This week a good bit of the permaneant staff wasn’t at camp. We went to an American Camping Association Conference at Montgomery Bell State Park, near Dickson, Tennessee. When you spend time away from camp for a few days, it just intensifies the work you have to squeeze in when you get back. So, I didn’t get a chance to take as much time to look around and notice what was going on. I know that Buck and Mark were up this week working on the Conference Center fireplace. Hopefully, the new cap will keep the bird nests and lizards out of the chimney during the summer.
Otherwise, I have not seen a whole lot this week. It would be much better to ask someone who was here all week. Jacque managed to make it another week without being touched. When he had made sure he was in a spot where no people would try to ambush him, he laid down in the grass and set his head on the ground for an afternoon nap. The sun was shining that day, and when the sun hits black fur, it just does something that would relax anyone. Jacque was out, and it was a good sleep. He was so comfortable he didn’t lay in wait, making sure there was no one ambushing him, just to see what it would be like to pet him. Jacque lifted his eyes and began walking towards the Administration Building. Something felt different, though. He wasn’t really sure, yet, what had changed, so he walked into the office with a bit of suspicion in his mind (as Jacque very frequently does). He walked into the office, and Lily and Miles were already there, sitting on the couch. He saw Gary petting both of them, and he began to turn to go behind the couch, where his cushion is set up, but then something happened. He hesitated for a moment. There was something deep inside of him, something that had been put away for sometime now. He didn’t exactly understand it. His tail began to wag, but he furrowed his brow and shook side to side. He wasn’t sure what he should do, but something inside told him to approach Gary. Something that he hadn’t paid attention to in a long time. He slowly moved forward, and Gary reached out his hand. For the first time since he had come to camp, Jacque did not shrink away. He let Gary touch him, then pet him. Jacque could not believe how great it felt to be scratched. He started kicking his legs, and he kicked so much that he fell over. This jolted him out of sleep, and he looked around with his big, green eyes. There was no one around. He put his head down and sighed.
Monte, in the mean time, was asleep under his rock. But fairly quickly, his cage fell over. Straw went everywhere. His water bowl was spilled, and his rock was turned over. It took Monte a moment to realize that his cage’s top had broken off. He slithered, slowly at first, out of his cage on onto the carpet of the office floor. He whipped his tongue out, back and forth, feeling his way along. He made his way to the air conditioning vents and squeezed into them. From there, he was in a new world of tunnels. The air conditioning ducts were soft and metalic, and as he slithered along, he began to realize he was not alone. He heard foot steps. Lots of footsteps. Tiny little footsteps. Monte moved toward the sound quietly, without too much thought. Something inside him took control, and he moved gracefully towards the sound. Monte had found a whole colony of mice, more than he could handle at one setting. He ate and ate, until he grew so big that he could barely fit in the ductwork anymore. He kept getting larger and larger. He couldn’t turn around in the duct work, and when the air would come on, it was pretty unpleasant for one side of him. He continued to eat well, because, by this time, he so big, the mice just thought he was part of the ductwork and ran right into his mouth. He got bigger and bigger until one day he heard something cracking and popping. The ducts were beginning to separate from the floor and were bursting. Monte broke through and slammed down on the floor. He snapped his eyes open and looked around. There, surrounding him was his rock. He was in his cage still. He was still small. He curled up a little tighter and slept until a group of guests came into the office and got him out of the cage to look at him.
Our guests this week were the National Camp and Retreat Leaders who chose Lakeshore as the site for their latest meeting. It was a pleasure to get to see these old and new friends, and spend some time with them. They spent a good bit of their time tied up in meetings, but they did get a chance to walk around and see the camp. This weekend we have our last retreat groups. There will be the Christmas and Culture Day, but this is the last weekend that groups are coming up to stay with us for a few days. We will then take a break from retreats and Lakeshore will have some time to sit. It will be interesting what will see when we have this time to sit and let our minds wander.
This weekend we have Counselor Certification and Murray 1st UMC youth. Pray that their time here is an enjoyable one. Hope you all have a great weekend.