Ya know, LDs, we used to go camping all the time when we were kids (Mumsy Dreamer, the stepfather, and Sister). Course, we went camping because we were too poor to do anything else.
I do have photgraphic proof that I am a bookie (not gambling, but like a foodie, but with books). On one camping trip after Mumsy D and the SF's divorce, it was just women. Mumsy, her friend Bette, Sister, and a couple other friends of Mumsy and their kidlets. It's me...on one of those plastic, tri-fold chaise lounges that you can buy at the Walmart...nose in a book...sitting by the fire. The picture, whilst a little dark, is peaceful. Just me and my book and the campfire.
But this isn't the memorable one I am talking about.
This one is.
During one of my two years as a camp counselor at the camp I'd really really really love to work at for the rest of my life, there are scheduled evening activities. This one happened to be on Wednesday - the overnight. You pack up your sleeping bag and your water bottles and you take turns carrying the milkcrate full of bread and hamburger patties and veggies and trashbags and tp to the place you're staying. It's never really too far out, since you do have to get up and hike back before breakfast. :)
We'd finished eating and were finishing up ghost stories and some of the smaller girls were bunking down (C, we might have been at Upper Pak that year - do you remember?), when a couple of them freaked out. I went over to investigate, and one said that she thought she saw something moving through the forest. Another girl said it looked like a ghost. I opened my mouth to tell them that it wasn't a ghost, it was their imaginations, but that's not what came out.
"That's just Chris, my guardian angel." Now, I do have a cousin named Chris, but he wasn't born until five years later. They wanted to know about him. I told him that he keeps me safe, and since it was part of my job to keep them safe, he was watching over them too. I told them that if they saw him again, just to wave, and he'd know that they were ok.
It worked. There were no more incidents of 'ghosts' being seen, and a couple of the girls the next morning told me they'd seen him a couple times during the night when they got up to use the woods.
But before that, one of the girls came to me and said "S is crying, and we don't know why." I went over to her, and she broke my heart.
"You're lucky. I don't have a guardian angel."
"Sweetie, everyone does. Why do you think you don't?"
"Because he didn't keep me safe." Chills.
"Safe from what?"
See, LDs, she told me that the boy down the street (who was her and her sibling's babysitter) had touched her where he shouldn't, and when she tried to tell her dad, he didn't belive her. Her teacher didn't believe her.
I did. I'd had that happen to me before, and was too afraid to tell anyone.
I told her I believed her, and that we should really tell someone else who would believe her. She was scared, but she agreed. I sent our unit leader over to her, and S told her. I was shaken, LDs. To my very core.
The next day, I was called to the head counselor's office, and the camp priest was there. I told them my story, and they said it was the same as my unit leader's. They put the steps in motion.
When her dad came and got her on Saturday, I didn't like him on sight. They left, but not after lots of hugs and a 'thank you' from S.
A couple of weeks later, our head counselor called me in again and she was happy.
"She lives with her grandparents now."
Tears of joy, LDs.
And that is why this is my most memorable camping trip ever. It may not have been a trip per se, but we were camping.
I've started reading Mama Kat, and she posts a Weekly Writing Prompt. You post using one of her prompts, then link up on Thursday. Obviously, I picked the most memorable camping trip. I think I'm in love. :)
Heepwah, and be safe out there.