March 8, 2011

For real this time.

Ok this is it. This morning I was thinking about my life...the past, present and future. I normally don't think about the past all that much, but this afternoon I am doing an interview about my past.

A friend of mine, Katie, is a grad school in Tennessee. I know she majored in psychology, so I know she is going to grad school to become a counselor, therapist, something along those lines. She sent me a message last week asking me if I'd be interested to help her out with a project. I, of course, said yes! I love to help out people with their projects...and it was about why not? Ha. Katie said that they are working on a project that focuses on developmental psychology. She wants for me to discuss different parts of my life and how that affected who I am and who I want to be, etc.

She sent me a list of questions today to think about and to try and answer in my interview. The whole point of this got me thinking again. I want to make a difference SO BAD. And yes, there is a little part of me that wants to have my 15 minutes of fame. Sure I had some "fame" in college. aka knew a lot of people, but I want the real deal. I want people to know who Paige Kauffman (well I will soon enough anyway...less than 5 months!!!) is!

SO. It is time to finally buckle down and write my book. I am hopefully going to be taking some time off this summer so I can really focus on getting the meat of the book written. I always have that same issue I wrote about before...getting started. SO hopefully I will get started somewhere and either work backwards or just work both ways. Either way, I am hoping that by the end of 2011, I have SOMETHING worth reading.

Who might be reading this post after reading my book. You've googled my name and wanted to see what this Paige was all about. Well, you found me! OR you are just one of my friendly readers/friends who came across my post today and you are laughing internally (because surely you aren't loling at that....its not that crazy a thought) and you are anxiously anticipating the day I actually start writing this book I've been talking about for so many years. Soon. Soon enough. I will do it! I'll let you know the progress, maybe I'll even start today!

Well not today, I have to go prep my answers for my questions. I think these questions are going to help spark my book. Katie might be thanking me for helping her with her project, but I soon may be thanking her for giving me a swift kick in the rear to get started!

February 15, 2011

And...I did it again

Yep, you guessed it. I left the blog world yet again when I said I wasn't going to. I don't know WHY I do that. Well lucky for the few of you who read this nonsense a good friend of mine started a new blog this week and it inspried me to write on mine yet again. We'll see how long it lasts. I do have some posts that I need to put up so those will be coming shortly.

Thanks again for reading! Hope you're having a great 2011!!! Let's try this AGAIN. :)

December 8, 2010

Will you...

Here is my amazing engagement story that I promised to share a couple months ago!!!

I knew that I was going to get engaged this fall/winter. My boyfriend and I had talked about it a lot and about where we saw the two of us going. He was leaving in January to go to grad school, and we didn't want to live far away from each other for long. So we knew that we would be getting married in 2011 at some point so that I could move to Alabama with him (from Texas...8.5 hours away). Well I am THAT girl that is so sneaky and so snoopy AND never lets anybody surprise her, so poor Taylor had to try and propose to me while enduring my sly ways. Well, he pulled it off.

I found out that he was supposed to propose on October 10th a couple days before that. When I say he was supposed to, I mean that he had planned it all out, and then had to cancel because my parents couldn't be there. Yes...I found this out. I'm telling you...sneaky, snoopy and sly = me!

Well at that point I knew it shouldn't be too long after when he was going to do it. I mean

1. He had a ring

B. He was ready

3rd. He knew how anxious I was getting

I just KNEW I had figured it out. It was going to be Halloween weekend without a doubt! Friends would be in town for the football game, it was Halloween so I wouldn't suspect a thing. I was wrong. Ha.

On October 17th I woke up to a text message from my roommate asking me if I had already left for church. I hadn't because I didn't go to Sunday School that day (please no judgement). She said that she needed a huge favor and wanted to see if I could help. I said of course and asked what she needed.

A little back story: My roommate is engaged herself, and had just had her engagement photos taken a couple weeks prior. Well she had been complaining to me all this week about how her photographer never sent her engagement photos to her. That she had been calling and email ALL week, and still nothing. Back to the story

So, she told me that her mom had already paid for an engagement annoucement in the Dallas Newspaper (which is expensive) and that they HAD to have a picture turned in that night or they lost their spot. Well Caitlyn knows I have a good camera and that I LOVE to take pictures, so she asked if I would be willing to take some photos of her and her finace on campus that day after church. I said I would love to!

We went to church as always, sat with some of my best friends as always. We went to eat lunch together at McAllisters. At the end of lunch Taylor (boyfriend at the time) received a phone call from his boss reminding him that he was late for a work meeting on campus. So he said he would just ride with us to campus and then go to his meeting once we got there. Well the four of us headed to campus and he went to his meeting and we started taking photos. If you are an Aggie then you know about the large Aggie Ring, so we took pictures there, then at the Century Tree (where my roommate was engaged) and then Kirk let me know that he wanted to take pictures at his favorite spot on campus. This place is known to him and other corps guys as Meatball Track. Well I knew that Meatball track was right behind the Administration Building (aka the place that I have always wanted to be proposed to at), BUT I didn't think much of it. It did cross my mind, but I thought surely he wouldn't say the Meatball track in an effort to through me off...yes my brain was doing this...I also did not want to get my hopes up as I had many times previously in the semester thinking that THIS IS IT! (and obviously it never was ha).

We headed over to the Meatball track and noticed there was a lot of construction going on, so I told them we should just take picutres at the actual Administration Building. They were all for it so we headed that way. As we got closer to the side of the building I saw somebody I recognized. It was one of my very closest guy friends, and one of Taylor's very good friends and buddies in the corps, Casey. He was standing there all dressed up with a rose. I couldn't believe it, and I didn't, so I just stopped in my tracks and kept saying "". Caitlyn (my roommate) took my purse and camera and ran around the building with her finace. Casey gave me a huge rose, an even bigger hug and said "Are you ready?". At this point I was sobbing ( I do that a LOT). I just cried and cried the whole way around the building and all the way to the saber arch that was waiting for me on the steps of my favorite spot on campus. Casey let me go and I begin to walk up the stairs through the saber arch. A dream come true really. I looked at each of the RV's in the arch and realized I knew all of them. They all were special to Taylor or I in some way which made it even better.

When I got to the top of the stairs Taylor gave me a big hug and told me the most amazing things I have ever heard. They were so special and so perfect. After telling me just how much he truly loved me, he got down on one knee and pulled out a Vera Bradley traveling jewelry case (Side note again: I had been BEGGING him to buy me this case for about 8 months at this point. He always said no because he said $30 was too much for a jewelry traveling case I would barely use, so this was SUPER special to see he had purchased it). He asked me to be his wife....I know I was crying, screaming, yelling, crying some more, and I said YES!) He stood up and we hugged and kissed and then began our journey down the steps back through the saber arch. We reached the bottom and I couldn't help but just scream YES! All of our friends and family that were there rushed up to hug and congratulate us. So many of my closest girlfriends were there. Some couldn't make it on account of being out of state, but so many were there! Our familes were there to hug us and tell us how happy they were for us. We tooks LOTS of photos and then headed to a Bed & Breakfast that Taylor's dad stays at when he comes in town for a little party! We had cake and food and champagne and just visited with each other about the exciting time.

After the party Taylor & I went to my house with two cookie cakes in hand. I was able to ask both of my best friends to be my CO-Maid of Honors! They said yes! *Whew* Haha. Then Taylor & I went to go and make it official!

We changed our status on Facebook OF COURSE! We then went and had dinner with his dad, step mom and brother and just talked about the upcoming plans.

From there it has been the most exciting time of our lives. We have made some plans...which I'll talk about later in other posts, BUT we are most looking forward to our lives ahead of us! We cannot wait to see where the Lord will lead us and what He has in store for us. I just cannot wait to be his wife!!!

I hope you think about the day you got engaged, or the day you will!

A book

My name is Paige, which if you ask anybody they would probably say is a good name for an author. Of course in some cheesy way, but none the less, it is kind of humorous...that is IF you have my sense of humor. Which from experience I do not think most people do. For example, when I watch TV with multiple people, I am normally the only one to laugh out loud. But this was not the point of the post...moving on.

The point is, as I said in the last post, I want to write a book. I want to write a book about my life and the struggles in it and the many victories that have come along with it. I know that every single person in the whole world could write a book about just that in their own lives, so there is my dilemma. How do I make mine different? How do I make mine stand out? If it recommends I am some writer with an extensive vocabulary and elegant speech...then I'm out. If it recommends I tell my story the way others want me to tell it or how they wish to hear it...I'm out. The only way I can make this work is if the people want to read a true story, about a real life, about real obstacles - large and small, about overcoming those obstacles AND all from a 24 year old who has only written high school and college level essays. Which, when you think about it...I really haven't seen all that much. I hopefully have only lived a quarter of my life, but it has been a very jam packed quarter. When I read an autobiography...which this is to an extent, they never really start from the beginning of a person's life. They all start with a story about themselves at a turning point in their lives. They also all seem to have been famous for one thing or another; they were the President, or an Oscar winning movie star or some serial killer. Me...well again, I'm just your average mid twenties young woman who has survived life to this point. I haven't had a disease that almost took my life, or one huge life changing moment, I've just had life. I know you all know what I'm talking about, life.

You It kicks you down, makes you think you can get back up and then knocks you down again. Sometimes it even DOES let you up...and just when you think you've got it all figured out it trips you again. (Side note: I believe in the Heavenly Father above, and I do not believe in karma or that is it actually "LIFE" that does these things, I know that the Lord above has a plan - my plan? No. But He has a plan - life as I am describing it) This is where I start to confuse you and myself. I am not saying that God is who knocks us down, just to trip us again. I'm just saying that sometimes the plan we are on, the path God has given us has a lot more potholes than we are expecting. I am saying that just because we love God, believe in Him and serve Him does not mean that life is going to be easy, simple or always enjoyable. What I can tell you though is that after this life, after these potholes and the hard times...we will have a time that is always easy, simple & enjoyable with Him in Heaven. No, I am not trying to preach, but I am hoping that after you read some more, you will see why I love Him ever so much and why I believe that His plan is the BEST plan there is.

This isn't an introduction, just something to get my juices flowing. Hopefully this'll do something. If I do write a book, this is the best way for me to start. Just writing. Just writing about different parts of my life. When I think about it, sometimes I think my life would be better portrayed as a soap opera rather than a book, but oh well. For now we'll work on it being a blog. I'll just write memories, scenarios - the good, the bad and the very ugly. Let's see how this goes!

December 7, 2010

Making a Difference

My whole life all I have ever wanted (besides falling in love and living happily ever after) was to make a difference. I want my life to mean something. So here lately, as I sit at my 8-4 desk job I have been trying to think of ways that I can do just that - make a difference. Here's what I've come up with.

1. I could...get a degree in psychology and be a school counselor for children who don't have anybody else to talk. OR just be a non-profit after school counselor. How neat would that be? To be able to counsel children who don't have anybody else to talk to about what is going on in their lives? I was one of those children who needed somebody to talk. I remember all of my school counselors. All 5 of them, from all the moving I did. I also remember every other counselor the court made me go talk to growing up. There was one in a church that I went to with my mother, and then I would leave while she continued to talk. There was another across the street from a K Mart that I would go talk to alone. I also had another that I went to for a short time because I didn't like him, so I didn't talk. And then I had one all through high school that I loved. Though my issues in high school were not anywhere as deep as they were when I was a child, it was so nice having somebody to talk to that I knew I could trust with everything I told her. I had best friends in high school, but we all remember how those went. They STILL told SOMEBODY. A counselor couldn't tell anybody and it was wonderful. Sometimes I think about being that for somebody. That could make a difference. That would make my life mean something.
(side note: I do have a degree now, it is just in Communication, so I would need to get another degree or a masters...or both, however that works)


2. I could...get a degree in education and become a high school speech teacher. I would LOVE that. To be able to interact with teenagers in a classroom. It would be a challenge alright, but I would love to be able to teach them how to speak in the real world. How to fill out applications, how to write a resume for an organization or job, how to speak in an interview. I just think it would be so beneficial to be able to do that. To teach young teenagers how to speak in public. How to give a formal, informal, how to, lesson speech in public. Whether that is to 2 people, or 500. I think that could make a difference, and my life would mean something.


3. I could...go to law school like I always dreamed and get back on the path for politics. From the time I was three years old I wanted to work in politics and government. From the age of 3 until 6th grade I wanted to be the first woman president (think I'm going to get beat to it, I still have 11 years before I'm even eligible haha). From 6th grade to freshmen year I wanted to be Governor of Texas (I'm not sure Rick Perry will ever leave) and then from freshman year in high school until about sophomore year of college I wanted to be a US Senator. I wanted to be a US Senator because I wanted to make a difference. The more I learned about politics, aka the more I was old enough to understand them, I realized they turned good people dirty and if they didn't, they hurt more people than they help. I also realized that year that I did just LOVE school. I loved being in college, but I didn't like the studying part so I didn't think Law School was for me. Now if I really wanted to make a difference, I'm sure I could find a way in politics, and I could just buckle down and work my tail off for a while in law school...but that's pretty far down on the list.


4. I for a non profit of some type. Try to find news way to benefit the non profit. Find ways to raise money, to help the organization we work for, ways to make life better for those we are working to help. I lived in a non-profit all through high school, it was a Children's home in a very small town in Texas. I never realized how much it took to run that place, but that was because we never were threatened with it shutting down, or not having food or the resources we needed. I would love to work for a place like that, to help make a difference, make my life mean something. I would just have to search. You might be thinking, well then why don't you go work for that children's home...well its about 4 hours from where I live now and it will be about 12 hours from where I will be living in August. So this is a big possibility. Sounds like the most attainable goal on the list thus far.


5. I could...write a book. I have always always always wanted to write a book. Not a short book either. I have always wanted to just sit down to my computer and start writing. And I have tried in the past. I'm just not good at finding a starting point. I want to write a book about not giving up, about succeeding when you aren't supposed to, about being the YOU that you want to be not who you're supposed to be...I want to write a book about life. My next post will be more about this. This is what I want to do more than anything. But so does a huge chunk of the population, all waiting for publishers to pick them up, all waiting to be discovered. So as much as I want this one to be how I make a difference and how I make my life mean'll probably always just be a dream. I will probably go for something like this:

6. I will...get married to the man of my dreams. We will struggle but always love and support each other at the end of the day. We will start a family and raise that family to know and love the Lord above. We will grow old together, always treating others with love and teaching our family to do the same. All the while we will pray for those that we know and those that we don't. We will have the life that we weren't' supposed to have. We will have a happy marriage with a wonderful family that two people from broken families are not supposed to produce. My husband will be the husband and father that a boy from a broken marriage isn't supposed to be. And I will be the wife and mother that a girl from an abusive mother and broken family isn't supposed to be. And that is how we will make a difference. We will always give, even when we don't' have any to give and we will always love. There's how I'll make sure my life means something.

You don't have to do anything extreme, its a lot like the quote by Gandhi "Be the change you want to see in the world", just do what you think will make a difference and what will make your life mean something. I'm not giving up on my dreams, I am still thinking and brainstorming on what I can do, and I'll find it. Sooner or later!

December 3, 2010


So I have been MIA for almost NINE months...that is ridiculous. I don't know what happened. One day I was writing super long blog posts about my life and all the fun adventures I have had and the next I got busy and forgot to write. I love writing which is so crazy that I just stopped. I will say I did get busy at work, which is where a lot of my writing takes place, buuuuuuuut, still no excuse. SO much has happened since March. SO much.

I am now 24! Had a birthday and loved every second of it. It might have been the BEST birthday yet. Which is funny because I didn't think I would enjoy any more birthdays after 21, oh but I was wrong! My friends joke that I like to have a birthday month...I don't really, just a birthday week. I mean is that too much to ask for? When else do you have an excuse to eat whatever you want, do whatever you want, and buy whatever you want? Never, unless its your birthday. And ONE day is not long enough to take care of all of that, so you just turn it into a week. I like it better when my birthday is at the end of the week because then it is almost valid to have a whole week's worth of celebration. Which is what I did. My birthday was on a Saturday, but we celebrated Thursday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday! LOVED IT! I will have to write a post just about my birthday and everything we did! Because, like I said, it was FANTASTIC!

I GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean my birthday was great and all BUT getting engaged was the best day of my life! I will definitely write a post ALL about that because it is just one day that I will never forget ANY of the details about. I have been wedding planning since then, and I will not make my blog all about wedding planning but I will be talking about my wedding and some decisions I'm making. You know, place (well I have that), colors, details, all the fun stuff that goes into a wedding! We even picked a date: August 6th 2011!!! I am so ready for that day to be here, but also not ready because I feel like I need MORE time to plan. I have not been the bride I thought I was going to be. I figured that I would have everything done within a week of getting engaged (which was on October 17th!)....and it is now December 3rd and I have booked are the place, caterer, photographer, minister & paper goods. So yes, I still need to find a DJ, Baker & Florist among things like my wedding dress, bridesmaid's dresses and anything else I'm forgetting. I have asked ALMOST all of my bridesmaids so far! I have asked 7....yeah we are having 10. Crazy, I know, but my fiance and I both have been so blessed with amazing friends in college that we cannot imagine not having them as a part of our day. I said I will talk about that more in other posts. AND soon enough we will have our wedding website up and I will put a link to it on here as well! Yay!

I received a raise/promotion at work! Really, just happened today but has been so exciting. It really just made my day/week/month! As I said earlier I was SUPER busy there for a while. I hired 104 people in a month and a half time span...busy. Ha. It just is such a great feeling to know that all of your hard work has been noticed. So yay!

Well I can already tell that I have written a lot. I'm not sure if a blog is the spot for me or not. I could write all day long. I'm not an excellent writer by any means, I just like to talk and so I write as I would talk to a friend, or even a stranger.

It feels good to be back and I cannot wait to keep up with my posts from now on. I hope everybody has had a great nine months and is looking forward to the holiday season! God Bless!

March 9, 2010

Dear ol' Sooner Youth Camp...

Dear ol' Sooner Youth Camp
I'll remember you!
When life's evening shadows
Hides life's morning dew.
True to your tradition
Every pure and fine.
Dear ol' Sooner Youth Camp
Glad that you are mine!
When life's evening shadows
Hides life's morning dew
Dear ol' Sooner Youth Camp,
I'll remember you!
There it is. That is our alma mater. Seriously though. We sing that everyday at camp. Not just once, but THREE times! Yep three. Once at the flagpole in the mornings, once before lunch and again before dinner. Oh man. I could literally talk for days about SYC. So be careful. Once you start reading. You might not be able to stop. My only hesitation in writing this blog is that I don't have any pictures to share with you. Not because I don't have pictures of Sooner, but because that was before the days that I had a digital camera (yes I did not have a digital camera until September of 2005...which happens to be only a couple months after I had a cell phone. All I'm saying here is that my children will never be allowed to complain about not having what everybody has ha!). Back to camp. So because I don't have pictures, you will have to imagine it all in your head.
Let's start with location. Ardmore, Oklahoma. About 70 miles north of the Texas/Oklahoma border. Sooner has two sessions, but I attended "Week 1". Now, sure I am biased, but I can tell you that week 1 is better. Have I been to week 2? No. But I've heard all about it and it is nothing like week 1. Haha. But seriously. Week 1 session takes place during the second week of July. Yep, that's right. The 2nd week of July in Ardmore Oklahoma. "Is it hot?" you ask...
It is so hot that all you do is sweat. No matter where you are. Inside, outside, in the lake,on your are sweating. Here is where a fun, or not so fun (you decide), fact comes in. At Sooner there are 4 window units...and that is it. Well other than the nurses station, but you don't ever enjoy those (unless the heat makes you pass out of course). The 4 window units are in the dining hall. This isn't a small dining hall. Let me assure you. I bet it holds...200 people. There is basically a window unit in each corner. If you aren't by one of the window units...that is sad. So yes that does mean that when we go back to our cabins...there are no air conditioners or window units. Well one time Cabin 7 (the oldest boys cabin) brought a window unit, but the girls (we call ourselves the Secret Circus, I'll explain later), well we stole it. Just for the night though, they got it back. And now if you look at the SYC website, window units are banned. You can thank us for that one. Ok, now that I have the hot straight, I think I can begin will all the other details one by one:
In each cabin there are 6 cots. These cabins are actual wood cabins, with screens on the windows and screen doors. There are wood floors, and one wooden closet deal (that nobody uses because SO many spiders and other creatures live in them). As stated earlier there are not any window units or A/C's in these cabins. SO each camper brings a box fan. Then in some way you find the best place for that box fan to hit you ALL NIGHT LONG! Just because the sun goes down in Ardmore OK does not mean that the heat is gone with it. By my junior year we finally figured out how to rig the fan in such a way that it did just that. You get some rope and you rope it up onto one of the wooden beams on the ceiling. It was perfect. Of course you have to figure out how to get the rope around the beam, and then you tie it through the fan, but then you have to tie it the end of your cot so that the fan has the right was just a chore, let me tell you. Well once you get your fan up, then you help everybody else. A quick tip, the better placement of the fans, the happier a cabin you have. Because I don't care what anybody says, heat puts people in a bad mood ha. Each girl camper has brought about two suitcases FULL so those stay under the cots until it is a time to change clothes, which we will get into soon. As most camps are, the girls cabins are on one side of the campsite, and the boys on the other. The boys cabins are closer to the bathrooms, the dining hall, just closer to where everything takes place basically, except the river!
Each morning the counselors (who are just older women, not the young aged ones you think of when you think of camp...I mean there were a couple, but not many), walk around and wake us all up. This is fun. We all get up and get dressed for the day. This usually means athletic shorts, t-shirt and ponytail for all. We grad our toothbrushes and head to the flag pole. We all stand around the flag pole and calisthenics. We then say the pledge (yes we do this and I am proud), then we sing Dear ol' Sooner Youth Camp, then have a prayer of blessing over our breakfast and then head to the dining hall! Ok I have to pause here to tell you about the
There are about 4 moms and one dad that work in the kitchen so all of our food is VERY homemade. Every breakfast, every lunch and every dinner. And boy is it some good food! I wish I could go back right now just to eat that food! The best breakfast we have are their homemade cinnamon rolls! Everybody looks forward to those. The cooks wake up at like 4 am and start working on them. I mean they have a lot to make. I wish you could taste them. Mmmm. Back to the morning though!
Morning con't:
We all go in and eat breakfast! This is where another pause/break will occur, I have to tell you about our dining hall and ALL the traditions!
Dining Hall:
So as you can imagine our dining hall is a wood cabin also, just bigger. So there are about 20-25 wooden picnic tables...except bigger and nicer than ones you see in a park. Each table is numbered. Now there are 4 "talking tables" as we call them. Now that doesn't mean all the other tables can't talk, it just means they can't the way those 4 tables talk.
Table 1 - Oldest boys (cool guys)
Table 3 - Second oldest boys (nerdy guys)
Table 5 - Oldest girls (cool girls)
Table 6 - Second oldest girls (fat girls)
Now obviously the labels out the side of those aren't true about the tables, well the ages are, but the labels in () are not. They are just what those tables are known for...well not that either. They are just what those tables are teased about. So back to the talking element. When I say they are allowed to talk, they are allowed to do the following:
The hit their fits on the table in a buuum buuuum buuuuuum fashion (makes much more sense if you hear it). This is to get everybody's attention that they are about to make a statement.
Then they say something in unison for all the dining hall to hear. Some examples:
If we were having hamburgers for dinner, Table 5 might say, "Table 6, you put the HAM in our hamburger". I know it sounds mean, but it really is just for fun/tradition. Well then Table 3 would come to the rescue of Table 6 and say, "Table 6, you put the hot in our hot sauce" (if we were having hot sauce. Etc. Another fun thing that happens ALL the time is the very popular...
"Get your elbows off the table Paige Marie, Get your elbows off the table Paige Marie, we won't shut up, till you get up, get your elbows off the table Paige Marie"
THEN they make you do some embarrassing act for all the dining hall to see. One that happened to me for example was:
"Kiss Marcus for us, Paige Marie, kiss Marcus for us Paige Marie. We wont' shut up, til you get up, kiss Marcus for us Paige Marie"
AND THEY AREN'T KIDDING! They don't shut up until you do it! It really is all fun and all meal you find yourself trying to catch elbows and watching for your own all at the same time!
Something else that is fun about meal time is that each table has a runner. No not a decorative runner, a person called the runner. This person is changed out each meal and they sit on the end of the table on the side closest to the kitchen. Anytime the food or drink runs out, the runner goes into the kitchen to refill the food/drink. See at Sooner we eat in a family style. With large bowls of the food on the table already for us to pass around and fill up our plates. Sweet tea and lemonade are some staples for our cups! Ok! That's that!
Morning/Day con't:
After breakfast we go back to our cabins and clean them up...well as clean as they are going to get. The purpose of cleaning them is because like most camps they grade your cabin. The prize for the girls? They rank the cabins from cleanest to not so clean. If you cabin is the cleanest you get to leave the lake first for the showers, and then you head to showers in that order! So, we clean. After cleaning our cabin we have morning devotional. This is with our age group. This is fun, because you have the same teacher all week. It is a good time with people your age, learning about God and just sitting outside in nature. The other good part is that this is in the morning so you aren't sweating TOO terribly bad quite yet. After morning devotional, we have our singing time! We all go into the dining hall and separate into 4 groups: sopranos, altos, tenors and bass. Because this camp is church of Christ based, we sing Acapella, and this is just gorgeous in the dining hall. We sing fun songs, kid songs, serious songs, all kinds of songs. After lunch we have "gender time". Which actually is just when the boys go down to the lake and the girls all sit in the dining hall and play cards. Seriously. That is where I learned to play Speed, ERS, and many others I am sure. After gender time we have lunch! We say grace, sing our song and then eat! This is when we eat the most! Everybody is just so hungry from the long morning so far! After lunch is one of the best parts of the day:
Now nap time doesn't look too terribly long. Really depending on how long you stay at the dining hall, you can get 30 minutes to an hour of sleep. And you sleep! After nap time is
Afternoon Sports:
One of my favorite things about afternoon are our team names. Every year there a theme with team names and on Monday we all patiently await to see the teams that we are on and what our team name will be. One year they were brands of cars, another year they were sicknesses, another year they were bugs. The other great part about the sports are the actual sports we play:
Ping Pong, Horseshoes, Three-ball, Volleyball, & Ultimate Frisbee!
I always looked forward to ping pong and horseshoe day because that didn't involve a lot of sweating ha. BUT I did enjoy the other sports too! I am a little competitive. Just ask anybody who knows me, or has played something against me...or even been on my team. Yes I know you know somebody like me and you are thinking to yourself...oh geez. Sorry! Back to where we were
Afternoon con't:
After sports, its gender time again. Aka girls turn to go to the lake. We actually have heard that the boys play sports while we are at the lake, unless like us who sit in the AC...but who knows if that's true. Down at the lake is a whole other experience! There are a ton of girls laying on the sand (there is sand if you can believe it) a ton jumping off things into the water and then there are me and my friends who just wade in the water and talk. Well right before it is time to go up to the showers we do something that is going to make you cringe. BUT if you were there, you would do it too and you would understand. Ready? I don't think you are.
We wash our hair in the lake. Yes I said it. That is what we do. But you will understand further down why we do. So we wash our hair, condition it and then get ready to run for the showers. It is a good mile up to the showers, but we run in our flip flops anyway just to guarantee a shower. As you get to the showers you remember there are only 4 showers for about 100 girls. This is why you wash you hair in the lake and this is why you shower in your bathing suit for a week. Because about 5-7 girls cram into a shower (WITH SWIMSUITS ON) and try to wash out their hair and wash their faces/bodies and then hurry off to the cabins. Because by this time you have about 30 minutes to get ready for the evening. Why do we feel that we need to get ready for the evening you ask, here is why:
As we hurry up and get ready, we blow dry and straighten our hair. Yes in the heat, yes with 6 box fans going on high and yes all the while praying we don't blow another fuse that somebody has to go switch back on. We then put on our make-up with the box fan blowing our eyes dry and then put on dresses and skirts for the evening. Why? Because at Sooner you get dressed for church every night. Yep, that is what we do. Why do we do it? It's tradition. I wish I had pictures on my computer to show you. We really did wear skirts and dresses each night with our hair done and make-up on. The guys kind of dressed up too. Mainly jeans and button-ups/polos, so they were sweating a lot too. You just expected everybody to look a beautiful sweaty mess. As soon as you are ready for the evening you head up to the dining hall for dinner. This is another meal when we eat a lot. We are all tired from sports and swimming. So we say grace, sing our song and eat. After dinner is just some mingling time until worship & service. Then off to worship and service. It is outside and we all sit in the same spot every night. You bring your chair from home if you want to make sure you get your seat each night. The longer you've been at camp, the closer to the front you sit. Literally. Nobody says it has to be this way, its just how it is every year. So you sit down, have worship and then a lesson which is awesome. Then we have canteen/snack. One drink and one candy. Every night. Then we mingle some more, then one of my favorite parts about camp:
Social Hour:
If you are thinking this is a talent show, you are RIGHT! We have a talent show every night! How fun is that? There are always at least 10 acts. From singing, to playing an instrument, to skits, to random hidden talents, it is just awesome. And every night a girls cabin and a boys cabin have to do a skit together. This is always funny too! At the end of social hour we always haev a serious skit to bring the mood to the right spot again. After the serious skit we have what is my all time favorite part about Sooner Youth Camp:
Grady (the director) plays a song in the background and we are dismissed from the inner circle out. I want you to imagine this in your head. We are at a campsite in the middle of nowhere. This means the only lights out there are the ones we turn on, and for this, we turn them all off. The only lights you see are the flashlights that guide you out into the field. You walk out into this field holding the hands of the two people on either side of you. There is a circle of people in front of you and more behind you. (depending on the length of time you've been coming to camp). The most inner circle are those who this is their last year, 7 years (you start going when you are 13 and you can go until the summer after your freshman year in college). The next circle, 5-6 years, and so on if you can imagine. So we are out there in 4-5 circles around each other. The only light now are the stars and they are gorgeous. And we are sining to our God. We sing so many songs. Each night they are different, but we always end with the song: My God & I. When we begin to sing this song we stop holding hands and put our arms around each other, enclosing the circle more. We sing all three verses, because we all know it by heart, and then we hum it for the 4th verse. As these 200 people are humming the song, one guy in the inner most circle recites a poem that was written at Sooner years ago. With the last notes being hummed we all bow our heads and pray.
We are then dismissed, boys go to their side, and girls to theirs. We go to our cabins, have cabin devo, talk about our day and go to sleep around 11:00-11:30 depending on how much talking we do. Then we wake up at 7:00 the next morning, and do it all again for 5 days. We leave Saturday morning and look forward to the next year when we get to come back and sweat, bathe in the lake, and sing in the circle.
There are many more traditions at Sooner, but I think that is enough for one post. I hope you have enjoyed Sooner Youth Camp! Tell me about your summer camps! Or just your favorite part about yours! I would love to hear!!!