a little and a lot

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

here's the dirt

i am back after a short-term absence. this was due to a venture that our youth ministry calls "summer camp." there are other ways as to which this week can be referred, such as "the place where dirt and cobwebs are born," "a week without air-conditioning," "connect the mosquito bite dots," or (my personal favorite) "how did i gain so much weight this week from this crappy camp food?" now, i love me a good week at summer camp. i can sweat and smell with the best of them. but these were probably the most disgustingly dirty cabins i have ever seen. regardless, nick and i both had a great time bonding with kids and singing duets on the karaoke machine. good times.

the most thrilling event of the week happened in my very own cabin. the first night of camp, all of my far-from-quiet-and-calm 9th graders and myself were settled into our main room for our cabin devo. we were sharing our favorite thing about camp when all of a sudden, a particular dramatic camper (named callie from vp, ash!!) screamed, "BATS!!!!" we all looked around in confusion and panic. suddenly, it occured to me that callie had not sceamed "BATS!!!" but "RATS!!!" this was all the warning i needed. i threw open the door to the cabin and jumped outside, hopping around in fear. the cabin evacuation that followed ensured that had we ever had a fire during the week, every girl would have been saved: girl after girl tore out the doorway in record time screaming bloody murder.

"callie," i said as i gripped her by the shoulders and looked in her in the eyes, "did you say you saw rats?" she then explained that she had seen a mouse in the closet of the next room. by this time the head counselors had heard the racket and rushed over to see what the commotion was. "you should have seen yourselves," they laughed. i, however, did not find the situation all that humorous yet.

we sent the male head counselor inside to check out the situation. he quickly returned and announced quietly: "i need backup." two other men followed him in with a broom. after the rearranging of several rooms during a mouse chase, the door opened and the men came out with a dust pan held high. they had killed the mouse, they claimed.

fifteen minutes later, after all of my girls were settled into their rooms and chattering excitedly from the night's wild event, the men explained to me that they had not caught the mouse that they were chasing. they had, however, found an already expired baby mouse in the kitchen. they believed they had chased the live mouse out of the cabin and not to worry, they would set some traps and surely it would be caught by morning.

i will interject at this moment in the story to share with you that i am TERRIFIED of rodents. no really. i really really am. i had a rat & mouse problem the first year i lived in memphis, and my life (and psyche) has never been the same since. this was quite a conundrum that i had found myself in. i must remain calm, as to not alarm the campers. however, how in the world was i supposed to get any sleep with a mouse...or two...or three?...running loose in my cabin?!! (in the wild mouse chase, under MY BED had been the first place the little booger ran!)

a little later that evening, i decided to plug a little night light into the main room, and as i walked in, our little furry friend scampered across the floor and out a gaping hole by the front door. i immediately called the head counselor on my cell phone, and (so as not to alarm the girls) said, "i have new information." during our meeting outside, we saw the mouse climb right back up our doorstep and go into the cabin again. ew ew ew! all they could tell me was to just wait it out...the traps were sure to get the little guys.

throughout the first night, i awoke several times, startled to hear a loud SNAP that i was positive had to be the mouse traps. but alas, in the morning, after the men checked the traps (i would not go near them with a ten foot pole!), they were empty and still set.

i lived every night in fitful dreams and light sleep. every morning proved that fake cheese was just not enough incentive for a rodent to stick its neck out.

the campers left friday evening, and the counselors stayed until saturday afternoon to clean and pack everything up. since i was not obligated to stay in my cabin that last night, i got the heck out of dodge. however, sure enough, when i opened the my old cabin door on saturday morning to get my last remaining items, there was a deceased mouse on the kitchen floor.

ahhhh...camp drama. where would we be without it?


Julie said...

I am so thankful that you do what you do because I don't have the perserverence for that! You are a wonderful, wonderful youth minister who leads our teenagers bravely in rough, uncharted territory! If I had a medal I would give it to you!!!

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

hahaha! glad you met the calster. she told me last night she met you. she was all omgah guess who my camp counselor was?? and i must say i was really surprised to hear it was you. i didnt know you and nick were camp counselor type of peeps..and yes callie is dramatic. VERY dramatic. BEYOND drama...but I love her bc of that..she def. makes things more ummm interesting for sure!!!

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