It’s time to wrap up the camp posts. I have to keep check­ing the cal­en­dar to con­vince myself that it has only been one week (tomor­row) since the end of the camp. What a week it has been. I’m so con­fused by what day it is and what is going on. So, the final week­end of the camp, I left late Fri­day after­noon and came back mid-day on Sun­day so I could sneak in a quick vis­it to a friend in a near­by town. We had planned to climb Ista, but the con­di­tions were not in our favor. I think that worked out for the best though, because I was feel­ing super-guilty about miss­ing even just the one day of the camp. I would have com­plete­ly missed Day 7 if we had climbed the moun­tain.

Day 6’s theme was Goals. The sec­ond psy­chol­o­gist came back and the girls made col­lages with their short-, medi­um-, and long-term goals. Speak­ing with the oth­er orga­niz­ers and look­ing at the col­lages after the fact, there were a few trends. The most inter­est­ing and both­er­some trend was that the girls had a lot of things in the medi­um-term goals area, com­ing before their long-term career goals. This pro­vid­ed a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss how maybe the career and thus income should come before the goals of auto and home own­er­ship. The girls also devel­oped a plan and elect­ed offi­cers for the Mari­posas club they have to start once back home. The club is a require­ment for all par­tic­i­pants, and one they key sus­tain­abil­i­ty ele­ments of the pro­gram. The girls stay involved, and they can bring in oth­ers that didn’t get to attend the camp this year. The 2 main camp orga­niz­ers will be the club men­tors.

Day 7 includ­ing out­ings to the botan­i­cal gar­den and var­i­ous sites of inter­est around Cholu­la, and then a cel­e­bra­to­ry bar­be­cue. I didn’t get back in time to go on the out­ings, but that worked out per­fect­ly for me to help set-up the bar­be­cue. Burg­ers were cooked. Cheese slices and pick­le slices were policed. Burg­ers were eat­en, and then the evening activ­i­ties began. We did a num­ber of egg-car­ry races were the girls had to bal­ance an egg in a spoon being held in their mouth. The egg races were slight­ly more pop­u­lar than the three-legged race, but nei­ther com­pared to the lim­bo and the mum­my-wrap. Also mixed in were superla­tive awards where every girl won a cer­tifi­cate and a prize for being the best at some­thing, as vot­ed by the oth­er girls. Won­der­ful cup­cakes were eat­en, and the orga­niz­er gra­cious­ly made extra so that we could eat one or two addi­tion­al cup­cakes where the girls weren’t look­ing. The mum­my wrap was high­ly suc­cess­ful with even some of the occa­sion­al­ly less-engaged girls thor­ough­ly active and laugh­ing. At that point all we had left for prizes were tooth­brush­es and tooth­paste, but you can’t under­es­ti­mate the val­ue of good den­tal hygiene. We didn’t even fin­ish that late, so we all got to get a full night’s sleep before the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mo­ny on the final day.

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One of the short-, medi­um-, and long-term goals col­lages.

A ses­sion on the start­ing and run­ning of a club once the girls are back home. This club is a require­ment for all camp par­tic­i­pants. It keeps the ideas mov­ing for­ward and pro­vides a way for more girls in the com­mu­ni­ties to get involved.

Elect­ing the new club offi­cers

The evening fes­tiv­i­ties about to begin

The “Si se puede” or “Yes I can” piña­ta was both a cel­e­bra­tion and a way to com­bat all those times we hear or say “no I can’t do that”. Each girl had to write some­thing she usu­al­ly says “no” to and stick it on the piña­ta. And they they got to beat it down.

The par­ty after the tal­ent show. All the singing and danc­ing was great. I got to see videos after­wards, includ­ing the orig­i­nal song they wrote for and about us. Total guilt trip for not being there to hear it live.

The vehi­cles line up for the Day 7 out­ings — first to the botan­i­cal gar­den and then a tour around Cholu­la.

Match­ing hats in the botan­i­cal gar­den

Now’s where I come in! Just in time for the cel­e­bra­to­ry bar­be­cue evening on Day 7.

The mas­ter chef at work.

The sub­ject: burg­ers.

Every­thing ready to go.

Healthy appe­tiz­ers to begin.

The votes being tal­lied for the superla­tive prizes.

The superla­tive awards — every­one is the best at some­thing.

Awards and prizes being hand­ed out.

What could it be?

It’s one of these… things…!

Every­one had to open their prize and show the rest of the group.

The activ­i­ty por­tion of the evening begins. First up, egg-in-spoon races. Uh, no, of course we didn’t leave some unde­ter­mined amount of fall­en, cracked egg mess­es in the park­ing lot.

Sec­ond activ­i­ty: lim­bo!

hehe. I got to take pic­tures instead of demon­strat­ing my flex­i­bil­i­ty, unlike the poor orga­niz­er show here.

The last round was tough. Any way that you can make it under works for us.

Final activ­i­ty of the evening: the mum­my wrap.

Still a ways to go on her.

Very nice tech­nique

What’s going on?

Judg­ing time. All teams did excel­lent work.

Even big­ger smiles upon unwrap­ping.

The best prizes ever! Every­one likes good den­tal hygiene.

I’m not sure what comes next for me exact­ly, but I am hav­ing inter­est­ing thoughts about going back for next year’s camp. I would love to stay involved and do this again. We shall see.