oakcrest (pt. 1.5)

once upon a time, on the night of june 27th, i moved up to a little place called oakcrest. when i entered its grounds i could feel the spirit so strongly and i knew this was going to be a summer of change, a summer of tender mercies, and a summer of miracles. little did i know, that it was also going to be the hardest summer of my life.
after we accomplished pre-camp week (the training week without girls) i began to doubt, once again, my ability to this task. how was i supposed to teach these girls? what did i have to give to them? and why was i chosen over the many, many applicants who were just as qualified as i was? how was i going to be able to keep track of 14 girls and love them all?
after i called my first week of girls down and ran to greet them, i looked at them and started crying. they were probably thinking to themselves "great, we got the crazy counselor." i was just so filled with love towards them and could feel their heavenly father's love for them, as well. it was overwhelming and an experience that words cannot describe. i immediately thanked for father in heaven for filling me with his love for me and for the love i felt towards my girls. i felt as though i could feel a small glimpse of the love he feels for each and every one of us. i fell in love with my week one girls and think of them daily. they were pure bliss and the best way i could've started this summer. we had so many inside jokes and were constantly laughing at each other. i also had a non-member this week and i was terrified when i saw that on her camper card. i instantly felt scarred and that there was a ton of pressure on my shoulders. when i met this girl she was the cutest thing ever. she was so outgoing, helpful, funny, and so nice to everyone. to be honest, i forgot half the time that she wasn't a member and had to remind myself to explain things more simply and to stick with the basics so she could follow what we were talking about. every night we do a thing called unit prayer where the counselor prepares a little devotional for her girls. i was praying all day to know what to teach to my girls and i wasn't getting any answers. i was pondering on what topic i could teach my girls that i felt i knew enough about so it wouldn't be so shaky and they could tell what i was saying (i was scarred out of my pants, who knew 12-14 yr old girls could be so scary?). i then got the prompting to do it on families. i searched through my unit prayer outlines and there were no family ones to be found. i was thinking to myself, seriously, the first one and i have to wing it without any outline? boy am i grateful i did. it was then that i truly realized how much i was going to have to rely on the spirit and how present our heavenly father is in our lives and can help us with whatever we need. the next day my cute abrielle(my non-member) and i were sitting on the porch of our cabin talking and i was answering some questions for her and she thanked me for  the devotional on families. she said it was exactly what she needed to hear and she could feel the spirit and her heavenly fathers love for her. she told me she knew he was real and that our savior, jesus christ, was real, too. i was in awe. it wasn't me that did this. it was the spirit. i am just grateful i was able to be an instrument in his hands. isn't the spirit amazing?

brushin' our teefs with ashes.

when week 2 got here, i was ecstatic. i could not wait for another amazing week. week 2 is a week i won't forget. it was the hardest of 10. i was not connecting with my girls what-so-ever, they wouldn't participate, they wouldn't do what i was asking, and they would look away and pretend i wasn't talking to them. it was this week that i questioned why i was doing this. why did i ever send in that application and think i could do this? week 2 was the week that i broke down many times and how to escape to tree-hut so i wasn't crying in front of my girls. so they wouldn't know the pain they were causing me. it was the week that i felt i went and talked to the directorship every day because i didn't know what to do with my girls/how to handle them. i felt i wasn't doing my job correctly and there was something wrong with me. why couldn't i reach out to these girls? i still don't know what i had to learn that week. i haven't had that a-ha moment where it's dawned on me. but i do know this, the lord doesn't give you anything you can't handle and the spirit may have touched these girls in ways i didn't know, and may never know
sadly, this is the only picture with my girls i got.

goose and i basically became inseparable from this night on

i moved this week and got to sign my name along with some other
oakcrest legends.
week 3 came and i didn't have an awkward monday. trust me, talk to any counselor and this is the biggest accomplishment. honestly, you sit there and are cracking jokes and making a complete fool of yourself and your girls just stare at you, not amused at all. week 3 was different, they were willing to be fools with me. we instantly connected and i was so grateful, for yet, another good week. this was the week my girls tackled me to the ground so i would pee my pants in front of them. (it's a problem i have) this was the hardest week i had to say goodbye to.
hello, no awkward monday!

love them with all my heart.

week 4, like week 3, was not awkward. i'll repeat. not awkward. my girls were dolls and i had so much fun with them. my girls absolutely loved doing massage trains and giving massages. it was a little odd, but i wasn't going to complain. pretty sure week 4 was the least tense my body has ever been in my life. i had 3 birthdays this week and identical twins. i absolutely loved spending time with girls and just hanging out with them. maybe i even forgot about unit prayer and 15 minutes of silence once because we were having too much fun...don't worry, we still did it, just not on time. 

we get to play katniss every week. be jealous.


the water right didn't turn out to coop and i's advantage.

when week 5, i couldn't be happier. it was my floater week (the only week counselors don't have girls) and i was ready for a short break and to hopefully rest up for the rest of the summer. week 5 also happened to be the fourth of july and we so much fun celebrating it.  during our parade we got candy and the floaties threw taffy at the girls. we then had a concert by chelsea stallings(?) that was tangled themed about being a daughter of a king. she was a doll and the girls all loved her. once the sun went down, the floaters, k-ship, d-ship, and specialists all dressed in our darkest clothes and taped glow sticks to our bodies for human fireworks. basically, it was the coolest thing ever and turned into a massive dance party. week 5 had it's challenges and i had to humble myself on many occasions but overall, it was a blast. i loved sleeping in treehut(no screaming/talking girls in the middle of the night), having sleepovers with the other floaters and directorship, and just being able to have some time to myself. i cherished time to myself like you wouldn't believe. 

with chelsea stallings.


we also went midnight zip-lining. i forgot to mention, i may also
have peed myself on the zipline...
please forgive me that it's so long, honestly i had to cut out a ton of it already. want to hear all about it? do you have a month? great, i'll tell you. 

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