Like I said, I was proud of myself for not freaking out and going home on the first day. I found myself extremely uncomfortable at times, but I managed to still get something out of every devotional. Spirituality is something that is very personal to me, and I'm a strong believer that each and every person is unique in the way that they experience it (or perhaps in the way that they don't) and to top it off I'm very private about things like that so I really had to push myself to accept that my views don't extend to other people.
I may not have learned what they were specifically trying to teach me, but I do feel like I learned to be more tolerant of the beliefs of others to the point of respecting them for the passion that they have for it. I wasn't a big fan of the condemnation coming from some of the "youth leaders" for anyone that had an inkling of secular beliefs (really, it was on the verge of hypocrisy), but I met some really phenomenal people who made up for those certain adults. My legs and feet hate me for participating in the aforementioned marathon worship sessions (live bands FTW) and walking around in the marshes so much (gotta love the Louisiana swamp lands), but I really wanted to immerse myself in the environment so that I could better understand the mindset of this certain sect of religion.
Aside from all of the crazy religious hype, I had fun in the art class they offered making duct tape crafts. One of the cooler youth leaders who had some HUGE gages and wicked tattoos kept on calling me Asian because my crafts were "perfect". No lie, anytime he'd see me around camp he'd be like "HEY ASIAN!" It probably didn't help that had I painted pandas on my nails. But everyone thought it was funny, so it was cool. I ended up making a really cool duct tape wallet and duct tape rose. I made some other goodies, but those were the only two that I didn't give away. And although I didn't win anything at the late night game nights, I was happy that my friends at least won stuff and on the way back to the cabins I FOUND 10 DOLLARS. Sure, someone had probably lost it, but since I shared half of it with my friend Hannah who was with me at the time I chalked it up as a gift from sweet baby Jesus for being a good girl at camp and not playing pranks.
The guys were raunchy with the pranks though. I mean, they crapped in plastic bags, peed on bunks and doors, and stuck condoms on people's faces while they were asleep. I managed to make friends with this one guy named David though, who had just recently graduated from high school. We bonded over the fact that we were around the same age and shared a mutual love for Harry Potter (his sister looks like Ginny!).
I found it funny that we have the exact same Spanish Club t-shirt, despite the fact that we live NOWHERE near each other. Saying bye to him was bittersweet because I knew that the likelihood of us seeing each other again would be slim, but I was happy that I bonded with someone that awesome in such a short period of time. Goodbye hugs are the best! Ah well, I guess it's not truly goodbye since we're friends on Facebook now :P
Now that I'm home I feel extremely thankful for my bed, and shower stalls that I don't have to share. I'm not filled with the Holy Ghost and on the verge of speaking in tongues or anything, but I do feel at peace with myself knowing that I can still be true to myself in that type of environment without disrespecting or offending anyone. I can say that I'm very casual about my views on what I believe. I'm very into the One Love idea, and getting ready because it's a new day (I know I've probably shared this Asher Roth song with you guys before, but hey, it embodies how I feel about things).Oh, and for those of you who also have an affinity for hipsters, when I got home Dylan had put up this new picture.He's so... dreamy. Man. Oh man. But then I remember that he's a player. And then I'm thankful that he's at least really attractive eye candy. Gosh. Did I mention that he's going to be an Architecture major? Jeez. I should stop talking right now.