Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wildlife at Church Camp

Our family spent the past week at Falls Creek, an extremely large Southern Baptist Church Camp near Davis, OK. For those of you who don't know about Falls Creek: Each summer, about 45,000 middle and high school aged campers will attend seven week-long sessions where they will hopefully, most of all, come to a new or more intimate relationship with God, but will also eat, hike, play volleyball, participate in ropes courses, swim, and hang out with about 7000 of their new best friends!

With this many teenagers in a small area (picture your home town populated by about 80% teenagers! Oh. My.) it can get crazy. It is hot. It is humid. It is hilly. Did I say it's hot?

Les and I have attended Falls Creek since out high school days and Sarah and Molly have been coming since they were little girls when we began to sponsor youth groups.

For the past 4 or so years, I've come to help cook for our group. Each year is different. And the same.

Each year we cook basically the same menu, with a few variations. Each year four to five women share the 'cooks quarters' with a freezer and a washer and dryer. And various and sundry critters.

They differ from year to year. There's always bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. We try not to look under the beds because it's kind of frightening. Last year, Lori dreamed the first night about spiders crawling across her face. The next morning we found a large hairy tarantula in the kitchen. Ummm. Yeah. Eek! We also discovered a lizard (which we never caught)in our bedroom on the last day.

So this year, I did not carry anything into our room until it had been thoroughly swept and Jake sealed all the cracks/holes around the baseboards and whatnot with duct tape. "That will keep the little guys out!" I thought. Hah!

Did I mention that our cabin is somewhat rustic? The floor is cement. The rubber baseboard stuff around the walls is cracked and warped. The kitchen is very basic. The bunks are ok. The showers are downright frightening at times--dark and cave like! The cooks have a luxury--their own bathroom. Festooned with spider webs, dead bugs trapped in them, stuff on the wall that you just pretend not to see.

So in spite of the sweeping and inspecting and duct taping, it really came as no surprise to see, once again, this little guy!

And oh, how the screaming and jumping and shrieking and leaping onto bunks did commence! He was fast! And slippery. And fast! Bruce tried to catch him but it was like trying to hold onto water. I think all the screaming and leaping excited him! But at last, all of us were too tired to care about the wildlife, so we made our beds and went to sleep.

But the very next day....! Before the real campers (kids) arrived, Sarah and I were alone in the cabin. We were considering a nap. And then we saw him again! And now the catching problem is compounded by a myriad of suitcases, boxes of food, shelves for the food, laundry soap, makeup cases....Well, I'm sure you get the picture.

I'm a farm girl. I've held snakes. I've put my arm up a sheeps you know what to try to reach a lamb. I'm not afraid of no lizard. Unless it is in a room full of junk where he can hide!

So I conjured up Wile E. Coyote in my brain (WWWD--What would Wile Do?) and came up with this device:

I thought that perhaps we could use the flat portions to kind of herd/guide the lizard into a box and maybe keep him out of our suitcases and beds.

But once again, much leaping and screaming ensued, the order of the room was destroyed and the the skink was still free. I thought I was going to be sick laughing at Sarah screaming at that varmint!

Then, finally everyone else came back to the cabin and our hero, Bruce came to our rescue. He crawled around, over boxes and bags, sacks and cartons, beds and suitcases, clutching a "Jakes Rib" cup in his hand, until at last he trapped the little devil in the corner.

Just look at him!

Isn't he scary!

Be free, little skink, be free! Free in the great outdoors!

Later in the day, when we found the ten inch centipede, this little guy didn't look bad at all!

P. S. Just to clarify--It wasn't the skink's presence we objected to--it was never knowing where he was and the fear of stepping on him in the night. Or shaking him out of your clothes. Or feeling him crouched against the potty with your bare foot in the dark. Or discovering him in your shoe--after you put it on! Or anything else you can imagine you don't want to feel--in the dark!


Keetha Broyles said...

Bugs and critters like to go to camp too!!!

Mandy said...

Seriously funny story, was able to visualize in my head and was laughing out loud. Personally, I would not have even cared about that little thing and let him room with me!

Andi said...

That's how we are whenever Ava escapes. We all jump and act all freaked out, not because we're scared of her, but because you're constantly afraid you'll kill her...

Becky said...

That takes me back, we had more than one bat in our cabin during my Falls Creek years. And at that time I was not convinced that bats wouldn't suck your blood :D Wish you guys would have tapes the "Great Lizard Hunt"

One Last Thought.......

Pleasant words are a honeycomb;
sweet to the soul and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16: