Thursday, October 02, 2008

Weekend retreat pt.2

There were new ropes courses since the last time I was at camp... so that was neat to figure out how to do the new ones. Oh yes, you're roped in the whole time for all of these things. You put a harness thing on that goes around your waist and legs and then you're clipped to various belaying ropes at different points and people down on the ground control them. But the ropes don't help you at all, you can't hold onto them for stability...if you do that, the people belaying will usually give you some slack so that it doesn't help any! :p I was telling my grandma about this and she was looking terribly worried, and then I realized I hadn't told her that I was roped in! There's no way I would do any of these things (and no way they'd be safe) if I wasn't roped in! :D

There was a zip-line, but to get to it you had to go across two stretches of metal cable. I got stuck at the point on the second run where the cable comes down and meets the bottom one, because you can't hold much of the top one anymore, so you have to inch over and grab onto the rope that hanging down. Well, I had my feet as far apart as they would go and still couldn't get my foot on the other side of the cable which is what I needed to get a hold on the rope. The guy who was on the second platform to clip me into the zipline was trying to be encouraging, telling me I could do it, he'd gone across it and if he could do it I probably could, I was probably more flexible so I should be able to get it... "NO! I'm probably NOT!" I snapped as I about fell off. He was right though, I did finally manage to inch my right foot over so I could get my left foot on the other side of the cable and grab the rope. That one was almost the hardest one to do!

I didn't get any pictures of the ropes course, so I've tried to sketch the things so you can tell what I'm talking about...maybe. I've mentioned I can't draw very well, right? :p

(click to enlarge)

Then there was a great big swing where you climb a rope ladder, somersault into a cargo net, climb up the cargo net to get to the platform where they hook you into the swing and then you jump off the platform. That was fairly easy, once you struggle your way up the rope ladder it's a matter of falling into the net (without your head going through the holes!) and then getting facing the right way to climb up the net...and remembering to not use your knees to help you climb because you'll just get stuck. Then when you drop off the platform there's about a split-second where you think you're never going to stop because at that point you're just flying through the air and the harness and ropes aren't offering any resistance (it's basically a big sling shot to start out!) then you get to the end of the ropes and you're sitting in your harness and swinging. And at some point your stomach finally feels like it's back where it belongs. :p

Then the last one you climb another rope ladder (a little more stable than the last one), get up to the top and go across a bridge made of steps about three planks across with a big gap between each of them. They're not really that far apart, but the whole thing wobbles...I was intending to stop on each one, but once you I got going and too much momentum to stop without falling so I just ran across all of them! When you get across that you climb up a swinging rock-climbing wall (you know with the little hand and foot hold things screwed into a board). Above that is a horizontal telephone pole and you walk across that and then walk back across it half-way and then you can jump off. The trick to the pole across the top is to just look at the pole, plus I have pretty good balance so since it didn't swing and I tried to ignore the fact that I was 30-something feet off the ground it wasn't too bad. What really amused me was that people kept saying I looked like a ballerina when I was balancing on the various things! :p I guess just because I have good balance and on the telephone pole I just walked right across it instead of shuffling or putting each foot right in front of the other and I went fairly fast really. I don't know, that's just how it works for me...keep moving and get to the end before I start wobbling was what I was thinking!

Our speaker, Ray, did that one also, right before I did was really funny. The guys talked him into doing it, and he was talking the whole time, "I think I'll take my Bible up with me!" "I can't believe I'm doing this!" "This is just insane, why am I doing this?!" and then when he got to the top and had to walk across the telephone pole he looked down and then he looked back up real quickly and said very quietly and matter-of-factly "I think you'll need a new speaker". :p

So anyway, the ropes courses were fun, and it wasn't raining by then, so there was only the residual dampness from the past two days. Saturday morning we did one of the low elements that they call "walk on water" and it was just a little too realistic! :p It's cables strung between trees (about a foot off the ground) and the idea is that there is an imaginary river running underneath them and you have to get your whole team across without losing anyone in the water. Everyone had the option to stay inside, or play disc golf, or do the low elements. Everyone who did something outside was soaked by the time they were done!

Friday night I didn't get to sleep until almost 2 because I stayed up playing carpetball until my arm got tired. Then Saturday night I got to bed closer to 1:30 or so because a group of us were up at the lodge playing "signs", which was a lot of fun. I took some random pictures while we were playing but most of them are pretty blurry because no one was holding still! :)

The guy in the green shirt is our speaker:

Mary's in the middle:

Oops, Charity (blue&white shirt) must have bounced just as I took that picture!

Everyone looks bemused while Ray spazzs about something:

When it's too wet outside to go rock-climbing what do you do? Why climb the chimney in the lodge of course! :p

That's the littlest Hylton kid, the four-year-old...he just climbed right up there while his mom held her breath and looked very worried. He got higher than that on one try, but I didn't get a picture.

There was a little cat up at camp and he just loved for me to carry him around and hold him.

Milo asleep on my lap:

Milo with another girl's hoodie over him...that was the most patient cat I've ever seen!

I held him through the whole evening service Saturday night, and then he sat next to me on the couch during the first service on Sunday. At one point on Saturday the other girl who liked to carry him around was walking around holding him over her shoulder and supporting his feet with her hand and he just stretched out and went to sleep!

Well, I think that's everything about camp. :) I'm not sure that I'd go again...if there were more people I knew then I might go, but otherwise I could find something else to spend the $25 on! :D


Caroline said...

hey Natalie!
i saw you at th fair yesterday!
was that MTYC you went to? i did the donkey kongs revenge, but i wasnt old enough to do "the swing!"

Lizzie said...

Oh, I wanna go! It sounds like you had a great time! It was only $25???? If you ever go again, I would definitely consider going. But maybe I don't count as someone you know, considering we've never actually met in person... :P

Natalie said...

Yes Caroline, it was MTYC. Why weren't you old enough for the swing? I can't think of a reason for that...did they explain why you had to be a certain age?

I hope your stuff does well at the fair! :) I'll see if I can spot it when we go today, although it's really hard to find someone else's stuff.

Yeah, you would count, Lizzie...I mean, I know you more than the people there really and we'd have a lot more in common! :D