Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kabobs, Anyone?

It was one of those afternoons you’re not sure are ever going to end. Or forget. There I stood by the table, a big bowl of raw, cubed chicken on one side, a bowl of chunked pineapple on the other, helping some of our small campers make kabobs. Maraschino cherry juice was running down both of my arms onto my elbows and my gloved fingers were sweating into the latex. It was almost 100 degrees in the house and yet we were packed shoulder to shoulder around the small table, so close that more than one person at the table was getting prodded with kabob sticks.

Welcome to day camp in Philly! We had 15 girls that week – every morning we picked them up and brought them to the Bible Clubhouse for a long, hot day packed with every activity imaginable. One day it was a trip to the city pool, then a picnic lunch on the bleachers nearby. Another day it was a cross-meadow tour of a historical site through tall, tick-infested grass. A hike through a shady spot of woods. A special trip out for ice cream cones. A day spent reading one-on-one by a river (never mind the rain!).

But now, the kabobs were being made for our end-of-the-week luau celebration at the Clubhouse. Part of the day’s activities included cooking and decorating for the dinner. Then, the girls were allowed to invite their moms to come eat with them so afterwards they could be treated to a performance of the songs and verses each girl memorized that week at camp. This was supposed to be followed by the awards ceremony.

Only one minor glitch. None of the moms showed up. Not even one. So after a few hurried phone calls, a few ladies who volunteered for the umbrella ministry offered to come to be ‘moms’ for the evening. My heart hurt so badly for those girls that night.

Thinking back on it now, I remember a good half an hour I spent on my hands and knees under that table before the luau, with a bottle of disinfectant spray and a pile of rags, trying to get raw chicken and sticky, pink fruit juice off the wood floor. I didn’t think I would ever get that place clean! I remember also thinking that if I didn’t get the table surface completely disinfected from the raw chicken, everyone was going to die from salmonella. It strikes me as ironic in retrospect that, as I worried about the girls getting food poisoning, I should have found a little helper somewhere and spent some quality time together with her as I cleaned.

Some things, I guess, are only learned in retrospect. I wonder what the girls remember from that night.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sticky fruit juice, ha ha, yuck.

Anonymous said...

My uncle got salmonella when he was in Spain once.

Shelly Porter said...

Wow, what an inspiring post! Thanks, Jenn!

Katherine said...

That sounds like a wonderful day camp! I worked at one that all they did was make paper crafts with the children each day. Also, it was co-ed which could have made a difference? I think keeping the children seperate is a good idea. You can do much more fun stuff if it's geared towards only one gender. Like, dressup with girls and soapbox racing with boys or something. My husband worked at one camp that did that and it was so nice! (This was before I met him, unfortunately, i would have loved to work there!) So that week of day camp was all volunteer?

Chris said...

I agree with Katherine-sounds like a great camp! A luau, though...hm, definitely more a girl thing, yeah!

Jenn Joshua said...

Hi Katherine! The day camp was volunteer. I was only there for that one week, but I believe that ministry does day camps each week of the summer. I wish I could have stayed there longer, it was wonderful! Nothing can take the place of one-on-one times -- and that week we had a counselor for each camper!

Becky said...

Aww, I would have been a mom for the night! How sad!

Nathan said...

I'd venture to guess the girls remember a lot more from that night than you'd think!

You could've well been #14 without ever knowing it! :D

Anonymous said...

#14? wats that mean?

JR said...

It's referring to brain power, I think. 100 being the highest. ha ha.

Nathan Jones said...

Low brain power??? After reading ANY post on this blog, I have NO idea how you could possibly come to THAT conclusion!

It's a reference to the song, "Fifteen" by Greg Long.

Anonymous said...

what's kabobs? LOL

Jenn Joshua said...

Hi Anonymous! Well, Kabobs are basically made up of small chunks of fruit or meat or vegetables stuck on a Kabob stick (kind of like a giant toothpick, for lack of a better comparison!) -- and they can range from being--

1.) A Culinary Disaster (when too many gourmet flavors are combined, for instance!)

2.) A Balanced, Colorful, and Original Dinner (incredible to make on the grill!), Snack, Meal, and all-around Treat!

The fruit ones are especially good (think cantaloupe, honeydew melon, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries!)

...Wow...it's too late for me to be getting this hungry! =D

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine said...

Hey all, just hopped on here quickly and wanted to say Jenn is right that kabobs are amazing! Mmmm, I get hungry just thinking about them! But she's also right about the other thing that they have to be made right! Because some combinations are just darn gross! :)

Katherine said...

Oh, and Greg Long is awesome, by the way! I love the song, "Where You Are". I never heard that song, Fifteen, though. Is it new?

The said...

Isn't it spelled, "samonella"?

The said...

Ha ha, my name only shows up as "the" ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No, you dufus. It's spelled just like the fish.

Jeromy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh said...

i wanna know why are we discussing food poisoning and greg long on a post about inner city work! crazy! luv u articles, jen! keep em comin!

Josh said...

and can i ask the name of you philly minisry? i think i know mr. shoenwald through ss, so was wondering if it was the same bc ministyr.

Jenn Joshua said...

Hi Josh! Yes, the day camp is a branch of BCM. (As a matter of fact, when I was packing to leave camp, I had to use a box addressed to Mr. S - some new Bibles for camp - same place, same people! How cool!)

Anonymous said...

thanks jenn for the info about what kabobs is...

i would like to experience kabobs in the future (wink)

thank you again

Angela said...

Thanks for the encouragement you provide through this blog, Jenn. I will continue to check back.

Chris said...

Amen! It IS encouraging!