Tag Archives: Trail West

Poop, Blood and a Whole Lot of Awesome

It’s taken me awhile to process all of the things that happened this last month. Mainly due to the fact that it took me a whole week of sleep to be able to function as a normal human being again.

But here we are. I survived a month in the mountains.

I wanted to write a poignant post about how meaningful the month was, how amazing my housekeeping girls were and the sheer awesomeness of living in the mountains and spending a whole lot of quality time in the Word.

Because all of those things are true. It was an incredible month, filled with joy and laughter and tears and painful honesty and growing and learning and eating camp food and being exhausted all of the time.

But ‘poignant’ isn’t really my style. I’m more of a ‘let me share this hilarious story with you’ – and people – boy oh boy was it a month of hilarious stories.

So I present to you ‘Betsy’s List of the Top Three Most Hysterical Things That Happened to Her This Month.”

Thing One: The Bedroom

As you gathered from the previous post, I didn’t have much advance notice in knowing that I was moving into camp. On the flip side, it only makes sense that the camp didn’t have much advance notice either.

Long story short, an unmarried woman that’s a work crew boss, lives with the girls. They were short a bed. So I got a bed… in the middle of the room, full of 16 high school girls, right next to the bank of mirrors… and without a closet or drawer.

Good news I’ve watched my fair share of HGTV, so I was able to redecorate the room and come up with THIS!

It's basically ever girls dream... a tutu hung above the bed!!

It’s basically ever girls dream… a tutu hung above the bed!!

Yes, that is an ironing board that I’ve folded down and put crates on to store my clothes in. You say ‘white trash’… I say ‘dream come true.’ Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to.

In all honesty, I loved it. It was the couch, the gathering place, the hub of all things and the perfect place to hit the lights and climb into bed. In fact, it was so wonderful, while we were at it, we created a living room at the foot of my bed too:

Three chairs and a coffee table made out of a crate with a towel on top? I know, we're wildly fancy.

Three chairs and a coffee table made out of a crate with a towel on top? I know, we’re wildly fancy.

Who needs Pottery Barn? God bless camp. It’s the small details that make something so stinking wonderful!

Thing Two: “It’s Soiled”

Agreeing to being the housekeeping boss at a family camp in the mountains basically just means that you’ve said yes to cleaning up bloody nose mess, washing sheets with accidents from the previous night and maybe an occasional bout of handling the after math of an upset stomach. I get it. Altitude sickness. Makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense? Getting a radio call telling you that the carpet in the game room has been soiled. Let me set the scene: I’m out, cleaning one of the out building bathrooms, when I hear… “Betsy copy Betsy, there’s a situation in the game room.” Innocent Betsy thinking something needs to be vacuumed says “What kind of situation?” Slow pause. And then the dreaded response: “It’s soiled.”

Based on what I can tell from the trackings (yes trackings), is that some adorable heathen of a small child had an accident… which some how made it to the floor… which was then stepped in and tracked… all over the carpet.

God bless these girls.

God bless these girls.

I can’t make this up. A little carpet cleaner… mixed with an actual carpet cleaner (you don’t mess around in these situations) got the markings right up.

It was both amazing and utterly terrifying and made me laugh for at least two days.

Thing Three: The Feedback Form

I now applaud anyone, ever, in the whole wide world that spends their day housekeeping. To the tawashie bosses/kids of the past, I salute you. To the people cleaning my hotel room, I vow to be more awesome and less messy in the future.

And to my tawashies? God bless you. You girls were the greatest.

The greatest group of girls any work crew boss could ever ask for!

The greatest group of girls any work crew boss could ever ask for! I mean look at them, they are just ADORABLE!

They are tired, they are working hard and they are away from home and potentially out of their comfort zone.

Here’s a general outline of my day, every day,  to set the scene:

5:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Get out of bed. Stumble to the pot of coffee. And sit quietly with my new BFF Carlee, while preparing our souls for the day.

6:00 AM: Wake up girls. They hated this. We hated this. It took the entire next thirty minutes to accomplish getting 26 high school girls out of bed, into clothes and out the door.

6:30 AM: Devo.

7:00 AM: Breakfast.

7:30 AM: Housekeeping time.

8:00 AM: Cleaning Begins.

From there, you paused for lunch at some point and then you cleaned until all of the chores were done. First couple of weeks, it was 3pm. Second couple of weeks we got faster and it became 2… and then 1… After which you had free time until dinner, and then an activity after that.

10:30 PM: Wrangle all of the girls into the room.

11:00 PM: Lights out and yelling at the girls until they were quiet enough for people to fall asleep around them.

For those of you keen on math… if all of the girls were in the room and went to bed right at 11PM (in your dreams) and then your alarm rings at 5:30 AM… that’s 6 1/2 hours of sleep a night, followed by 17 1/2 hours of working on your feet.

The first couple of weeks I used the afternoon free time to catch up on work emails and personal emails and general life, because the idea of falling behind was a wee bit terrifying. However, the second couple of weeks I learned the error of my ways and began using some of that time as ‘nap time.’ Some days it was an hour, some days it was no time, and some days it was a glorious three hours.

So the end of the session rolls around, and the evaluations come out… because like a real job… the bosses review the kids, and the kids review the bosses! And as I’m reading through their evals, smiling about how they’ve matured in their faith I hit an answer that stopped me dead in my tracks:

Question: What could your bosses do to be better? (Or something close to that)

Answer: Maybe you should give the bosses more time off and naps. They seem to be happier after the naps.

I died. I laughed SO HARD. Way to go girl, you hit the nail right on the head. It’s really just an apt summary of my life: You give me more sleep, I’ll be happier.

And apparently enough nicer to really make an impression.

Trail West is an amazing place.  It was a wonderful, incredible, awe-inspiring and encouraging month. Watching families come together and grow in their faith and reconnect with one another was indescribable. It felt like you were watching tiny miracles happen each and every week. And to be there to serve quietly in the background? What a blessing.

If I was able to reply my life and was asked to do this assignment again, I’d say yes in a heart beat. The friendships, the laughs, the tears, the adventure, the witnessing and the growth… so worth it, so full of Jesus and so life giving.

What an opportunity. Thank you Jesus.

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Being a Yes Girl

If you know me, you know that I’m totally a YES! girl. Which leads to a full, adventurous, exciting and rather packed to the brim life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

But sometimes, saying YES! leads me straight into crazy, out of the ordinary and slightly extreme situations.

Which, is why today, I’m sitting in a hotel room in a city not too far where I live, getting ready for 30 days of adventure.

Friends – I’m moving into a Young Life Camp for a month.

SURPRISE!

Don’t worry, I’m equally as surprised as I said YES! to this Tuesday. And since then, the week has been packed with readying the house, finding pet sitters (bless you friends), buying supplies (you’re a God send Sarah) and giving co-workers and friends a heads up.

Okay Betsy, but really, what exactly are you doing for a month?

Great question.

I get to hang out with nine amazing (I haven’t yet met them, but I’m sure they are amazing) high school girls; cleaning bathrooms, making beds and doing laundry for the next month.

You hooked yet?

This. Is. My. View. For the entire next month. Be jealous.

This. Is. My. View. For the entire next month. Be jealous.

How about now?

I’m spending a month in the mountains, quietly (well, as quietly as I can muster) serving behind the scenes at a Young Life camp for families as the house keeping boss. It’ll be tough work (I’ll be doing my normal Young Life job for fun on the side!), filled with mess, sweat, exhaustion, crazy and probably some tears (myself… and the girls).

But it will also be incredible. There will be joy, laughter, bonding, costumes, cheese balls and spending some good quality time with Jesus.

I’m a strange mixture of excited and totally and completely terrified.

I would love for you to send thoughts and prayers my way for the next month. For patience, grace, extra energy, health, happiness and that the Lord would use this time in my life exactly as he needs and has planned.

And know, I will absolutely be coming back with stories of vomit, poop and utter weirdness that will make you roll on the ground in stitches.

This is why I’m a YES! girl. It’s all about the stories to share. Oh, and something about God having one heck of a sense of humor.

You’re welcome.

Until then, thank you friends for the thoughts and prayers.

And then next time you look go to the bathroom, just smile and laugh about how at that moment, I’m probably cleaning a strangers toilet…

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