I Felt a Bit Like Henry

As in Thoreau*.

And Lake Livingston State Park was my rustic Walden.

Can you picture it?

Our cabins were reminiscent of the original Parent Trap (sweet Hayley Mills, not scank Lindsey). Of course you never saw cockroaches in the movie.

Once I resigned myself to the sweltering heat, the bugs, the trek to the ever so hygienic potties/showers, and general state of funk, I was okay with the whole camping experience. I didn't look or smell so pretty, but I guess that goes with the territory.

Because sunset chats and photo ops with friends go with the territory too.

Sunset photo op with some of the girls from our cabin. Aren't they cute?

Oh, let me introduce you to someone...her name is Lady.

And she is a horse.

Here I am sitting on Lady. I hope she didn't mind. I felt kind of sorry for all of the horses. Don't get me wrong, they seemed very well cared for, but bored beyond belief walking the same trail through the same trees several times a day.

Lady was a bit grumpy. We bonded.

Saturday afternoon I had a SMASHING headache. It was probably a combination of caffeine withdrawal (we were roughing it after all--no coffee pots), the heat, and sleeping on the floor. Thank goodness for large doses of ibuprofen.

Camping would not have been complete without cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and late night s'mores over a fire pit. Yum!

We struggled with hordes of pesky flies though whenever we set out the food. We tried hanging bags of water over the food tables, but the flies just mocked us. It was rather like Amityville Horror.

The purpose of this weekend was for the older girls (Big Sis) to bond with the younger girls (Little Sis) in our youth group and strengthen their relationship as an overall group. There were lots of fun activities to choose from during the day, like swimming, paddle boats, canoeing, etc. They also played team games each evening and won spirit awards. There were even some late night pranks after lights out (shhhh). I'd say a good time was had by all.

The teen girls held a devotional each night and then conducted the worship service Sunday morning under the pines.

It was so encouraging to see the girls participate, many of them stepping out of their comfort zones and leading either a song or prayer or even sharing the devotional message. I was really proud of them!

As school begins, I am very thankful they have created strong bonds of friendship and will be able to support each other during the challenges of the school year.

I can't end without sharing a picture of the Ultra-Awesome-Super-Fabulous Counselors:

(Aren't we cute?)

Even though I don't have a daughter in the youth group yet, I will in the near future. It was encouraging to be around the other moms and see how they interact with their daughters and the other moms. My little mental video camera was whirring away and I learned a lot just being around them. I feel so blessed to have been able to participate in this weekend with these outstanding ladies and all of the wonderful girls.

*Confession: I have never read Walden or anything else by Thoreau. I hope we can still be friends.


  1. thanks for helping out, even though you don't have a daughter here...yet!

  2. What a wonderful time Holly! Depsite the heat the flies and all those woods - your smiles and the smiles of all the girls - tell it all!

  3. That was such a blast. Those girls are awesome. I was so proud of them, too.

    And, what was I thinking wearing that bandana? LOL

  4. Heather--your green bandana was CUTE!

  5. You are a trooper! I went up for a day to our church Girl's Camp...but I was extremely happy to come home and sleep in my own bed. Blessings are sure to come your way...

  6. You have such a servant's heart Holly...going on this campout even though you didn't have a daughter participating. You will be blessed in return.

    I love the picture of all of you counselors...it looks like a great group of girls!

  7. The camp looks beautiful. I wouldn't have been keen on the cockroaches, flies or the heat, but it looks like it was still a great time.

  8. Be sure to check out our Back to School Bash going on at The Munchkin Patch this week!!

  9. so fun! i love your title, too- clever! this reminds me of church camp when i was their age. lots of good memories and i never can forget the leaders who made it so great- you just forged some incredible memories for those girls and for yourself. :)

  10. Holly, I am always taking mental notes of what moms of amazing teens are doing with their kids. Seriously. It is an overwhelming task raising girls in this crazy world, but there are great role-models out there and I'm always watching them, too.

  11. I started Walden by a friends recommendation, but I think it is over my head and didn't finish it.

  12. TJ: Yeah, that's my worry too--that I just won't get it and then I'd be disappointed in myself. Avoidance is better. :)


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