I slept a bit better last night -- it is so quiet here in the evening. With the windows open in my room (I'm staying in the Lax-Sadler Lodge) there was a cool breeze all night -- perfect to sleep in. Thanks to jet lag, I did awake frequently, but unlike the last few nights, I didn't get out of bed until 5. Prayers and shower done by 6:30, then a short walk. I was walking towards the Dining Hall when I spotted a group of wild turkeys on the Dining Hall lawn. That included a Mom and her baby -- so cute! Here's a picture of them. I know it's a little dark, but I think you can make them out. As I got closer, they moved into the underbrush, so I had to hurry to take this shot.
I found Kate up in the Dining Hall kitchen getting ready to cook breakfast. I asked her if I could be of help -- the next thing I knew I had an apron on and was cutting up tofu and vegetables for the tofu stir fry for breakfast. I also plated scones, cut and plated butter, put the turkey sausage and the veggie sausage into bowls (separate bowls, of course!), dished out salsa, and put the fruit salad Kate cut up in bowls. It was great to talk with her! She is a member at St. Wilfrid's in Huntington Beach -- her family goes there too. Kate will be making bread and pizza dough in a bit, and I'll be down there to help her. Here's a picture of Kate and me in the kitchen right before I dished out the fruit salad into serving bowls.
After breakfast I went in to help with the bread making and the pizza dough. Turned out she had already set the dough up and was almost ready to put it in the proofing oven. Kate asked me if I could bake -- as that is one thing I can do, I said, "sure". Next thing I knew I had my apron back on and was working on a recipe for sugar cookies. As we didn't have quite enough eggs for everything we needed to do, Kate asked if I'd mind making vegan sugar cookies -- "of course!" So there I was trying to figure out butter (vegan butter, that is) measurements. Kate introduced me to vegan eggs, which is dry powder you mix with warm water. Westin from North Carolina (Bishop Curry confirmed her!) whipped up the vegan eggs for me. Here's a picture of Chris, Westin and me with the batter - I mixed the batter by hand (meaning I creamed the sugar and butter -- I hadn't creamed anything by hand in YEARS -- and with the volume I was cooking, let's just say I got a workout.
While I was preparing the "balls" of sugar cookies by scooping them out and
rolling them in sugar, there was all kind of hustle and bustle happening in the kitchen. The Kate I was working with today is not Kate the interim Chef -- that Kate (the interim chef) left instructions for things that needed to be done for tonight's dinner. While there was some activity to get that going, it was more to clean out the refrigerator and create "left over extravaganza" for lunch, and an extravaganza it was! DELICIOUS foods from the last few days were heated and put out for us -- the staff for this week. As leftovers is one of my favorite meals, it was so fun to "taste" my way through the offerings -- one dish was more delicious than the other. It's so great that very little is wasted here. While all the activity was going on I was finishing getting the cookies ready. We wanted to make sure there were enough, and didn't know if we'd be freezing them for use another day, so I put them in tight rows, as seen in this picture. Afterwards I separated them out and they went into the oven -- so they were baking at the same time lunch was trying to get served. The staff working in the kitchen were AMAZING -- like an orchestra playing a piece well together -- it was fun to watch. I helped plate a few things and then -- lunch!
After lunch I decided I needed a break. My legs were aching from being on them from about 6 to 11:30 -- I'm not used to standing in one place like that -- that's hard work! At any rate I went to my room and rested a bit.
At 2:00 I went down to the lawn and started to wait for the parents and campers to come for registration. Some were early (registration actually starts at 3:00) so I was able to talk with some. One family came from Ojai! I was so happy to talk with some of the campers and their families. The campers who came via the Camp Bus were guided by staff to where they needed to go. Joy, our nurse for the week is kind. Manny, the nurse from last session was here to help Joy get set up. What great team work!
After the campers found out what group they were in, a counselor from that group came to greet them and give them their name tags. The counselor then brought them to where members of the group were hanging out or showed them the different games that were going on. This week's session is packed with campers! We are at max capacity, which is wonderful.
The theme for the week is TUNE IN. I love the names of the adventure groups:
Operation Enchanted Forest
The Nomads of Ursa Mother
Spark the Hark Lark
Broadcasting Buccaneering Beatles
After lawn games or swimming, at 4:30 all the campers were able to go up to where they would be sleeping when they are in camp (overnights are excursions to sleeping under the stars). Next came a wonderful dinner, where "how things work" at the camp was explained.
After dinner there was adventure group time, and then came Community Gathering. I love singing all the songs! The staff put on a skit, and Beth (the Executive Director) shared a reflection.
I can hear the sound of boys getting settled on the boys hill, as I myself am settling in for the evening. There was a Program meeting -- I didn't attend. I wanted to finish this up quickly (it was almost done) and get to sleep. Hopefully the jet lag will settle down.
I leave you with pictures of some of our Diocese of Los Angeles campers and scenes of the staff from Community Gathering tonight.
I can't wait to see and hear how "tuned in" the groups become this week.
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