So they did it- They earned their fun day. I had secretly planned adding spiritual impact to their day.
They started out by having Sister Varnell doing their morning devotions. They worked on a craft and at 10:15 headed to the playground/park by the water. They had an hour to swing, slide, climb, explore- go crazy.
Then we were heading to the woods to follow the trail to the amphitheatre that they did not know existed. I was so excited. I could just see their faces and we came to the final area where you can see the amphitheatre and hear their squeals of delight to find this hidden area with a complete stage. What they didn’t know is that this was going to be their final commitment service and their big send off. A service of commitment to HIM- to each other- to their families, and to their country of service. Little did I know this would never happen.
The trail started out rough. The girls saw a sign that warned against ticks and poison ivy. I told them the standard "if there is three (as in leaves) let it be" that they would be fine- let’s keep moving. Finally, after stopping for them to use the restroom, we were getting close to the area. They saw it. There were steps made out of logs to get you down into that area- we all clamored ready to get into that special spot. Little did we know that someone had stepped on a hornets next – or yellow jacket- or wasp what ever you may want to call it. I discovered this as I hear screaming and feel needles in my feet and look down to find my skirt covered in yellow and black hornets. I yell for Thad (a boy that I knew was highly allergic to run down the path away from us). I tried to remain calm as I was bitten twice on my feet (yes I was wearing flip flops) and once on my wrist. I kept telling myself remain calm with the kids and keep smiling- you don’t panic they won’t panic. Who am I kidding?
I saw another boy get bitten on his neck. I asked if he was allergic and he said no. Three of the five girls (who are in panic mode) all start crying- this is the worst day ever. I look down and Seanna has them flying under her shirt. She had three sticking to her so I take my watch off (like every Mother would) and try to bat them off of her. I drop my watch and tell her let’s run. Emma is now crying and screaming pointing at my skirt. I am still covered with them. My skirt is a glow of black and yellow. I yell for Brother Cruz (thank God I thought to bring him along) to hit them off of my skirt. He says he does not have anything to hit them with- I am like anything just get them off of me.
We all finally head up the trail with them following us. We made it so much quicker back to the cars than to the path. I could feel the venom moving up my body…as I kept telling my self don’t panic just get the kids back to the activity center. We head back to the main building and walk into the hall and some are still flying out of my skirt. There were two in another boy’s shirt. I thanked the Lord that outside of me only one little boy got bit- and he was not allergic. I got medicine for him and took three Benadryl.
At lunch I heard one of the boys tell his Father- This is the worst day ever. In my head I am thinking way to go Cylinda- glad they waited all week for this. After lunch we head down to the lake area and they took out the paddle boats and got to go down a massive water slide- Another first for most of them. They did this all afternoon. They were the happiest little bunch I had seen. I was rejoicing to put my feet in the rushing cold chlorinated water as it came down into the receiving pool at the end of the slide.
Dinner was a different story. I purposely lingered behind the same boy when he greeted his Dad (ever the secret agent that I am)…Dad you won’t believe it- This was the best day ever- guess what I did.
I limped to my seat happy and grateful for waterslides and paddleboats- they had a way of making an insane day fun!!