Camping Adventures the Girl Scout way

Come Sunday the girls will be arriving, I and my co-counselor will be having a blast with a bunch of teen girls until Thursday afternoon. I’m excited for the girls to arrive as my camp director says without the girls we’d be just a bunch of weirdos in the woods.

Training was really good this year, especially compared to last year.

I like the staff a lot and the training just felt so much more practical. This will for sure be this camp’s best year.

So some fun things to know about camp, Girl Scout camp especially.

  1. We have camp names: mine is Starlight. My counselors in my unit this week are: Giggles, Elphaba, Kit Kat, and Foxy. My bestie at camp is Pi.
  2. We sing a lot, like a lot. As work, as we play, before we eat. We sing.
  3. We empower girls to be themselves in our awesome all girl environment.
  4. Once a week we have scatters which are times when counselors teach the girls something they’re passionate about
  5. We have theme days and meals: on the last week of training we had a challenge lunch my challenge was to eat my meal without my hands, it was hamburgers, it was hilarious!
  6. Every week we have a cookout and we cook our own epic meals over the fire.
  7. Every morning and night we do a flag ceremony in the morning one we do the pledge of allegiance and the girl scout promise.
  8. We have kapers (camp for chores) to give the girls responsibility and independence.
  9. Half our staff is international the majority coming from England, but we also have women from New Zealand, Sweden.
  10. We offer awesome and unique camp experiences to hundreds of girls over 7 weeks every summer!

So yeah, camp it’s awesome it’s unique and it’s currently my first post graduation glitter adventure. I cannot wait to see what the next seven weeks have in store for all me. What’s everyone else doing with their summer? What’s your current glitter adventure?

More updates on camp soon ūüôā

Juanita

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Glitter Update

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Hooray it’s glitter Thursday once again! This one is tinged with a bit of sadness, though. Tonight I will be heading off to camp to start training for mentoring girls over the next 8 weeks. I am nervous and excited and hope that whatever comes I can handle it. I did it last year, I can do it again. Still I’m praying a lot and doing my best to take every moment one day at a time.

As a result I plan on blogging and updating you all about my camp adventures and thoughts on post college life, but it will be sporadic, so make sure you are following me! I hope once the summer is through this blog gets a lot bigger and more focused. I appreciate everyone who has been following and encouraged me in this new endeavor. Not sure when next time will be, but see you in the blogosphere!

Happy Thursday!

glitter

Names and Labels

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So the other day I went to Panera with a good friend. At Panera they ask for your name. I have a very common Spanish name, Juanita, but if they’re not Spanish or familiar with Spanish names they assume it’s spelled with a W, and I get that¬†above beauty¬†written on my¬†cup.

My childhood nickname is Ita and at this point only people who have known me a long time call me that. Fairly uninspired I was called that because my older brother couldn’t pronounce my whole name. It stuck. Even though at this point in life I prefer to be called Juanita, there’s a special connection (no matter how close we actually are) between me and those people who still¬†only know me as Ita.

This summer working at the Girl Scout camp, I will be called Starlight. It’s a tradition of the camp, we don’t go by our real names, just camp names that we each choose. I chose starlight because I was wearing the star necklace my mom brought me back from Israel. It just adds that much more magic to camp.

I identify as a Christian and take on that name and label with pride. It’s a beautiful heritage that’s been passed down from way back when Christ ended his ministry and continues to unfold and unravel and reveal new things about those who identify as one who follows Christ.

I’m engaged and frequently niggle with the assumptions surrounding that label especially as a young woman. Assumptions my male fiance rarely has to deal with. Although thankfully no one ¬†assumed I was¬†pregnant, at least not to my face. My maturity, independence, and ability to hear from God have been questioned though.

There’s quite a few other labels I have: woman, daughter, worker, writer, best friend, reader, nerd, blogger, introvert. And they all make up an integral part of me, they all come together to make up who I am.

I think one thing I really learned from college is that the only people who can define who you are are is God and yourself. God has already said so many things about me, I am loved, I am free, I am his/her holy child, I am his/her servant, I am creative, I am a new creation. And anything that contradicts what the Holy One has said is a lie. You go on a long journey through life helping others to find their identities in the One who created us and developing further into the truest reality of yourself. Sometimes we think the broken sinful things we fall into are who we are, but they’re just chains holding us back.

As I prepare to take on the name of Starlight once again, I am confident that no matter what I may be called my identity is secure, I am going to do a lot of things after college. I’ll go to new places, I’ll pick up new hobbies, I’ll learn new things, I’ll deepen my relationships and make some new ones, I will love and love and love, and¬†I will always be me. I can always be secure in that, because God says that he/she made me who I am¬†and it was good.

 

Dreams of Glitter

So like many bloggers out there I am an aspiring author. I clarify aspiring author, because I am a writer, hence my blog, hence the things I’ve written, hence my need to write down everything and anything.

I have not always wanted to be published, but it’s now a grand¬†goal of mine.

Earlier I was working on my manuscript (so fancy) and I was like wow I’m actually a pretty good writer. And I’m getting better everyday. It also helps that I have some majorly lovely people in my life who help me edit. Behind every great writer is a great editor.

I feel in a good place though because I know I still have room for improvement, but by and large my old writing used to make me want to barf. It was trash and boring and droll and all these sad negative adjectives.  I think way more positive words now when I write especially when I actually make it to the end.

Still I wonder why do I have these dreams of glitter. Why do I want to join the publishing game and try and get my words out there?

Then I remember I love reading. LOVE reading. SO much.

I want to give back. I can’t tell you how many times I have read something beautiful and felt less alone. I’ve felt understood and safe. How many times I’ve been cheered up or comforted by a book when I needed it most. How many times I’ve gone to a book to learn something, to gain a solution, to finally sort out how to finish that quilt or make that cake.

Reading is so wonderful and gives so much. I have bonded with writers who I will never meet could never meet through words. I’ve read bloggers who have inspired me to share my voice and take action in this world. I want to be just a small part of that if I can because I think finally I have something worthwhile to share, that has not always been why I write, but it is why I am seeking publishing.

Any other writers out there figuring out the whole writing for fun, writing for publication, and how blogging does or does not fit into that?

Why do you write?

Why do you publish?

Why do you blog?

Glitter on.

Happy Thursday!

Patience

So as we all know I graduated and it was a glorious day that ended a great journey.

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(The photo is me sharing my testimony at the Baccalaureate service the night before graduation)

I’ve been told a million times over that this is an exciting time in my life. There’s a million possibilities out there and I just have to put myself out there. There’s so many places to let my glitter shine. Yet what I’m hearing from God is something I don’t want to hear: be patient.

He/She (Just to clarify I’ve been trying to express God’s diversity better and¬†gender neutrality is one way to do so) is telling me that I need to wait. I don’t really understand why I’m going back to camp this summer, but it makes the most sense right now. I already know it’s going to be an eye-opening summer despite working there last summer. And I want to be married now, but I also want my family to be supportive of me and give our marriage the best start which means despite dating for 2.5 years and being engaged 8 months we still need more time to work on some things.

Sigh.

I’ve been thinking about more degrees and shiny dreams, and all I hear is be patient.

I want to go out and move the mountains and shake the forests and change the world, but what I hear from God is work on your writing, make the best of each day, love those you are with, fill the needs you see, and rest in my presence. If you are obedient and listening to me in time, in MY time, I will make all your wildest dreams come true (Vote for Pedro!).

So for now I’m being patient. I’m writing, I’m living, I’m loving, and not going on Facebook too much (the worst thing to do when you want a job, an apartment, and to be married is to force yourself to read all the posts of your friends who are in those situations, I am genuinely happy for them, but I don’t have to read ALL their posts to be happy for them).

Anyone else dealing with that? Anyone else just want to go, when everything around them says wait?

I’m feeling sex…

I’m feeling sexy and free. Like glitter’s raining on me. –Jessie J

That is my thought for the day. That is how every day should feel. Christians included. Seriously though, sexiness is way more than being sexually appealing to someone. Sexy people are those who know themselves. They are their true selves. They are alive with confidence and connection and love. They’re sexy. And when you’re living a life that feels like glitter is raining on you I can guarantee you will pass the shine on.¬†

Glitter on.

Happy Thursday!