So last week I was a "cabin mom" at a kids camp for several days. J and I went and when I signed up for it in the spring it seemed like a good idea. It would get us out for a bit while Ty was on outreach oversees and E would go to a friend's house and swim and me and J could go to camp again. Then last week arrived and I realized I was exhausted! I had been on the road non-stop for 6+ weeks and for the last 2 of those had been solo in parenting my own kids. How was I going to have any energy to not just parent other children, but actually have fun and help them know God better? God is faithful though and gave me a small cabin with delightful girls who got along beautifully and were not whiny or very needy! We had a great time learning more about being God's creation and taking care of His creation. I think the girls (and all the campers) learned a lot, grew in their faith, and drank a gallon of pool water in all our swimming and being thrown repeatedly by the big guys!
Then came the fire ants...Some of you know that has been one of my anxious points about living in the south. I have learned to identify their hills and we take care of them on our property (where thankfully we have very few!) but have yet to experience what they are really like. J was bit by a handful when we were in FL and it wasn't too bad with a little baking soda paste at first and follow up with benadryl stick. But the last hour of camp I got my first introduction to fire ants! Our neighbor girl (whom I've written about on here before) is known for the fire ants finding her. We were cleaning up the camp grounds right before final assembly when I spotted a rather large hill. I was about 3 feet away and she was also about 3 feet away although she didn't see it and was being silly with her friends. I tried getting her attention to move farther away and she wasn't paying attention. Suddenly the girl behind her (even farther out) started to say "ow" and at that moment our neighbor realized what I was saying as they began biting her all over in her flip flops. She was bending over saying "ow" and trying to get them off and I was so busy trying to get them to move away from the hill I didn't realize until too late they had also swarmed me. I felt little stings all over my ankles (I had on tennis shoes) and knew we better move out or it was going to get worse. I pushed them away to the sidewalk and we sat on the stairs and I flung off my shoes and socks then instantly put benadryl itch stick on them. Thankfully I'm not allergic and it was a good bonding experience for me and the 2 girls from our church! They definitely aren't pleasant-like tiny bee stings when they happen. Then after the stinging is gone they itch like a mosquito bite. But they itch way more intensely and longer and when scratched sting again. I'm trying to leave them alone! I have about 10 bites around my ankles that I keep scratching in my sleep that won't go away but all in all it could have been much worse!
Despite the fire ants we had a really good time! I got to know some other adults from our church as well as some of the youth and children's interns better. I met a few more families as they dropped their kids off too. We got to sleep in old train cars converted to bunkhouses and didn't melt too much in the heat and humidity! I think I'll be back if they'll have me next year!
Carolyn & (sometimes) Ty