The Epic Youth Group Camping Trip - My Family Travels


From June 26-28, 2008, my church’s youth group went camping at Sturgeon Lake. We stayed at a private cabin owned by our youth leader, Neil Magill. When we arrived, the guys pitched their tents. Being the only girls, Maggie and I claimed the rundown “cabin”, which had no heating or electricity…or a whole door. Once the leaders’ tent was up (and Maggie and I had been booted out), two leaders, KirK and Mike, plotted to throw us into the lake. Maggie and I bolted in different directions and were chased around the campsite. KirK caught Maggie and slung her over his shoulder as he made his way to the nearby lake. Dripping, she came back and the three of them went after me. I was caught and dragged down to the lake, where I was unceremoniously dumped, fully clothed, into it. It wasn’t until after I was thoroughly soaked when I realized I had forgotten to bring my suitcase. All I had was my backpack, including a sweater, my bathing suit, and other necessities (like a hairbrush or ipod). After donning my bathing suit and one of Maggie’s shirts, I realized her pants wouldn’t fit. I groaned inwardly as I stepped out of the cabin later wearing KirK’s shorts. (Imagine a small 5’3” girl compared to 220 pound, six-foot man.) That night we decided to set off fireworks…from the canoe. Standing by the shore, we were eaten alive as we watched the show. Suddenly Matt (a leader) shouted: “Aaaah, firework in the canoe! Man overboard! Man overboard!” Then all we heard was the deep laughter of the four men in the boat, carrying over the water.
We spent most of Saturday in the lake. Mike and KirK invented a game involving either chasing and dunking the girls, or playing catch with our bodies. Maggie sketched the decrepit cabin while the guys amused themselves with helium. The day was spent lazily hanging out: sun-tanning, football, a milk-chugging contest… For fun, KirK carried me on his shoulders with Maggie on my back. Mike brought a knife, kept submerged in the earth. That afternoon, Jaden accidentally chopped his ankle with the hatchet. Neil drove him into the nearest town. When they returned, we ate marshmallows around the fire. I was asked to retrieve more from the “cabin”. While I was there, I also stashed a bag on my bed before heading out. Mackenzie was playing with the knife during my absence and left it lying on the ground. As I walked back barefoot, I noticed my right foot felt strange. Glancing down, I saw blood gushing from my toe. Maggie cried: “Ew…gross…that’s disgusting! Let me see!” KirK bandaged it up.
On Sunday we packed up and left early enough to be back at Spirit River in time for church. I rode with Neil, Maggie, Jimmy, and Tim. Neil decided that since he wasn’t allowed to sleep on the way back, neither were we. So whenever anyone started to nod off, they’d be scared back awake by the sound of him yelling their name. (“MICHELLE!!”) Luckily I had a window seat. He decided it was alright, only for me, to open my window –letting me close my eyes and relax with the wind blowing and stay awake. Once we got to church, we were all underdressed, dirty, sunburnt, and falling asleep. Sitting in the front two rows, we each had our various methods of staying awake. Maggie looked around…KirK irritated his sunburn… Unfortunately, Matt couldn’t do it. As the congregation prayed silently, KirK nudged Matt, who sat up suddenly, and cried out: “I’m awake!” 

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