I had the chance to go to girls camp this year! It was just ward camp and our group is small. We had 10 girls and 5 leaders total. We decided a whole week was more than we needed, so we shortened it to about 2 days! Monday morning to Wednesday morning. Everything went great on the drive up. However, about 4 hours after we'd been there I noticed my van's back left tire was totally flat! I panicked slightly because I knew I had a spare tire, just not any tools. They never got replaced from the last time we had tire problems. Thankfully we had 3 other cars in our group who all had theirs. Unfortunately not all makes and models are compatible. We got one of the jack's to work but no one had the right lug nut wrench size. So, we had to seek help from the ranch's workers. A sweet 16 year old boy managed to track down one that worked! He even put the spare on for us! Needless to say, a lot of our girls were pretty smitten with him! After a few long distance phone calls with my husband, we decided it would be best to try and get my flat tire patched. Another leader and I took her car with my flat tire back into town, adding another hour and a half drive down, and back! We were fortunate enough to get right in and patch the tire no problem. Didn't even have to pay for it! Thank you Les Schwab! What a blessing! The man who helped us noted that the speed in which I was driving on that 20 mile dirt road most likely resulted in my flat. My tires were pretty worn already apparently... something I'll have to keep in mind next time I decide to go roughin' it in my minivan! Anyway, we got some dinner, then headed back up to camp. We arrived just before dark.
The rest of the time was pure awesomeness! There were so many activities like, horse back riding, mini golf, hiking, archery, swimming, lake time with paddle boats, even pavilion games like Ping Pong and Foosball. It was a blast! Even the food was provided! We didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning! That's how I like to camp!!
When it was time to go home, I decided to drive EXTRA SUPER SLOW on the dirt road so as not to have the same thing happen. Well, it took over an hour but we came off the dirt road just in time for a smooth ride. Except, it wasn't smooth. Yep, my other back tire had blown... and I mean blown! Huge tear! Thankfully our cell phones had just gotten service again so we could call the rest of the group and ask for help. I was going to need tools again, that I did not have. Half of our group was up the road at a gas station. One of our leaders was pregnant and just had to stop to use the bathroom! At some point she got our call and asked around at the gas station for a lug nut wrench. So imagine this tiny 7 month pregnant woman standing there holding a lug nut wrench, her car full of young women, all of which are unkempt from lack of showers and such, talking on her cell phone. Two men must have took pity on her and asked if she needed help. When I got the call and heard the offer made, I gladly accepted. Now, I can change a tire, probably.... but I sure didn't feel that comfortable doing it. We still had about a 2 hour drive ahead of us to get home and I did not feel confident in my skills at the time. These kind men who showed up just happened to be on a lunch break and became our instant heroes! They got it changed in minutes and we were back on the road in no time! Although the drive home took a while since I couldn't go full speed on my donut. But who cares, we made it home safely.
Really, things could have gone so much worse. Whenever adversity this big hits me, I like to think about all the what if's. What if I never noticed my flat until it was time to leave? I could have had a dented rim and really been stranded. What if I never took the first flat to get patched? I could have been using my spare when the other one went out and then I would have been really stuck! What if I had more than just one other leader in the car? I could have stranded a bunch of girls for a long time. (My car was the one loaded with everyone's gear.) What if those kind strangers didn't offer their help? It would have taken a lot longer to get things taken care of. What if I did change the tire and didn't do it right? Yikes! What if the second tire had blown before we had cell reception? We would have been stranded much much longer. -When I look at the "what if's" I can't help but feel blessed. I have no doubt that someone was watching out for us, for me. Someone wanted me there and wanted me and all of us to be safe and feel the magic bond you only get at girls camp. I even got to give a brief testimony at church the next Sunday and that's what I shared. Trials will come, but He will always give help along the way. Be brave, hope for the best, and endure. Blessings will come. I'm so grateful for the whole experience. I love these women!