I had no idea my feet could smell like that.
Foul. Putrid. Stanky.
The smell became progressively more rank as the week rolled on. My new BFF and tent buddy, Elisa, was super sweet about it the first two days.
"I can't smell your feet at ALL! I don't know what you're talking about..." she said the first night, after I had removed my hiking boots.
On night number two she said, "Your feet totally don't smell. ...Do you want to borrow my baby wipes to clean them off?"
Night three she actually coughed and choked. "WOAH! THOSE FEET ARE RIPE!... Smell mine." She proceeded to stick her bare foot in my face. It was my turn to cough and sputter. Good grief! The fumes brought tears to my eyes.
Despite the smelly feet I had a FABULOUS week. I was happy every cotton pickin' minute. From dusk til dawn I reveled in glee. There was no where else would rather have been in the whole wide world.
I fell in love with the girls I was assigned to direct as Girls Camp Director.
I fell madly in love with each and every one of them. My group of girls and adult leaders were creative and hilarious. There was constant laughter, teasing, hugging, dancing, singing and butt smacking.
At one point my friend, D'Nel (who smacked my butt good and hard on more than one occasion), taught me all the choreography to M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This". We blared the music and danced until we could dance no more.
DA-NA-NA-NA NA-NA NA-NA CAN'T TOUCH THIS!
I felt free up there on the mountain. I was forced to leave behind the distractions of The World. I did not hear one disturbing news headline the entire week. I read no fashion mags that convinced me I was in need of some material Thing. I watched no television programs that upset my sensitive spirit. I had no phone or internet service. I found myself in heaven.
As a group we lifted ourselves away from the confusion of the world below. We prayed and sang praises to our God. He blessed us as we did so. We were blessed with clarity and peace.
We are promised one day we will experience a peace that passeth understanding if we are true to God's commandments. This week I experienced a fraction of That Peace. It is the closest I have ever come to understanding what a peace that passeth understanding might feel like. I was overwhelmed with Love.
On the final night of camp we gathered together to share our testimonies. Each of my 12 girls spoke. I was filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be in the presence of such beautiful innocence, strength and faith.
My own daughters shared their feelings about God and their beliefs. Tears slid down my cheeks and I thanked my Heavenly Father.
Bella said that she loves the 13th Article of Faith which says, we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men. She continued by sharing that she wanted to have these qualities when she grew up. What an amazing desire!
What if all people on this earth were honest, true, chaste, benevolent and virtuous? What a marvelous place the world would be!
Serena said she felt sad a few weeks ago when a friend informed her she would no longer be her friend because Serena is Mormon. She also shared that although it hurt to be rejected so, she was grateful for the gospel and her friends at church who love her. She was grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves her.
There is no better reward for a mother than knowing her children are happy, safe and doing what is right.
I was loathe to drive down the mountain and back to civilization on Friday. The feeling of peace and love was far too desirable. The World does a marvelous job of stripping us of that peace. It takes a great deal of effort to maintain the feeling that was so effortless at Camp Zion.
I earned the name Mama Hoops this week as a result of the huge earrings I kept dangling from my filthy lobes. I feel pretty cool about that. I'm not gonna lie.
People teased me about the full length mirror I brought and propped up against a tree outside my tent. But those same people were caught RED HANDED primping and preening before it. HA!
I was also teased about the full face of make-up I dutifully applied daily.
I didn't mind.
I was too happy to mind even the biffys, which are the permanent version of a port-o-jon and smell just as wonderful and full of wonder.
On Friday I begrudgingly packed up my hoops and mirror and headed home.
I missed my husband and little ones. My greatest desire is for them to be filled with the spirit as I was. The feeling is like a fruit that is sweet above all which is sweet. The feeling is delicious.
I have emerged from this experience changed for the better. Strengthened. Clean.
(Ironic I would feel clean, considering I only got one 45 second shower the entire week and smelled like a dump truck).
I'm eternally grateful I was given the opportunity to join the ranks of righteous girls and women.
I'm equally grateful I was not eaten by a bear or skunked in the middle of the night. I was worried about that.