Sunday, June 20, 2010

I LOVE getting mail.

Badgers, I don't know if you're familiar with the Missy Higgins' song, "Going North," but it's been running through my head a lot lately. I report the the MTC this Wednesday and I am STOKED! Good things to come. I love you all and I'd love to hear from you. Write me and give me updates when you get the opportunity--better yet, just make the opportunity to write. My address info. of on the side here, and on facebook too.

I'm learned so much from you all and I wish you all the best. Seriously.

If you want, my mom is setting up a blog for my weekly mission letters. The link to the blog is listed on this page, and the url is:
...ha. I just realized the link is Hermana Stevens (hermana is sister in SPANISH). That's cute that my mom thought she knew where I was going :)

KRD 999 clear...well, just for a while

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Many Husbands

I've been reading everyone's stories and I was starting to reminisce. (I want you to all know that I spelled that right on the first try, very proud of myself) Willie inspired this post with her last post. I don't know why but it seemed like the participants were obsessed with dating and marriage. Must come with the age; although I'm pretty sure that isn't what I was always thinking about when I was 15. Maybe that's why I'm not married yet...hmmm, something to think about.
I'm pretty sure I had a participant ask me if I was dating or married to one of my fellow counselors every single week. Willie reminded me of the time when one of her participants asked her if I was dating Max. When she asked them why they came to that conclusion they said "well she was sitting by him at lunch..." Oh dear.
But the best one by far is when I was on group with JP. When we were setting up our handcarts one of our participants came to me and asked me why I wasn't sharing a handcart with JP. After a question like that I was obviously worried about this boy's thought process so I asked him why we would do that. He answered with, "well aren't you guys married?" I quickly told him no and without even pausing he then said, "then you're dating right?". Once again I told him no but I don't think he believed me. Because it must have been so obvious to everyone in the camp that we were dating. We talked to each other, we could laugh together, and I'm pretty sure we sat by each other during a lot of the meals. So according to their definition if we weren't married then we were obviously seriously dating. I guess we can't blame the participants for thinking that we were all married; it only makes sense, right?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Love Is In The Air...Dang It.

Ok, don't be fooled by the title of this message, I am all for love except when it is between participants. So, I was talking to a counselor I worked with in 09, by the way 09 was fine and all but 08 was great ;), any way we got on the subject of sleeping habits. He talked about how he never would wake up in the night at Badger, and how is kids probably ran a muck during his pleasant slumbers. This statement reminded me of the first week of OYA when I was on group with JP.
We had two lovely kids in are group named Jessica and Clayton, yes this memory is so vivid I can remember the names of my kids. They had been flirting with each other all week, and it was known they liked each other, but nothing that me and JP couldn't handle until Wednesday night. It was probably 1 in the morning and I had to go to the bathroom, so grudgingly I got out of bed. I was at Gully camp and for some reason still had not been able to locate the secret outhouse up there, and was required to trek up to Mountain Man. As I was just a few steps from camp I noticed a strange object on the ground, it was large and resembled two people. You guessed it there lying on a blanket was Jessica and Clayton. I was shocked. I quickly asked, "What are you two doing?", I admit I might have slipped into my "Willie Got Hit By A Bus" voice because I was startled by this discovery. Clayton responded, "just looking at the stars." Well, I calmed myself enough to quickly tell them that wasn't appropriate.
They then asked me what I was still doing up. I stated that I needed to use the restroom. JP was awakened at this point, and I left it to him to make sure they returned to their respective teepees. I continued to head to the bathroom, and tried to comprehend what had just happen. The best part of the story that once I got to Mountain Man outhouse I was so worked up I didn't even have to use it anymore.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Canoes and Shoes

So, I sat down at my desk today and slipped off my shoes and thought, oh how I love taking off my shoes. This thought reminded me of how we had to wear shoes in the pond, that rule never was a problem for me, I don't want to know what is on the bottom of that pond. :-/ Any who, my train of thought then turned to canoes and our canoe trip down the Teton River. I for some reason remember there being an abnormal increase in the mosquitoes population that day, a couple of tipped canoes, a lost lunch, and one Korean with a full body welt at the end of the day. I also remember Ashley, Mackenzie, and I being in the same canoe, and how we were so proud of ourselves we hadn't tipped are canoe the whole trip. Shortly after that moment I wish I would have knocked on wood, because lo and behold 2 seconds after our brief self appraisal we hit a strainer. This strainer cause are canoe to do a complete 180 in a vertical fashion. Thus, we were all wet, we were shocked and me slightly disappointed with the rivers cruel way of showing us it controlled our future till we were out of the water. I loved that trip and loved the adventure it provided.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Four-Wheeler Adventure

This is a very long post. Ye be warned.

Oh how I loved Badger’s yellow four-wheeler. I never volunteered to drive the Badger truck, and I only drove the vans two times over the whole summer; but the four-wheeler was a different story. I would always try to think of excuses to zip around the ranch on that bad boy. During the second week of OYA Jodi was GL and I was WCL. It was Thursday and the kiddies were heading up for the trek (which was also our first trek experience because it had snowed the week before). Sarah, Jason and I were uber-excited to get some of our tasks done while everyone was gone, but at Brother B.’s request, we reluctantly agreed to accompany OYA on its maiden trek voyage. We needed to be extra careful on this particular trip because the truck needed to take up all the food on the TREK TRAIL because the back road was too treacherous with all the snow.

My job was to take up the rear on the four-wheeler with extra containers of water. Nice! Long story short, I’d never seen the trek trail before and I was scared beyond all reason to drive the four-wheeler on those deep ruts. I also ended up staying overnight to help out with something. But the next morning I wanted to beat everyone back to the Ranch to get some last minute work crew jobs finished before clean-up. I asked Brother B. if I could take off on the four-wheeler, and with the go-ahead, I drove off alone.

I think the trek trail had one—and only one—fork in the road. When I got to that fork I couldn’t remember anything from the day before. So, being me, I naturally took the wrong road. I remember driving along a really unfamiliar path. There were these huge houses with the longest driveways leading up to them and tons of dogs barking at me. Finally I decided that I’d taken the wrong path and I started turn around. Now here’s when the problem arose. The road wasn’t wide enough for me to turn all the way around…and (I kid you not)…I’d forgotten how to put the four-wheeler into reverse. I know, stupid.

So there I was, this dumb 19-year-old girl in the middle of a dirt road on a four-wheeler deciding what to do. I didn’t know how to put it into reverse, so I thought I’d take my chances turning around on the tight road. That was a bad idea. Instead of making it full circle to head the other direction, I got about 180 degrees to my left before I drove off the road, over a small log, and into some Aspen. Great. My front two tires made it over the log before it ran into the tree. My thoughts at this point? “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” Yeah, it was. I let out a big sigh and thought, “well, I guess I can push it back over the log facing the right direction…maybe…”

I put the four-wheeler in neutral and got off to push it.

Problem #1: The Aspen I drove into made it really difficult to push the four-wheeler because it was completely up in my face and just really in the way.

Problem #2: Those dogs that were barking at me were taking it a step further; literally. They were barking and had proceeded to walk towards me, and they didn’t look very friendly.

I pushed. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed that stinkin’ four-wheeler. “Come. On. MOVE!” I gritted my teeth and I kept sliding further and further back as I put my feet deeper into the ground until I was literally rolling around in the grass and leaves with an Aspen tree in my face. I began to panic as the dogs were getting uncomfortably close and growling. “Agg! Stronger!!!” I told myself. “It’s GO time!!!” I gave it another earnest push and I felt the front wheels start to go back over the log. “Yes, yes, yeeessssss, yeeesssssss!!!!” The four-wheeler finally came free and I jumped on to make my escape from the threatening dogs. “FREEDOMMMMM!!!” It felt so good to be driving back up the road to the fork where I messed up.

As I was driving away from the dogs two things happened. First, I remembered how to put the four-wheeler in reverse. This realization made me laugh out loud. Oh the irony. Second, I called Brother B. on the radio to see if the group had left the camp site. I didn’t have to wait long until they met me at the fork in the road. I still remember the look he gave me upon explaining that I’d gotten lost and that I didn’t want to explain why I was so dirty and why there were leaves in my hair. The look was a beautiful combo of confusion, frustration, amusement, and humor. A classic look I received more than once that summer.

My lesson learned from this incident? Never forget how to put the four-wheeler into reverse. I may not remember how to tie the knots for the rope courses, I may not remember the horses’ names, and I may not remember who was GL what week, but I can fervently assure you all that I remember how to put the dang four-wheeler into reverse!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thunder and Lightning.

I just had a random memory today of one night on the weekend when a thunder storm rolled over the valley. We got chairs and sat them out side of the bathrooms under the roof. I don't remember specifically what we talked about but I do remember the simple pleased feeling I had at the amazing display we were given and the good company.

THE Most epic Soccer game ever played in the History of man (Except for the mud one)

So I just wanted to let the badgers know that During Quest, Sarah and I took the Questies in to Jackson and we played a game of soccer...It was not near as legendary (that's for you Abby) as our game. But I will say that given what was taught to us through our time at Badger we used out processing skills to make it a surprisingly more fun game than it started off. Sarah and I played hard and the kids started to catch on all because of the lessons of having fun that we learned at Badger.

An addition to that experience at the end of our staff training. Sometimes I tend to go through phases in life where I feel alone. Before I came to the ranch I was going through a similar experience. The whole week we trained, these feeling were disappearing. I had many of these moments but I specifically remember feeling the excitement during that game of being around people who cared about me. They were having so much fun with me, ME! And they are all such amazing people. Not one was lesser then another. I truly felt and still do feel a part of something great. I can't explain the feeling that took my heart over as we had so much fun. True pure fun. I can only trust that this was a feeling felt by all then or many times over throughout the summer.

Thank you so much.

P.S. As I recall, All of those who actually played soccer were on the same team! But I was really glad about how well I held out. And on the way to Playmill, I remember riding in the vans and I looked through Tiffani's music selection. She was one of few people I knew who had Five Iron Frenzy music. She also introduced some of us to Stephen Speeks which many of the Girls in the car attested to would woo any mortal woman.