Let me tell you about the worst weekend I can ever remember having. It was at church camp, which is strange because I always have an amazing time at camp. But not this time. It was a much awaited weekend. At Drama practice the day before I had gotten my friends to write things in my notebook for me to do. I was so excited to read them. I was going to do them all, take dozens of pictures, and record everything on my Mp3 player. But no. Camp happened.
Camp started on Friday, but my story on Saturday evening. When we are finished with dinner, we go find something to do till the next activity.
There is this big blue slide that goes up one of the hills. You take a blanket from the bucket at the bottom of the hill and climb up the hill to the top of the slide. It’s a lot of fun, but really tiring to get up the hill.
I had gone down the slide like five times already, so I was going to go just one more time. Then I ran into Alana, one of the girls from a different group that I liked to hang out with. We went down a couple of times, and then started going together. I don’t remember how many times we went down the slide before Violet came, but it was a few. Alana fell down the slide, and was trying to get back up, and Violet was at the top with me. And then we were all falling down the slide. I don’t remember when Alana left, but Violet and I had a lot of fun falling down the slide.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a TON of fun. But I had had a long day and been up late the night before, and the slide left me tired. (See, when you climb up the huge hill you deposit some of your energy. The slide steals that energy, then decides it wants more, so it steals the energy from you sliding down the slide. What it does with it, I have NO IDEA.)
Anyway, we had a group discussion time right after dinner. When I was finally done with the slide the bell rang, and I had to go to the room we were going to be in.
By the time I got there there were no good chairs left. I set up a folding chair, but then decided the ground was more comfortable, so I moved the chair, and leaned against the side of another chair, one of those ones that is filled with stuffing even against the sides. I was so tired, and the chair was so comfortable, that I ended up taking my shoes off and closing my eyes.
I wasn’t asleep, not at all, but I was hiding in the corner, (Someone else was leaning against the front of that chair) and it probably looked like I wasn’t paying attention.
The group was discussing something that had happened earlier, and we were doing a question an answer session. As I listened to the answers I remember thinking up answers for if our Youth Pastor called on me.
And he did. I remember him saying, “Mia, what stuck out to you during the morning rotations?”
I thought for a second. It wasn’t because I was thinking up something to say, I was deciding on which answer I had to say. I decided on something, sat up straight, opened my eyes, and said my answer. Everyone was looking at me. Then I hid again.
After our big group discussion we broke up into groups. The group I was in was the girls group from our church. I’ve had problems with this group before, I am going to have problems again. But these were the worst I have ever encountered.
As we broke up into groups we moved. I wasn’t fast enough to get a chair, but ended up leaning against one of the bigger chairs instead. It was still nice. I was tired enough that I closed my eyes. I know sometimes people will do this when they are not paying attention, but for me, at that moment, closing my eyes helped me concentrate and pay attention to what the leaders were saying.
Speaking of leaders, we had four. Let’s call them Rose, Grace, and Carly. There was also one of the girls Mom, which actually I have no idea why she came. Anyway, let’s call her Jasmine.
As we went through more questions (Most of them really stupid) I was thinking up answers, though being too tired, too shy to speak up. One of the leaders, I think it was Grace asked a question.
“What have you learned about other people?”
What I was thinking was, “They ask too many questions!”
I was really hoping to not get called on, but I did. I should have thought up a better answer, but I didn’t have anything else, and I knew they wouldn’t wait on me to think something else up. So “They ask too many questions!” is what I said.
Rose can’t help it, she starts laughing.
Grace said something along the lines of “Well don’t encourage it!”
And Rose says something along the lines of “I can’t help laughing, she actually has a good answer to the stupid questions.”
And then they start going on about “What do you not like about questions?” (Which is a question by the way.) I didn’t have anything for that, I hadn’t thought that far, and I didn’t think they would take it seriously. With some mehs and ehs, I got through it, and then they turned the spotlight on someone else.
But then Jasmine realizes I’m kinda hiding, and decides to do something about it. “Mia, pay attention!”
“I am paying attention!” I’m sure I sounded forceful, but really I was kind of confused. I was paying attention, and I could have told her all that was going on. She didn’t ask though.
“Open your eyes!” I had them closed so I could pay attention, but I tried to open them. Les than three seconds upon opening them they filled with tears. So I closed again, and hid my face in my arms. Jasmine didn’t force me to open them again.
A couple minutes later, (I’m not paying attention NOW, I’m plotting how to get out the fastest, and stay uncaught the longest.) Grace (Who was sitting in the chair behind me) taps my shoulder.
“You wanna go talk about it Mia?”
I’m confused, mad and upset by this point, but not ready to talk. Everything together was too much. I really just want to be left alone. So I gave my head a shake and hid.
Finally, finally, we finished. I was so happy. I got up and got my shoes. I heard Grace yell, “MIA!” but I didn’t stop running till I got to my cabin.
When I got to the cabin I climbed up on my bunk and hid in my sleeping bag. I knew this wasn’t the end, but I was really hoping they would leave me alone. I heard the other girls come in, but I kept hiding till I was ready to face the world. One of the girls asked me if I was okay, but mostly they left it alone, and I got to the gym in peace.
We usually start with announcements and then do some singing. I don’t remember what happened to the announcements, but I can sure remember the singing.
The band members got up on the stage, and the rest of us crowded around the stage. As I’m walking up to the stage tears start streaming down my cheeks. I can’t help it. They just kept coming.
I ran out of the room and to the bathroom, sinking down on the floor, using up all the toilet paper. I was the only one in the room, and for awhile I just cried and cried.
Finally I decided to leave and go back to the room where they are singing.
But I didn’t go to the stage. I went to my seat and sat down. I thought I had dried up all my tears, but they reappear again.
A nice older lady came and asked if there was anything she could do, but I said nothing. Then Carly came. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it was basically
“Mia you are not okay. You need to talk.”
I asked if she had any tissues, and we walked to the bathroom again. This time I sunk against another wall. Carly went on and on, what about, I have no idea. But I remember her ending with,
“Would you rather talk to Grace?”
Grace is in the band, and she was onstage singing at that moment. I also feel more comfortable talking to her.
So I was like YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
It was mostly because she couldn’t do it till she got offstage, and I wanted to be alone.
Carly sent me outside to the benches outside the gym, telling me she would tell Grace to come out as soon as she got offstage.
So I sat on that bench, the farthest away that I could still hear the singing. I curled into a ball and listened to Grace sing. Then came the next song. And then it was over.
I sat there, waiting for Grace to come, but really not wanting her to.
The door opened. Grace came out of the door, and started walking towards me. And then she was there. Sitting next to me.
“Mia honey, what’s wrong?”
Grace is really nice, and she has done a lot for me, but at that moment I kinda hated her. I wanted to be alone, and I was plotting if I could run into the woods without Grace catching me.
Grace was really trying to get me to talk, but she wasn’t forcing me, which was nice. Question after question, all unanswered.
I wanted to answer them, but I didn’t know where to start, so I didn’t do it at all. I knew that eventually Grace would have to go sing again. And I would be free.
When Grace realized that it wasn’t working she changed the subject, (Which wasn’t hard because I wasn’t answering) and tried something else.
But still I wouldn’t answer.
Then finally I was sick of listening to Grace. She asked a question, and I had an answer.
It wasn’t a good answer, or a well thought out one. Actually I’m pretty sure Grace asked “What’s wrong” for the tenth time, and I answered “Everything!”
But we were having a conversation.
It wasn’t very long, soon after someone came to get Grace so she could go on stage, but it was something.
After Grace left I went inside and leaned against a wall. I didn’t want to go back inside. Lots of kids came and went, but few talked to me, and to those who did I told them I was homesick.
I realized that I had missed the entire lesson. My Mp3 player was recording though, so I could listen to it later. (Which I actually haven’t done yet)
When the songs were over Grace came and found me. We didn’t get a chance to talk again though, for there was other things going on.
The rest of the evening went pretty well. No one mentioned it, and I didn’t bring it up.
Yet, the next morning I wanted to finish my conversation with Grace.
So I found her during a free moment, and we talked.
This time I was willing to talk, and we had a much better, less forced conversation. It was better that way.
Yup, this is the end of this story. Is it true? It could be. It also could be entirely made up. It’s up to you to decide.
But take away from the story this: Talking isn’t always a bad thing, and leaders aren’t always evil. Bad things can happen that turn out to be good. And camp isn’t always awesome.