Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Why I Love Camp Ritchie So Much

Natalie, Leslie, me and Linda at campfire!

There are really no words to describe what it felt like being able to go up to girls camp in Pioneer, CA for the day on Wednesday, July 4th. 

First things first. I had messaged my friend Linda a couple weeks ago to see if she was going up to camp or not but had not heard back. On Sunday, the 1st, she texted me and told me she was riding up with our friend Betty (that plan later changed) and if I wanted to go with them, I was welcome to come.

Tony said, go go go! I debated a tiny bit because it was the 4th of July but honestly we did not have much planned except to go to Bakersfield for the day, see Incredibles 2 and do errands. That stuff can be done anytime really. So on Tuesday afternoon, I headed out!

I got a pretty late start, wanted to leave around 10am. Then noon. Then no later than 1pm. I left at 3:30pm. Haha. Got to Woodland at 10pm. Wasn't too bad of a drive minus the change from the 99 to the 5 in Sacramento where I really thought I was going to die because cars were being so mean and you have to switch lanes a bunch.

Soo happy the Valentine's were able to host breakfast. 
Kindest thing to do ever!

Made it to Linda's where she let me stay the night. The morning of the 4th I got my traditional donut and the Valentine's invited me along with Betty and her husband over for breakfast since the Woodland 2nd ward no longer does a flag raising ceremony and breakfast! What the what! 

At 10am Linda, her son Jared and I all rode up to Camp Ritchie together. We got there around 12:30/1pm I think. So unreal. I had to literally pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.

The insides of the lodge where meals and other events happen but mostly meals.

Check out that GIANT MIXER!!

One of the cooks heated Linda and I up cinnamon rolls with hot butter on top. I've never tried it like that but it was darn good!

So much awesome food at camp including homemade bread and strawberry jam!

Got to try ax throwing and I got it in the log once. Win!

Great memories of the craft cabin and making some cool things in there.

A cool craft pictured on the left

Filling up with the wonderful tasting water - I brought my camelback and lots of waterbottles and a water jug too so I could bring some of the delicious water home with me. Worth it!

Outside the lodge. So pretty and green. Good memories of having water gun fights out here. Ha

The climbing wall area! 
New buckets for the harnesses.
Fun to watch the girls try different routes on the wall and a couple even did it blindfolded! 

I got to rappel down the side of the rock! It's about 150 ft. high? I am guessing but it's thereabouts. 

The. View. Is. Amazing.

Back to the lodge....

My friend JJ decorated all of this for the cabins!

Each cabin had a year..60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.

Always do a before dinner routine..some camp songs, a reverent song, take down the flag, bless the food and get dismissed for dinner.

Mealtime and the second to last year with the head cook, Steve, who has been cooking up at girls camp for 25+ years. Insane!

Baked potato bar with a side of salad

Sheet cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Mmm

Campfire after dinner (well this was before dinner, helping set up some stuff)

The Stake Presidency (not pictured here) did quite the funny skit that I will have to share in a different blog post.

View from above where there is an office and a room full of beds for the youth and adult staff (not all but some of them). Many good memories of being able to sleep upstairs.

My long time friend and old neighbor as well, Betty, who came up to camp for the day also! 
She's so fun!

So, why Camp Ritchie? Why do I love it so much? Why do I crave to go back each year?

The memories. The traditions. The friendships. The feelings. The spirit. The views. Everything about being up there encompasses so much goodness and even though I shake at the thought of being off social media for a week because there's no phone reception up there and getting up at 5:30am each morning to do early morning rappelling with the campers just kills me because I'm not a morning person, it's all so very worth it. To connect with myself and people I have known for years and years. There's nothing like being in my home stake (LDS) and even though many people have moved away, there are still a lot of people I know, admire and look up to. I feel like a better person when I am around the other leaders up there. I'm not sure how to explain it but that's the truth. 

Here's to hoping they need me next year and I can attend the whole week.

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