turn into giant fish and they flood the mainland! Fun!

Ponyo is reunited with Sosuke; his mom drives to her job to care for elderly people, leaving her son and the strange chicken girl alone during a tsunami (good parenting, Lisa!). The next day, when Lisa doesn’t return, Ponyo uses magic to make Sosuke’s toy boat bigger, and they use it to sail to Lisa’s job.

Now, I’ve got to admit, the animated ocean life was very pretty. Good job on that part, Ghibli Film.

When Ponyo and Sosuke reach Lisa’s work, everyone is gone! Turns out they have all been kidnapped by Ponyo’s makeup-wearing dad and are being kept in a bubble cell in the ocean. But they all really like it there, for some reason?? So the dad kidnaps Sosuke and Ponyo, too.

Down in the bubble, Lisa is talking to Ponyo’s mom, a gigantic glowy lady who is apparently the goddess of mercy. They seem to have made a deal that if Sosuke promises to love Ponyo forever and ever, the little fish girl will turn into a human (but she’ll lose her magic. I think it’s a terrible deal.). Sosuke agrees for some reason, Ponyo kisses him (even though they’re five???), and that’s basically the whole movie.

I don’t understand why this movie was made! It was bizarre! Ponyo the chicken girl was terrifying! Maybe if I knew more about Japanese folklore (though I do know about senpai and otakus, so I’m not completely useless), I’d know who Ponyo’s mom and dad were, but honestly? FREAKING WEIRD MOVIE, SOMEONE PLEASE BURN IT.

Amen.

_______________________________________

If it’s not obvious . . . I did not like Ponyo. :)

Loren