Note: if you haven’t already, you may want to read part 1 first.

When I last left off Nason and I made it back safely to the campground after a truly amazing hike.  By the time we got back more people had started to show up, and everywhere we turned we saw new faces that were not there when we had arrived.  Several of those faces belonged to our students, and we spent some time hanging out with them.  Now, some of our students thought it would be a good idea to prank Nason and I.  While we were getting a fire going, a few of them went up to their ‘fort’ (a pretty cool rocky place up the same hill where we were camping).  A little while later I was walking up to my tent and I saw them.

Ben: “Hey, Rachel, like our fort?”

One of the culprits

 

Me: “Yeah, that’s pretty sweet!”

Ben: “Do you like your tent?”

Me: “I think we found an awesome place…oh.”

They had flattened it.  The poles were still in the tent, but it was laying flat on the ground.  I shook my head, got what I needed, and showed Nason.

“I’m going to kill them” was his response.

Later that evening, after I distracted them by starting a game of Egyptian Ratscrew, we formulated our revenge.  We wanted something simple, yet effective.  We couldn’t get all four of the students back that were there, but we came up with a plan to prank two of them-the two I personally suspect were behind the whole thing.  The two boys were sleeping in the same tent, apart from parents and siblings, so the opportunity was perfect.  We were going to do the same thing they did to us-the only difference was, we were going to do it while they were inside the tent.

Early the next morning we woke up (Nason and I are early risers when we’re camping anyway).  We walked down the hill and got a fire going.  He and I were some of the first people up that morning; there was no sign of the boys yet, which meant they were more than likely still asleep.  Slowly we crept over to where they were sleeping, and Nason quietly untied the strings that kept the front upright.  We each took a side, and on the count of three, we yanked the poles out of their slots. 

And it didn’t fall.

There was rustling inside the tent-they were waking up!  Frantically I tried to push the tent over, and then I looked and saw that Nason had already run away.  So I followed suit.  At that point the two guys were awake and probably confused.  We took our places by the fire and tried to act innocent, but they had seen us.  Although their tent didn’t fall, it looked pretty funny. 

Later they tried to get us back again, but all they did was take the rain fly off of the tent and tape my pillow to a tree.  I feel like that wasn’t really in the same spirit as the two initial pranks, so we laughed about it and packed up our stuff to prevent any further retaliation.  It was pretty fun, and although we weren’t able to prank the two girls that flattened our tent (one of their fathers suggested a cold bucket of water, but Nason thought that was pretty mean and wouldn’t help me), we managed to come out even in the end.

Check in tomorrow for part 3!

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It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write.

I have had so many ideas flying around in my head, ideas about relationships and blogging and current events, ways to make the world a better place and thoughts on the future and parenting and everything in between.  I have wanted to write.  I have just been out in the ‘real world,’ living life, away from the computer.  Sort of.

On Wednesday Nason and I went hiking as a celebration of our last Wednesday off together.  We left our house on foot and hiked into the Cienega Creek Preserve, then later on to his mom’s house, where we ate lunch and caught a ride home again.  It was a beautiful day to hike, and we did roughly 7 miles, which I was pretty happy about.  Thursday I worked, and Friday I had a good friend (who is moving to England soon) over for carne asada.  We didn’t even realize the time until her friend called her wondering where she was (we sat there talking for 4 1/2 hours!).  That night Nason and I went over to his mom’s place again, and spent some time talking and watching a movie.

Now, I’m getting ready to go camping overnight on Mt. Lemmon.  It’s an annual tradition with our church to drive up to Mt. Lemmon, camp, and hold a service on the mountain the next morning.  It’ll be an afternoon of hiking, followed by an evening of running around with our friends and teaching Egyptian Ratscrew to our students.  In all, a successful day ahead of us.

To be honest, I’m a little nervous about what is going to happen to this blog when I start school.  I mean, if I have a hard time finding the time to write now, how will I do when I am back in school full-time, working, and leading middle schoolers?  I think that if I can pull it off, then this space can become something really awesome, but if not, then it will flop.  I want to write.  I love it and think it is a great thing, but I am scared that I will not make the time during the semester.

Don’t think I won’t try, though.

PS. Forgive me if this post seems a little ADD.

At first, when I got a WordPress account and started formatting my blog, I kept making excuses about why I couldn’t share my site with others yet.  First, I didn’t have the pages finished.  Then, I didn’t like my header.  Then, I had to change my blog’s name five times, before finally settling on the one I picked first.

Truthfully?  I was afraid.

I was afraid of what people would think about my writing, both my content and my style.  I was afraid I would do it for two weeks and then lose interest, or run out of things to say.  I was scared that nobody would read it, or worse, that everyone would read it and think it not worth reading.  Then, I linked my blog when I commented on someone else’s, and when I saw that a couple of people had clicked on it, I figured it was time, and I sent the link over Facebook.  Now, I’m very happy that I did.  Writing is always something that I’ve loved, and now I get to choose the topics and the style, with no one to tell me it’s wrong. 

In the past few years I’ve done a lot of things I was afraid of doing.  I got married, and that was a big scary step.  I sent my resume out for an internship, and I worked for a lab last semester.  Going into youth ministry was terrifying, and yet I’m still doing it after three years.  I was afraid of my low singing voice, but Nason and I still lead the band every week.  Though I am afraid, I don’t let it control my life.

I think that’s the trick; it’s okay to be afraid, but it’s not okay to give fear any authority.  There are so many things that can be done if fear is set aside, and those things are made all the more meaningful by the initial fear that is felt.  If I had not been afraid to start blogging, it would not be as big a deal to me as it is now.  I think that the fears I feel before something important make me strive to do them well, and to do it right, because to get into something despite my fears is a big deal.

So, that’s the idea, then.  Fear is not a bad thing, just something that shouldn’t control your life.

On the sign for Log Cabin Village (the upper camp on the UCYC campus) it reads “a life changing experience.”  If I had to sum up this entire week into one phrase, that would probably be it.  For many of our students, this past week was life changing in some way or another.

Just a quick background on UCYC: UCYC stands for United Christian Youth Camps.  It was started in Prescott in the 1950’s and has since hosted summer and winter camps for students k-12.  There is a lower camp (Ponderosa) where the elementary camps usually happen, and an upper camp (Log Cabin Village) where the older camps happen.  The days are filled with competitions, games, activities like paintball and rock climbing, amazing worship (this year led by DSM) and incredible speakers.

All of these new experiences and opportunities leads to an atmosphere where students can try new things without worry.  The first challenge Matt, our speaker this last week, gave the students was to try.  he told them to try things they were nervous about, to try the things they had never done before, and most of all to try Jesus this week.

Our students definitely tried this week.  nearly all of our students did something new, or tried something that scared them, or took the lessons and the worship to heart.  We had a number of students either accept Jesus for the first time or rededicate or make some other decision to deepen their walk with God.  In my small group (we divide students up for discussion groups after morning sessions) we had some really awesome discussions; even though many were ‘off topic,’ they were still great discussions.  One that stands out is the morning we had a talk about how to really know if the Bible was true, which was tough (because the Bible can never be completely proven or disproven) but good (because we got to talk a lot about the evidence and also stepping out in faith).

There were so many stories from this trip, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  I could fill so many posts with stories from camp.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I have at least one story about every student who went this week.  But I’m just going to leave it at this: we have an amazing, brave, smart, goofy, and beautiful group of students at my church, who took the ‘try’ challenge and rolled with it, making it an incredible camp experience for themselves, their fellow students, and us leaders.  It was a truly inspirational week.