Monday, November 12, 2007

The Camp Honey Creek Experience

Camp Honey Creek is a girls camp in Hunt, Texas. Just like the ones you see on TV, real cabins, wooden bunks, a dining hall, etc. The owners/leaders are unbelievable ladies and if I had a young girl, I would send her to their camp in a heart beat and never worry. This is where our business retreat was last week.

About a month ago, we were divided into 2 teams - one red and one blue. We had to come up with Indian names for our team and an Indian name for each team member. Our tribe was Maniwanawin (Many wanna win, get it?) and my name was Tiponi which means "Child of Importance". We had to design shirts for our team using our team colors and names. Then we plotted for the next month even though we really had no idea what to expect.

Now, some of our team are rather high maintenance. We call them the "Princesses". Wooden bunks and cabins would not be their idea of a retreat. We put them all in one cabin together. Upon arrival, they were quite shocked at the accommodations - I can show you, I have pictures! But they had the promise of La Mansion Del Rio (that's a hotel, ya know) awaiting in San Antonio on our last night. And the first night, the heat in their cabin broke - oops!

The first afternoon we had orientation and then all piled in the camp bus to tour part of the 300 acre camp. The photo above was of the sunset we experienced. The Texas hill country is very different than what I am used to seeing. But it was quite beautiful in a craggy sort of way. And the sunset was one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time.

The next morning, the bell rang for breakfast and we chowed down, fortifying ourselves for the challenges ahead. The teams separated and ours started with a team building activity and then moved on to rifle shooting. Each member of the team learned to shoot at a target and then our scores were added together. After that, we headed back to the dining hall for lunch. After a huge camp lunch, the red team had the option of trying the rock wall while we went to the archery competition.

Now the rock wall was supposed to be optional. And I decided early on that the vision of my fat butt, trussed up in a climbing harness and ropes, wearing a goofy helmet, while co-workers stood beneath me staring up was just more of a visual than I wanted to provide for them. So I was going to gracefully decline. Which wasn't a problem because others felt the same way. Then while standing on the archery field, kicking butt shooting arrows at a target (I came in fourth overall) they called down to say that one of the red team made it to the top. It was one of the princesses! She waved at us! Then about 20 minutes later, another one. Again, a princess. This one was 57 years old!!!!! And then another! Now, there was no way I could make it to the top but after that, there was no way I was going to stay on the ground. So after archery, the teams switched places. Everyone on our team tried although no one made it up. And I did get on the wall and went about 4-5 feet off the ground. Then I got a cramp in my calf. No, I was not faking it, it really was a cramp. But it came at quite a convenient time cause I wasn't going any farther! I have newfound respect for the princesses!

That night after dinner, we had a campfire and s'mores. It became quite emotional because the two other Tennessee district managers and I will be changing regions in January and will no longer be with this team. We told stories, cried, laughed, and sang songs. It was very corny and quite touching.

The next morning, back to competition and the canoe races. Four members from each team were in a canoe on the river. And yes, we really did race. I was in the front, middle for our team and we won!!! My knees will never be the same. Fat girl kneeling!

Later we had a pow-wow around the flag pole and each of us shared what we had learned about ourselves or others that week and how we would take that back to use in our real life. I shared that I have great new respect for the princesses and their climbing ability. I was also impressed by their lack of complaining when the heat broke. They truly were low maintenance for the first time in the very long time I have known them. It will be hard to criticize them going forward. I shared that I hated to leave the unbelievable support and friendship of such a team. And I really meant it.

It was an emotionally draining, rewarding, bonding experience. I am glad we did it. And I am really glad I got to see that sunset.


Anonymous said...

Randomly stumbled across your blog--I was actually a camper at the camp for 11 years. That place is like my home away from home! I love it so much!
Some of my favorite memories are the evenings and the sunsets. :D

Tere said...

How cool is that! Thanks for visiting. From what I understand, the same staff is there that have always been there. It was great fun and I would have loved it if my daughter could have gone to camp there.

IowaMissouriHunter said...

Honey Creek resort in Rathbun Lake is the best summer experience. I've been there last month when I visited my hunting land in Iowa. I love hunting big bucks and whitetails in Iowa. There are lots of hunting lands for sale in Iowa.