So I woke up this morning unable to open my left eye. Bad news bears. Sure enough, I looked in the mirror after peeling my eye open and it was a fine shade of pink. Darn pink eye. Fortunately, Camp War Eagle offers free medical care to its campers and employees and is wonderfully staffed with a great team of doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses. So I went on over to the Health Center and got some eye drops. Score! My eye is itchy and oozing, but it should be past this stage no later than Monday morning. I have a feeling I'll wake up with sealed eye again tomorrow, though. At lunch, I was discussing this with the wranglers. We decided that next week at the barn could be pirate themed. My name is going to be Salty, and I will wear an eye patch. Not only will this disguise the pink eye, but it will also remove the temptation for me to scratch it and infect my hand with germs. So when I went to Walmart today, I bought an eye patch for $2. Money well spent. I'm pretty excited to be a horse pirate.
In my last post I promised to tell you of my new favorite pasttime. It is called cold tubbing. Cold tubbing is the exact opposite of hot tubbing. I was unfortunate enough to be working outside all week during the hottest week of the year. It was in the upper 90's every day, and the humidity was high, but we were never blessed with any rain. And working in an arena full of dust didn't help. It was on a hot day, right after lunch, that one of the other wranglers, Alexa, and I decided to fill up two of the water troughs with clean water from the hose and then sat in them in our swimsuits. They each hold 110 gallons. That's 110 gallons of magically cold water. So we sat there in the horse trap, where all the horses live, in their water troughs. It was amazing. It was the first time all summer that I had felt comfortably cold. A couple days later, Alexa and I were joined in our cold tubbing by Rachel and Megan, two other wranglers, as well as several of the horses. The horses, though not getting into the trough, were curious about why we were sitting there in their water. They still would get drinks, and then happily drooled on us. Good times.
At the conclusion of this week, I have spent three solid weeks with ten and eleven year olds. It was fun, but also incredibly challenging. I was definitely stretched in my patience levels. I am still loving what I am doing, but I was very happy to be able to have a day off! I'm also really excited about this next session. It is a two-week session, and I am assigned to cabin 2, which is the second-oldest girls' cabin. I think they are mostly 16. I feel much more at home communicating and relating to 16 year olds than I do to 10 year olds. That hope alone is going to wake me up tomorrow and get me back to camp on time. Well, that, and that I get to wear an eye patch this week.
For my final thoughts today, I would like to reflect on a note of sadness. There are several counselors that have now left camp and are not coming back, and I am going to miss them so much! Megan, my fellow wrangler, is off to Texas and then Maine. We would frequently share long talks of deep subjects together, ranging in topics from demons to the book of Hebrews to cultures to our preferences in men. Alexa, another fellow wrangler, is gone but is coming back for 8th session. I'm still really sad to see her go, even though I'll get to see her again in seven weeks. After all, she is the co-inventor of cold tubbing. I am going to miss her pure joy and sincerity and her calling her back pack a "pack pack." And also Josiah, a counselor who was trained with me in horses, who was my closest guy friend at camp. I gave him an awesome haircut. He's off to Oklahoma to work for the rest of the summer. These three people will be especially missed! They are all amazing people. I'm really going to miss seeing them everyday. But with their going, others are returning. My cousin Jo is back, and so is Aimee! And my other wrangler friend Mel is back, too! And Heidi, who has been in the kitchen, is moving into the wrangler room and joining us at the barn for this session. So, though I am sad, I am also excited.
Basically, I love camp. I love that here is a place where there are so many Christians - good, solid Christians of my similar age, but in no way affiliated with Ozark. I love the constant reminder that it is our calling to be in the world, but not of the world, and these are people who are doing this wonderfully. They attend public universities and maintain a Christian lifestyle. They are working at a Christian sports and adventure camp for their summer, dedicating their lives to children who might otherwise have no contact with a strong Christian. And all their future plans are for going into the world, getting jobs that aren't in the church directly, and being a Christian influence and light in the world. After four years at Ozark, I was, sadly, getting into the mindset that you have to go to a Christian school and get a degree in ministry to truly be effective for Christ. This is such a falsehood. Around me all summer are 350 people who have never sat through a Bible class, but still know so much about the Bible and have a strong desire to serve and spread the Word. This is what we are called to - to serve and spread the Word. There is no requirements of education, only of faith and of faithfulness.
And right now, I'm going to stop, even though I know that I have a ton more to say on this topic. But, you see, there are three small children playing in the room where I am writing, and they are officially rendering me incapable of deep thought. I am so tired of children. I don't want to be spending my day off around children. So I'm going to post this and go into another room. I'll write again next week. I love you all!