Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Climb Every Mountain . . . or not

So yesterday was the beginning of our annual stake girls' camp adventure. We've been planning for this event for quite some time. As the YW president of our ward, I've had my hands full getting the girls excited, and helping our two new camp directors prepare for this great event.

We all met at the church house yesterday morning at 7:45 a.m. After loading 3 pickup trucks full of camp gear, and cars with 12 girls, we headed for the mountains.

We arrived at Camp Ho-nok about 9:00 a.m. right on schedule. Then the true adventure began, the setting up of the tent(s) scenario. We only had to set up four---one for the priesthood leader, one for the camp directors, one for the food, and one for our girls. The tent we set up for our girls is a huge white canvas cabin tent. This tent was purchased a few years ago by our ward and it solves a lot of problems: since it holds about 20 girls, there is no arguing over who is sleeping in which tent. It provides one big slumber party. There is only one downside---the framework for this tent consists of fairly heavy metal pipes. They come in 3 sizes, and since it had been a while since I last helped put this tent together, we weren't sure which pipes went where.

Diving in, we did the best we could, and formed what we thought was the correct framework for the tent. But as we attached the final pipes, then slid the canvas tent over the top, we could see that we had made a huge mistake: it wasn't wide enough and we had a vaulted ceiling. ;) Yep, we had put it together incorrectly. Sighing, we knew we had to tear the thing down and start over.

We had each been assigned to hold onto a pipe as we slid the canvas over the the framework---those on the right side of the tent were instructed to remove their pipes while those of us on the left side held our pipes firmly in place. What we hadn't counted on was the immediate collapse of the middle. My husband was trying desperately to hold it in place, but it was to no avail.

Without warning, one of the center pipes nailed me on top of the head. There I was, valiantly holding onto my pipe, minding my own business, when the pipe threw off my groove. Literally. One of my counselors later said that she saw the back end of the tent collapse, then me hitting the ground and rolling over a couple of times. That's the part I don't recall. I remember something connecting with my head, then lying in the dirt in fuzzy mode as everyone around me panicked.

When I opened my eyes, I was asked silly things like: "Are you okay?" They sat me up and that's when the real fun began; I was bleeding profusely. The girls screamed and scattered. First Aid kits were dumped out on the ground as everyone searched for gauze pads. One girl bravely sacrificed her nice, white wash rag. =) It will likely never look the same.

I was rushed down the mountain to Montpelier (about a 45 minute drive) for medical assistance. As I sat waiting to be looked at, an older woman walked over to ask me what time it was. Then she registered how "lovely" I looked and backed away muttering, "I am so sorry. I didn't realize you were hurt." I tried not to let the horrified look on her face affect my self-esteem. ;)

As it turned out, I didn't have to endure stitches. The gash is located right on top of my head, in the middle. The doctor told us that to stitch it shut, a portion of hair had to be shaved away. I declined this gracious offer. He figured it would seal on its own and it did, eventually. And since I did know my name and where I was, he decided I would be just fine. I was cautioned to wear a hat over my head if I returned to girls' camp to keep the dust, bugs, etc. out of my cute little wound, and we hurried home to change into clean clothes, since we were both covered in blood. (Head wounds look a lot worse than they are.)

We did return to camp---I knew I needed to reassure the girls that all was well. They were pretty freaked out about the whole thing. I was just so very grateful that I was the only one hurt. I would have felt terrible if any of them had sustained a similar injury.

This morning, I have a bit of a headache. I probably will for a few days. But it could've been a lot worse. We're calling my wound this year's memory dent, and we're all laughing about it now. The thing I hope "my girls" will remember is this: Life rarely turns out the way we envision. The best laid plans often go awry. And sometimes we slide down the mountain we're trying to climb. The important thing is to keep climbing, to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and continue on our way. We may have to take a different path, but if we arrive at our intended destination, that's what matters most.

Return to the Neighborhood


Doran & Jody said...

I have an award for you Cheri....come and get it.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Jody. Thanks for stopping by. =) I'll swing by your blog in the near future. ;)