Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Like Baby, Baby, Baby

...I'm too old for Bieber fever.
Well, maybe not too old, but for some strange reason, I am not really taken with that young man. At all.
I fail to see the special spark that made him popular.

In other news, Relient K came out with a new cd of covered songs. Relient K is for Karaoke is what you should be looking for.

I like it.
I like it a lot.
I think you might like it too.

They even make Justin Bieber songs enjoyable:

So, as a dutiful fan, I recommend that you go make these musicians richer by buying the album.
Or just come over and we'll listen to it together.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I've decided to use tumblr. Well, I've restarted my tumblr. It has been there all along, unused and neglected.
It even has a clever name. ME, for me, of course, and also ME for Makenzie Elizabeth, my name.

The URL is super easy to remember, because it's the address of this blog, only with a .tumblr instead of a .blogspot

I am so socially networked, it's crazy.

We all know that...
You have to have twitter to keep up with celebrities.
You have to have facebook to keep up with long lost friends and acquaintances.
You have to have a blog, because well, it's cool.

And now I have to have a tumblr to blog easily on-the-go.
From my phone. Aren't I cool and technologically advanced?

So, when you feel like you just need to have more doses of me (fat chance), know that I will be posting on my tumblr (<-- that's a link. You should click it. Or if you're feeling rebellious, you should click this link. Or maybe this one. Ok, last chance to click a link!)

Go check it out.
 You won't be disappointed.
...ok, maybe you will.
But all the cool people are liking it.
You are a cool person, right?
Either way, you should still go look at it.  (I lied, you get another chance to click a link)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friends and induction

So the new camp I am working at this summer (not the one with N&J, but New Life Camp) is rich with tradition.
It's a cool thing.

I'm a total newbie there, so it has taken me some time to understand some of the traditions that go on.

Some of the traditions I find out about a bit too late.

I have a prime example.

Ok, so at the end of the camp weeks, there is always a closing ceremony for parents and campers with final remarks and a video containing the highlights of the week.
This seems normal and makes sense.

Well, at the end of the first week of overnight camp, after the announcements, they called all of the staff up onto the stage.
No one had told me about this.

I had no idea what was going on.

Unsure, I followed my fellow staffers.
We all formed a chain across the stage. Shoulder to shoulder.

I just so happened to be in the center of the chain (and therefore center stage).

I could handle this.
No big deal.
The next thing I knew, cheesy music (we are talking flutes and everything) started playing.

The staff all started singing in unison to a song I had never heard in my life.
There I was, front and center, unsure of what to do.

So, at first I smiled and tried to mouth the words best I could.

Bless my heart.

Then I realized the girl next to me had no idea as to what she was doing either.
Oh, newbies that we are. At least we were in it together!

I'm sure it was humorous for the crowd, if they so happened to focus on a certain redheaded staffer who was struggling not to laugh at the ridiculousness of her plight. Because once someone else is in it with you, it becomes funny.

The song is sweet, and I think it's cute that the staff sing it for the campers, but I will try to help out future newbie staffers and give them a warning. Or maybe not.
Everyone has to be inducted at some point... *evil laugh*

Here's how the song went (more or less):

Now it's time for us to say
Goodbye for just a while
So until we meet again
May God's love make you smile
We'll be friends forever 
And while we are apart
I will pray for you, and always keep you in my heart. 

We'll be friends forever,
Jesus and you and me.
He ties our hearts together,
and friends we'll always be. 

When you see the sun you'll know 
That I see the same one too. 
And when you see the stars
They'll say hello from me to you. 

We'll be friends forever,
Jesus and you and me.
He ties our hearts together,
and friends we'll always be. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stellar Sunsets

Why is it that there are so many good S adjectives?
Stellar, spectacular, stunning, spiffy...

I left off with J and N (more or less)...
well, I typed that post when I was in serious need of sleep, and I am now realizing how sleepy and mentally impaired (due to lack of sleep) I was when I wrote it.

I'm too lazy to fix it.

So excuse the run-on sentences and sloppy grammar.
Ok, so...
In my writings, I'm at camp with N&J.

We set up in the cabin, and I started putting up cabin decorations.

I love hitting the post-christmas sales.
I can always find cute lights for majorly cheap prices. I stock up. It's wonderful.

So, my cabin was very well-lit after some time and a staple gun:

The girls ran off to play with campers who had come up with other counselors; it worked out nicely.
I got much-needed alone time to reset myself and get my thoughts straight for the week.

After the girls came back from catching lightning bugs, I was able to get them to go to sleep at a (somewhat) reasonable hour.

I knew that being in a strange, exciting place like camp was going to make it difficult for them to sleep.
But sleep they did!
As we got ready for bed, I told them multiple times that they could sleep as late as they wanted in the morning.

"Really, Ms. Makenzie? We can sleep in? We don't have to get up early?"

"Really, girls, please, please sleep as late as you want to. I really don't mind."

They seemed happy with my generous offer... was futile.
N&J were up at 7 and asking questions about the camp schedule. I rolled over and tried to close my eyes, pretending that this was just a dream.

It wasn't.

I was glad that I woke when I did, because it was a gorgeous morning! See?

This camp is in such a lovely place of the world. 

The sunsets at camp are unreal. I'm going to take a few minutes to post pictures so you can share in the loveliness of camp sunsets: 

Doesn't that just make you happy? I positively love it! Nature makes me joyful.

The rest of the morning went well, the girls had fun exploring camp, and I had fun getting all of my counseling goodies organized.
Hair ribbons, bubbles, goody baskets, markers, stickers, candy...

Then, it was time for the counselor meeting, and the week was off to start!
In some ways, the week felt like it lasted months.
On the other hand, it was a blur. The week happened so quickly!

I was able to dress up as the host for the camp's nightly game show, "Are You Smarter Than A Mountain Topper?". The game show was to help with review.

I loved it!
I wore a blonde wig, and used the accent that comes so easily to me (but that I have trained myself to never never use)

Here is a picture of me doing my thing as the host (the gangster rappers are my guests):

The stage is my calling, for I do love being up there.

I used to think I didn't like much attention...I'm starting to think I was wrong.

Also, my cabin was great.
I had 15 campers. I also had a wonderful co-counselor who loved spending time with the campers and didn't mind the fact that I was seemingly always running around.

I felt like I was always rushing about to get something accomplished or prepped.
I quite enjoyed it.
I like having things to do, especially when it is campy things that are needing to be done.

Camp work doesn't usually feel like work-work for some reason.
I think it's because the environment of camp is so encouraging and fun.
It's easy to do "tough" things when everyone is laughing and having a good time with it.

For example, one night I got to play assistant to the nurse.
A girl had an ingrown toenail, and the nurse asked if I wouldn't mind helping remove the ingrown toenail while she was helping another patient.

I can sense the shudders. It wasn't so bad.

I've taken some classes and pointers from heath professionals, so I knew how to be sanitary.

I got gloves and alcohol prep pads.
I grabbed my utensils and went to town.

It sounds silly, but I liked it. Even when pus started squirting out, I found it almost enjoyable.

Fact: gloves make any task bearable. (True story. I am a master toilet cleaner if only I can have gloves.)

My patient recovered. The surgery was successful.

One thing that was noted about this past week: campers are more apathetic than they used to be.

I can remember being a camper and getting excited about things. I can remember cheering and screaming when it was time for an event. My fellow campers were the same way. By the end of the week, our voices were gone, but we still yelled, all the same.

This crowd was tough.

The campers just didn't get into things as quickly.
I took it upon myself to pump these kids up!
We (the other counselors and I) all worked to get these kids engaged with what was going on.
We prayed about it.
By the end of the week, we could see a difference! There was still hope.

What is with the apathy though? I am noticing it is becoming prevalent. It's worrisome.

Is it because our society is just that overstimulated?

Now, it is late, and perhaps I have an anecdote or two to share. Right now my thoughts are scattered like a bowl of beads that has just been dropped.
as my body is trying to recover, I found that I slept until noon today.
I never sleep that late.
Like, never.

In fact, I have found that I am usually adverse to sleep.
Sleep means that you're cut off from everyone else. It means that you miss out on what's going on (and I love to know what's going on)
But, this once, I gave in and slept.

I woke up feeling so refreshed.
In fact, I think it might be time to run.
Maybe, just maybe.
But not in the heat of this oppressive, humid, southern weather.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm Boring!

The last five weeks have been spent at camp.
I love camp.
Camp is a place where being fun is always a necessity.
How can anyone not like camp?
...sure there are bugs.
Sure you have to go outside.
Sure  you get to be cooped up with 16 other people.

This past week, I got to go to the camp I grew up attending. This past week, I was a counselor.

Don't get me wrong, I  really love the new camp I'm working at, but there is something to be said for the camp that brings back nostalgic memories of being 9.

This last week was quite interesting.
Friday night was the last night of the other camp, and so as I got home at 11:30 that night (11:30 because I like talking to other staff)
I realized that I needed to do some major washing so that we could leave the next day at noon.
It was a feat. I had many errands to run, clothes to wash, and things to pack.
 It started early on Saturday morning, when I had to run around like a crazy person trying to be prepared.
After a few hours, I was ready.

Oh boy, was I prepared.

I love crates, and I brought many  filled with goodies and counselor supplies (candy, decorations, gifts, markers, bracelet-making supplies and the like)
So after I had crammed my junk in the trunk, we went to pick up two very sweet (and sometimes sassy) girls, N and J, who were going to be campers for the week:
At Breakfast Sunday Morning
A tangent to my point:
N & J have really fun accents, since they're both from Congo. 
An odd little tidbit: Without even meaning to, I totally pick up their accent when I hang around them.
They also understand me more easily if I speak using their accent. 
Weird, but true. 
When I speak in a normal American accent, they say, "huh?!?" 

But if I use their  way of speaking, they say, "ohhh!" 

Once I didn't feel well, and didn't have the mental fortitude to use their accent so I spoke in my urban-american accent, and the girls asked me why I was talking so funny. They said, "you do not sound right, you need to change how you talk" 
I spoke using their twang, and they were pacified.

We picked them up and drove the long drive to the mountians (I ALWAYS flip the a and the i in "mountains" uggh!) mountains. 

The girls are still somewhat new to English, and they decided that they were bored. They decided to announce this every 10 minutes. 

Another tangent: 
They were always bored, no matter what they were doing.
I think they liked that word.


 They were carrying their luggage, and they would inform me that they were bored.
They were coloring pictures, and while they colored, they told me they were bored. 
They were running around having fun, and they would still tell me that they were bored. 

Kids these days. 

what made it hilarious is that J, didn't realize that when she was saying "bored", she was actually saying, "boring" 

It made my time of listening to them whine so much more enjoyable. 
"Ms. Makenzie, I'm boring!" 

hahaha. Complaining backfires! 

I corrected her a few times, and explained what bored meant, but she didn't seem to understand. She was dead serious when she would inform me of her boredom.
So, I got to keep hearing, 

"Ms. Makenzie, I'm boring!" 

whenever J lost interest in something. 

I can't relate, because I have learned that there is no such thing as boredom. Boredom is a state of mind that can be conquered. 

And though I tried to teach the girls the definition of bored, they just didn't get it...

Moving on. 
In the car, we watched Shrek (pretty fantastic movie that kept the girls from saying they were bored) and in no time, we were at camp. 
I got the fun of watching out for them overnight. Camp doesn't start until Sunday afternoon, so I had about 24 hours to entertain them. 
Why was I there so early? 
I had to be there early to set up, and my sister was a camper there the week before, so she needed some picking up. be continued when I don't think I'm about to pass out from sleepiness...

I miss camp.
I haven't actually updated my blog in a loong time. But the text-to-blog feature is pretty fantastic, you know.
Sacrifice comes in many forms. Many forms.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I learned how to dougie and walk it out. It was so funny.
Today, at camp, I got to be a cheerleader for this huge tradition this camp has: The Big Game. Campers vs. Staff. While I am happy with not being the spotlight, I love pumping people up and getting positive reactions. Also, being crazy is fun. Fun fact: I'm super competitive. It's scary, but I have learned how to tone it back and have perspective.
I didn't think I'd really get into this game. I was wrong. I totally did, and I may have lost my voice...

Monday, June 13, 2011

verses that come to mind

As I was bopping along today, I needed a reset.
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." 
popped into my mind from out of left field. Super thrilling moment!
It was just what I needed.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

an encounter with crying

It is Saturday, and I have been officially orientated as a staff member at New Life Camp. 
This week has been...intense. I feel like I have grown and stretched myself over the past week.

It has been a fun week, and I have gotten an excellent ab workout from laughing so much. 

Here's an interesting incident: yesterday, I cried. 

You should know that I'm not much of a crier....well, I'm an average crier, whatever that means, but what I'm saying is that I don't usually cry in front of people like I did yesterday. 

I cried because I understood. This sounds weird, I know, but stay with me. 

Yesterday, after reviewing policies and procedures with the staff at camp, we all went into the gym. The full-time workers were spread out around the gym. They all had basins full of soapy water. Each staff was holding a towel. 
It was a surprise event.

Then, Mr. Greg (the executive director of camp) told us that the full time staff were going to be washing our feet. 

Oh snap. 

My instant reaction was "there is no way I am letting those people touch my gross feet." 

The camp I'm at is dusty, and I was wearing sandals all day yesterday. I don't even like touching my feet when they're like that. 

We all turned to John 13 and read: 

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
  Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
   Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
  When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

One by one, the summer staff went to different full time staff members. The full time staff gently cleaned their feet and prayed for the staff member. 

I was not jumping up first.
I waited. 
I really did not want my feet washed by someone. I really didn't want them to touch my feet. 

I totally identified with Simon Peter at that point. 

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

I wanted to say, "Please, just don't wash my feet. I don't mind the praying thing, but foot washing is just too much." 

I had a big inner struggle. 
My pride verses humility. 
It doesn't seem like it would be a hard thing to let someone wash your feet. 
But it is. 
Oh man, it is. 
I prayed hard that God would give me the strength to let someone touch my dirty, gross feet. 

Finally, I felt like I had to go and do that thing. I took a deep breath, and walked over to Nathaniel (one of the full-time staff).  

As he gently washed my feet, tears welled up. This guy was demonstrating true humility. 

I got a glimpse of the great thing that Christ did for Peter. I was totally in Peter's place at that moment.

   Now, there are differences, obviously, but I was able to see what servant leadership looks like. 

After Nathaniel had prayed for me, I grabbed my Bible and started rereading John 13. Having that visual of foot washing was just what I needed.

I read Philippians 2:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!

The whole experience illuminated what Jesus did for me and you.
The foot washing was just the tip of the iceburg for him.
So, I cried.

I cried because I was humbled. 
I cried because I had seen another view of what Jesus had done. 
I cried because I better understood servitude. 
I cried because my heart was touched. 

It was a cool thing. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

God has been teaching me so much over the past two weeks -- it is so cool!
But also hard. Some lessons take hard work to apply.

I'll blog about it soon.

Also, I am so happy that it is summer! This season is definitely the best.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

excuses, excuses

It turns out that the "camp groove" hasn't really allowed for me to blog. Not yet, anyways.

Blog, I've failed you.

BUT the wifi has been spotty this week...

Soo, maybe I'll update this blog properly at some point.
I can tell you that camp is like another world, even though it's 15 minutes from my house.

I can also tell you that I really miss my guitar. Playing it is so relaxing and therapeutic.
I also miss my family (more than my guitar, hopefully)
I feel like I haven't really seen them in ages.

...yes, I was one of those kinda-homesick campers. I can totally sympathize with the girl bawling her eyes out...though I was never that distraught.

But in my defense, my parents were out-of-town this past weekend, so please give me a break.

I can be such a homebody, it's crazy. (Which is the reason that I've ignored all of the Chicago University pamphlets I've been getting in the mail. THAT far away from home to learn? Ha. That college really wants me/wanted me, apparently. Enough to send me a huge poster of the downtown chicago skyline, a handbook, and 20 letters. Oh dear.)

I've gotten to take SO many pictures this week, it's crazy. But amazing, because picture-taking is one thing I never get tired of. I was quite happy with the post.

But on the whole, it has been a fantastic week.

In my quiet times, I have gleaned a LOT of information, and maybe when I'm more mentally acute, I'll share.

I will be glad to actually sleep. I am so thankful for sleep.
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