Here's a camper's-eye view of the camp of champions

The writer is the 13-year-old daughter of Dixon and Linda Cartwright of Big Sandy, Texas, and sister of Trey, 17, who also attended Camp Champions.

By Jamie Cartwright

GRANITE SHOALS, Texas-It's me again: Jamie, courageous camp reporter. (My article about Pinecrest Camp, in Missouri, was in last month's issue of The Journal.)

I got to go to another camp this month, near Waco on Lake LBJ. (See related article, this issue.) This time I didn't get to keep a journal-I didn't have enough time to keep one-so this story won't be quite so, um, graphic in some ways and give as many details.

Anyway, the first day, when I arrived with my brother-who was to be an assistant counselor-we found we had arrived a little late and didn't get to go swimming like almost everybody else.

So, after getting settled into my dorm, I walked up to an outdoor basketball court where a karate presentation was going to be held. Pretty cool, actually, since one of my interests is tae kwon do (I'm a yellow belt).

After that I can't really remember; maybe we ate. The food at Camp Champions was pretty good and came in quite a variety. One day we feasted on MREs: the meals ready to eat that they serve in the Army. Ever see chicken stew looking like tuna or freeze-dried peaches that look and taste like Styrofoam?

The camp lasted four days, Aug. 3-7. As I mentioned above, I didn't keep a journal, so I'll just describe as many activities as I can remember instead of going through them in the order they happened.

First, I must let it be known that every day at least half the day was spent in the lake.

Before that, immediately after breakfast, everybody would attend a Christian-living class, then the water activities would get started.

We did sports such as the water slide, the blob (or glob), tubing, banana boating, waterskiing (nothing could convince me to do that) and other things.

The water slide was huge. It wasn't made of metal, luckily, or we'd all have smoking buns by the time we hit the water. Instead, it was some kind of red waterproof fabric, with a pipe pouring water down it and providing a wonderful way to wash your hair.

The blob was scary-for me, anyway. You stood on this high dock and leaped down hundreds of miles (well, maybe a little less than that) onto this billowy plastic pillow of air on the water.

Then all time stopped for two seconds, and suddenly it was over.

The next step was to crawl out farther on the blob and wait till another person jumped and launched you up into the air, screaming for your life, only to plunge you deep into water where I'm sure hundreds of piranhas were waiting.

The art of tubing was tying an inner tube by way of a long rope to the back of a motorboat, then lying on the tube and silently praying. I didn't enjoy this all that much since I was the wrong size and it hurt my back to lie on the tube.

Banana boating was the same thing, except there was no inner tube, just this lovely double banana-shaped floatie that four people could ride at a time. I loved this ride, even though half the time I couldn't see.

There were, of course, on-land activities: pretty scary ones too, like the Pamper pole. The Pamper pole is a telephone pole that you have to scale and stand on top of and then jump from toward a little trapeze thing. (My brother said the Pamper pole gets its name because whoever invented it had an accident the first time he climbed on top of it.)

Sorry, I refused to do that after my experience with the catwalk. The catwalk was two poles standing upright, one nailed across the near top of them. You have to climb up one of the poles and walk across the middle one. Though this was horrendously scary, I learned something valuable: I am afraid of heights.

Speaking of heights, there was the wall. The wall was, well, a wall: wooden with stones stuck in its sides. We had to climb it. I almost made it to the top!

Speaking of "we," there were about 12 people in my dorm (Girls' Dorm 1), including the counselors. Our counselor was Miss Karen, and the assistant girl was named Jennifer.

Speaking of dorms, you should have seen the dorm names: Dorm 7-11, Dorm 007 and Suite 16. Pretty cool, huh?

The last activity was a dance starting around dark the last night before we left. I loved the dance because there's nothing better than jumping to music.

Before the dance we watched a movie, First Kid. After the dance was a slide show so we could see all the pictures Mr. Dan Girouard went around taking during every day of the camp. He went everywhere (and I mean everywhere) with his camera.

I think it was great to be able to have so much fun at Camp Champions while making new friends and learning more about living God's way.

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