50 for 50 – #29 Camping

the crew at girls camp

When I put “go camping” on my list of possibles to do for my 50th year, I didn’t envision the kind of camping it turned out to be. A few months ago I was asked to help with Girls Camp for the young women in our church ages 12 to 18. The timing wasn’t great but I felt like I should help so I said yes. I had lots of fun working with Cherri as co-directors of camp. We have different strengths but similar views on how things should be handled. She took care of all the food planing and I got to do the kinds of things I like to do. Well this week the rubber meet the road when we headed off to camp bright and way too early Monday morning.

two bucks who walked through camp

We were lucky to have a spot at the wonderful Heber Valley Camp. It is a lovely place with lots of evergreens and quakes. The cabins are nice but simple with electricity. There are flush toilets and hot showers. The cooking arrangements are great too with a fridge and two-three burner propane stoves. The only downside was the fire ban due to the dry conditions.

On our three mile hike

It was a fun week with lots of hard work by both leaders and girls. Not everything went according to plan but most things were successful. The girls got to take part in a challenge course with a pole climb, a walk across a wire and then a zip line. They got to ride in canoes while the leaders tried to navigate the lake in paddle-boats. We had a hike everyday including a sunset and a sunrise hike (I think the girls might hate me for the sunrise hike), plus a three-mile hike to fulfill the requirements for the first year campers.

Pat and Pam in the paddle boats

We made survival bracelets out of paracord and had bedtime stories every night. The food was great and we had more than enough of everything. One of the high lights was when the older girls when on a short overnight backpack trip. We had a small group left in camp with just the first year girls. For a special treat Cherri took clay pots lined with foil and put in a couple of briquettes. Then the girls roasted marshmallows, Starbursts and other things over the hot briquettes. It was lots of fun to experiment with adding things like strawberries to s’mores.

Legacy Lake

Camp was a ton of work and I wish I had been more organized when we left. But overall I think it was a successful week with lots of opportunity for the girls to learn new things and grow in their appreciation of God’s creations.

Monk’s Hood


Hiking Up Yellow Fork Canyon

To celebrate the Labor Day holiday we decided to take our girls on a short hike and have a picnic lunch. Banta has been hiking a couple of times before but this was Casey’s first experience. They both had a great time in the outdoors and did pretty good at not trying to play with each other at every opportunity. When we stopped for lunch they had a little laps and Banta ended up rolling in the dusty trail. She came up looking more like a chocolate lab then her usual creamy color. Casey is amazing in her determination to keep up with Banta. When she is in that focused little walk trot of hers, I can just imagine her pulling her partner along in harness when she is all grow-up and trained as a guide dog. 
At the end of our lunch break I decided that it would be a good idea to give Casey a chance to relieve. She did so awesome. When I gave her the “do your business” command, her body language changed. It took her several seconds to find the right spot but she did. It was the first confirmation that she actually understands the command. She has only been relieving at home in our relieving area. She has that done very well but I wasn’t sure if she understood the command or just understood that when we went outside to this area that she should relieve there. This is a big milestone for her.
On the way back to the car on the hike there was a small stream to cross. Following Casey’s example the two of them tromped through the stream and then through the dusty dirt on the trail. If we thought Banta looked dirty before now she was almost as much black as she was yellow lab. Casey didn’t look as dirty but she was, especially her belly being so much closer to the ground. They both went into the bath as soon as possible when we got home. Thank goodness I had a quilt in the car to protect things from their more than just muddy paws.