I love this shot. It's not technically lovely, but the moment is real. I love this shot. It's not technically lovely, but the moment is real. A cast member for the Dayspring Academy For Education and the Arts Gala. Curling her hair and getting ready for call time with the rest of the manic ensemble.
That crazy adrenaline rush before call time. Prepped for weeks and slept for less. Curtain's about to go up, do whatever you need to make it work.
Connect with your peeps and remember the memories.
When I was younger, I used to go to church. From age 12 and up, we had Girls Camp. Every spring, tween, and teen ladies met at whatever local campsite had been vetted and prepped for us. Counselors'd shake out color-coordinated vests or shirts, and we'd have days of hiking, outdoorsy food-in-the-ground-making, skits, and crafts.
I hated the crafts. They were not my jam.
I wanted fires, fireflies, and long hikes to nowhere. I wanted to survive on tree bark and water, and meet a bear. But it was Florida and we were at zero elevation with squirrel-sized mosquitoes, so whatever.
My introvert was terrified of being put in a tent or cabin with a stranger, a girl from another ward. But sometimes, I'd put down my book, take a deep breath and scuttle out of my modesty-approved jorts nest. Smile hard and breathe out. If I can make it to the end of the smile without running away, maybe I can be cool and survive this conversation.
When they weren't boring, those weeks were crazy.
I loved the connections with new people and old friends. I guess church trained me to socialize in a very activity-oriented way: games, service, group prayer. Time to sing! Time to eat! Time to make prayer rocks to put under your pillow so you'll mildly concuss yourself and remember to speak to God before you pass out.
No curling irons or hair driers. There weren't enough outlets or time to do that stuff. Maybe lip gloss or deodorant. TBH, I probably forgot my toothbrush or enough undies a couple times. We baked peach cobbler in fire pits, and wrote in fresh journals. We talked about Jesus like we knew, and wore our hair in ponytails everywhere. Spritzing bug spray on each other like Holy Water, we sang way too many church songs while the counselors sat in their camp chairs, but I guess we suffered together.
If I were to do Girls Camp again, I'd do it the way they did it in when we lived in Germany and my older sisters went. Eat Müesli, build your own fire, and hike the fuckin Alps.