Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Can you hear the ocean?

And again it comes,
We have 5 days left.
I could go on about the significance of the number 5: How there are 5 children in my family; five is the number of strength; there are 5 fingers on each hand; etc; etc. But I'll spare you all the monotony.
Besides, I have to go to work. :-)

5 Days until Camp!! AAAGGGHH! I'm nowhere near being packed!!
Yours, About to Run Mad in Wild Frenzy,
Rachel :-)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Hello all,
This is going to be short and sweet.
Chocolate brownies.
There, short and very sweet. mmm, now I'm hungry.
6 days until Camp!
Rachel :-)

Monday, June 06, 2005

One more week, one more week, one more week...

Hi eberyone,
You'll hab to excube be, I hab a colb. But besibes dat, I hab wonderbul news:

I just saved a bunch of money by switching my car insurance to Geico!
*pause for effect*
Ok,so not really! :-) The true wonderful news is that:

WE'VE GOT ONE WEEK LEFT! One week to scramble to pack, one more week to wait on pins and needles, one more week to think up all the fun things you want to do at camp, one more week to - um, I think you get the picture. :-)
Aren't you looking forward to that windy road through the mountains? The smell of Tillamook dairy farms that hits you after come out of the woods; counting blue herons as you pass the swamps; feeling the crunch of gravel under the tires as you pull into the camp and then looking about expectantly for familiar faces?

I've copied a poem that Esther Prentice wrote and was in the countdown a few years ago. I thought it quite apropos to send it through again.

Family Camp Through The Eyes Of A Newcomer
By Esther Prentice

I first arrive at the gravel drive
Thankful that the long trip I survived.
It strikes me as a quiet place
With here and there a friendly face.
And shining out like cheerful beacons
Are the people I recognize as the deacons.
We walk down the road and my cabin they show me
It's a trifle cold , but on the whole homey.
An hour later it's time for the meal
An organized and tasteful deal.
The fresh baked food is just delicious
Though the iced tea tastes a little suspicious.
I fill out the card with a mere suggestion
That " lemonade is much better for digestion".
And a day passes by so quickly it seems
With days of peace and nights filled with sweet dreams.
Before I know , it's time to go home...........
I have made lots of friends that now I hold dear
Yes, I think I'll come back next year.

Rachel :-)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hi everyone,
No I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I know it's been a few days since I've campdowned but I've been rather busy lately so you'll just have to forgive me, call me a slacker, hate me for the rest of your life, give me chocolate, or whatever makes you feel happy.
I've compiled a list of things to do on the way to camp. I know that for many of you it's only 2 hours, but think of all that you can do in 2 hours! Plus there are those people who might find themselves bored after the first 5 minutes. Some of these are from the list I made last year, and some are new.

1) Ask where the map is, study it upside down, then ask the driver every 5-10 minutes "are you SURE you know where you're going?"
2) Drink as much water, soda, liquid as possible so you can check out all the rest stops along the way. Some have free coffee and cookies.
3) Find out how many different keys you can sing "Polly-wally-doodle" in.
4) Re-enact the final fight scene of Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. (Make sure you have plenty of room and don't cut anyone else's legs off.)
5) Hang your head out the window and bark like a dog at passing cars.
6) Ask everyone in the car for a quarter and tell them you're using it to call a cab for the way home.
7) If you're the driver, make as many 'U' turns as possible- it always makes other drivers like you even more, plus you'll make your passengers antsy because they'll think you've gotten lost.
8) Listen to headphones but sing all the songs out loud
9) About halfway there, suddenly shout, "Wait!! I forgot something!! We have to go back!!"
10) Or if you're one of those boring people, you could just watch the scenery or read a book. :-)

9 Days until Camp!

Friday, May 27, 2005

My pillow is calling

it's 11:21 at night and I'm sending this before tomorrow happens.
17 Days until camp.
There, I said it. Now I can go to bed.
Rachel = ^0 (me yawning)

PS thanks to Aunt Patty for the reminder to pack a flashlight and a good book too if you want. Flashlights are handy for many things: finding your socks in the dark recesses of your cabin; guiding your otherwise stumbling path along the beach at night; and also for identifying that voice you can just barely recognize in the dark. Thanks also to Sara Dahlin for reminding me to bring "soap, shampoo, and conditioner. (no one wants to smell your greasy hair either.) "
I can't believe I forgot that! d'uh!
G'night! (It's now 11:28 pm.)

Thursday, May 26, 2005


The sun is shining, the days are getting warmer, school is almost out, Family Camp is drawing nearer, and I am sunburned.
Yes, today I procured my first sunburn of the season! I feel like celebrating.....with Aloe Vera.
We are officially into the "teens" for the campdown! I'm so excited! My mom wants to start packing next weekend.
Which reminds me...
THE FAMILY CAMP PACKING LIST (never leave home without least never leave for camp without it)
>Clothes - always a MUST
>Deodorant - no one wants to smell you like that
>Sweater or Sweatshirt or some kind of Jacket (or if your like me- all of the above) - Campfires on the beach can be a bit chilly, especially if you've been banned from the best spots around the fire by the adults and have to sit on the edge where the heat doesn't quite reach and the smoke gets in your eyes. *pauses a moment to reminisce*
>Toothpaste- no one wants to smell you like that either (one of the benefits of camp is getting to know everyone by their morning breath) :-)
>Sun Screen- the sun does shine here too...I have proof
>Aloe Vera - for those of you who forgot the sunscreen *ouch*
>Foot Wear - all kinds of foot gear that are appropriate for walking on gravel paths, strolling leisurely along the beach, racing for home plate, or just to look nice.
>Snacks- not that they don't feed us well or anything, but snacks are always a welcome addition especially if you're the sharing type
>Camera - I strongly recommend it; the sunsets are so beautiful! :-)
I'm sure I've forgotten something. *scratches head* No doubt you will remind me later.
18 days until CAMP!

Monday, May 23, 2005

21 Days!

Exactly 3 weeks until the First day of Camp!!

Now tell me if you're not excited! Because if you aren't... I will devise some means of making you excited; be it torture, threats, bribery, etc.
21 Days until Camp!
Rachel :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I'm beginning to smell brine....

Good evening,
I would like to explain about the somewhat absurd and probably confusing note that you recieved earlier today.
That was the countdown that i was working on. It got sent on accident by a family member (who shall remain nameless). My deepest apologies for the confusion.
My apologies as well for not sending a campdown that last few days. Housetraining a puppy requires two eyes and sometimes they're difficult to spare. :-)
I'll just give you a brief synopsis of what I would have sent you if I could.
Wednesday would have held the answers to all the movies I included in my short story. They were: Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings Trilogy (various quotes) Princess Bride, Star Wars - Phantom Menace, Hamlet, Harry Potter (pick one) and the Television show "The Apprentice". Kudos to you who figured them all out.
Thursday would have had some quiz on something entirely random because I went to the midnight showing for Star Wars- Revenge of the Sith (which btw, was really good) Wednesday pm -Thursday am and I was totally zonked... zzzzzz...........
Friday would have held a list for your packing. I found that some people, like Sara Cone, "prefere to go through all the agonizing and deliberation of packing, and then let SOMEONE else {her brother Scott} leave it. :-) So much more convenient to blame it on someone else, isnt it? Plus, can always use new clothes, right?" And then there are those like Sara Dahlin, who plan their entire wardrobe before they even get to packing. And then there are those who would make a list, like Leah Evans - "Woe to me if I lost my list and had to pack from memory". Which do you relate to? I am kind of a combination of Leah and Sara Dahlin. I can only imagine what my list is going to look like this year....
Saturday - May 21st would have held a very warm and fuzzy "Happy Sweet 16th Birthday" to my sister Rebekah. (also would have had the results of that day's horse race :-) )
And that leaves us with today- Sunday, the explanation.
Maybe this will make you think that you haven't missed a thing. I promise I'll send out the campdown tomorrow! If I don't....a nameless family member will send out a random, short, and anonymous note. Don't you feel special?
22 days until Camp!
Rachel :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

25 Days left!

Hello peoples,
Well, yesterday was a good day! For those of you who haven't heard...we got
a puppy! His name is Wally. Very cute and smart. Today we've been working on
potty-training. Fun, fun, fun. :-)
Camp it getting closer. Right now I'm feeling like it's breathing down my
neck...oh, wait...that's someone else. :-)
Some of you are probably packed by now. Personally I try to pack early, but
I think this year I might join all the procrastinators and share in the
experiance for myself. What's it like- packing at the last minute? Do you
find you get everything or do forget a lot of essentials? Do you make sure
to get the essentials and figure "oh, well, someone else will have a
sweatshirt I can borrow" ? Do you forget your clothes completely or does
someone forget them for you? :-)
I am very interested in all these details of your fascinating lives
pre-camp. Feel free to share your packing experiences!
25 days until CAMP!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Goodmorning to you!

I have just a moment to write this before I rush out the door for school.
In the story I sent out to you in the last two campdowns, I made several references to various movies or television shows. (actually only one television show.) If you think you've found all of them, let me know and I might come up with a prize for you. :-)
Have a good day! I think my day is going to be very good and if it is, I'll tell you all tomorrow why!
26 Days Until Camp!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

And now you know the rest of the story...

Episode II - The Lord of the BLOB
Word spread quickly regarding the news of Sir Deacondavehoover and The Apprentice Asa's attempt to challenge The BLOB. Soon a crowd had gathered at The Vast Lake of Many Fish to see this historic event. Amongst the onlookers was The Apprentice Asa's fair sister Ana, her lady-in-not-so-waiting Sarah, his brother Sean and other friends, Ben - son of the ruling Lord, and Noah Notark. The Keeper of the Lake raised his staff to motion for silence. A hush fell over the crowd as the Keeper spoke solemnly to Sir Deacondavehoover and the Apprentice Asa.
"Many dangers in this challenge there are, and them must you face. Wish you may for it to be easy, but not for you to decide, that is. All can you do, is use the time that has been given you." instructed the Keeper, speaking slowly around his mouthful of long white beard.
"One woe doth tread upon another's heel." groaned Ana , as her fear of this monstrous BLOB overtaking her brother grew. "Does not a cloud oreshadow my brother's face?,"
"Do not fear sister." returned her brother Sean. "I feel that he is stronger than we give him credit for. Do you not think so Sarah?"
"Ah! He is tolerable I suppose." the maiden answered indifferently.
The Keeper finished his words of wisdom to the Knight and the squire. "Now let them be girded in their noble armor!"
Ben and Noah Notark stepped forward to assist Sir Deacondavehoover and The Apprentice Asa in getting into their armor.
"Orange armor?" exclaimed Sir Deacondavehoover, "Why orange?"
"The Keeper thinks that it might help in distracting the BLOB." explained Ben.
"A diversion!" remarked the not-overly bright Sean. "Brilliant!"
The tension grew thick as Sir Deacondavehoover and Apprentice Asa stepped out onto the dock to move toward the BLOB. The two had not moved many paces when Sir Deacondavehoover turned to Asa and said, "Wait here, I will call you when I am ready."
The Apprentice readily agreed shaking violently in his bright orange armor, with cold and fear. "No problem Boss. You go right ahead."
The Knight boldly stepped forward and shouted a challenge to the BLOB. "Alright you great blob of a BLOB come out fight if you're man enough!" The crowd on the shore stood in dreaded silence. Then with a great groaning The BLOB returned the challenge.
"Quick Asa! Come help me!" shouted Sir Deacondavehoover as he ran toward the BLOB. He gave a running leap and landed on the giant creature. Immediately the two began to struggle violently. The Knight made every effort to reach the BLOB's head and strike it down and finally grasped the ears and began beating the beast sensless.
The Apprentice Asa ran with all his might shouting a great battle cry "I'm coming BOSS!!" He made a mighty heave onto the BLOB thereby catapulting his employer into the Vast Lake of Many Fish.
But the BLOB lay motionless. Wild cheers arose from the mob on the shore; people were dancing with joy and rapture.
The Apprentice Asa jumped into the chilly waters next to his Knight and the two of them swam to the bank. Upon reaching it, Asa kissed the sand and sighed "I passed the test! I shall diminish and go into the west."
The Keeper raised the Knight and Apprentice from the ground and congratulated them. "Defeated the BLOB you have. Now, to the Feast Hall come. Much celebrating there will be."
With laurel wreaths upon their head, and the rejoicing crowd behind them, the victorious heroes retired the Great hall for much - well, feasting and and singing by the bards. One bard in particular, Bard Hangartner solemnly promised Sir Deacondavehoover and the Apprentice Asa that their story would forever go down in the course of history, to be sung by the bards so that no one would ever forget their brave and mighty deeds of valor in Defeating the Giant BLOB.
- The End

28 Days until CAMP!
PS sorry i missed another day...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Story Time...

Hello friends,
I must again apologize for my lack of countdowning. I hope today to make it up to you in a small part.
Today I shall bring to you a tale; a tale of amusement a tale of suspense, a tale of woe. (Well whether or not there is suspense and woe involved- I’ll leave that up to you.) This is the tale of a brave and noble knight and his unwilling but obedient squire/sidekick.

Episode I - The Menacing BLOB

It was a cold, wet day at the Oregon coast in the beginning of June. The great fortress of the Two Twin Rock Towers was home to the small, but not so small band of men, women, and children, brave enough to bear the blustering winds and stinging rain for the week. All hope of sunny skies and fair breezes had vanished when word spread that a certain Lord Mahar had prayed for good weather. All week the people of the fortress had stayed within the shelters of the feasting hall, commons room, and stable. Meanwhile out on the Vast Lake of Many Fish, a Giant BLOB waited. No- one had yet dared to challenge the BLOB, partially because of the weather, and partially because none within the fortress had challenged a BLOB before. Had it been done? By who? Did they survive? So the people contented themselves with games of cards (I hear poker became very popular.) shuffleboard and foos-ball. At length, a brave knight decided that he would take no more of the monotony. He was a bold man and decided that he would venture down to the Vast Lake of Many Fish and CHALLENGE the BLOB. This brave knight was Sir Deacondavehoover. Sir Deacondavehoover called to his trusty squire/sidekick: The Apprentice Asa.
"Apprentice Asa, I have decided to challenge the BLOB.”
“Gee, that’s great Boss.” Answered The Apprentice.
“And you,” continued the Knight, “shall help me”
The Apprentice Asa was a bit taken back by such a command and promptly tried to convince Sir Deacondavehoover that he was unfit for such a task.
“Nonsense!” Declared Sir Knight. “You WILL help me!”
“But Sir Deacondavehoover, I have never challenged a BLOB before! I don’t think I’m strong enough!” protested The Apprentice.
Now Sir Deacondavehoover was not just a Knight but a drywaller as well and The Apprentice Asa was not just his squire/sidekick but his employee. Therefore Sir Deacondavehoover asked very shrewdly? “Do you want to go back to being unemployed in GREENLAND??”
The Apprentice Asa wasn’t too sure where Greenland was but it didn’t sound pleasant. After all, green wasn’t really his color. So he reluctantly agreed to his Knight’s request.


32 Days until Camp!
Rachel :-)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day! (to all the moms)

I've decided to abbreviate the Camp Countdown to just "Campdown." Much simpler I think and it kind of rolls off the tongue doesn't it?
I normally don't send out the campdown on Sunday's but I thought I would today for two reasons.
Reason #1: So that I can make a humble apology about not sending the campdown yesterday and try to make amends in some way. I'm open to suggestions; not that I'll take them :-)
Reason #2: To wish all the moms reading this a Happy Mother's Day! I think I speak for a lot of people when I say we love you and appreciate ALL you do for us!
I was reminded that I forgot possibly one of the best Talent Night moments: Mr. Wilson 'singing' "My Girl" to Mrs. Wilson. :-) Thank you to Angela Lortz for reminding me.
34 days until Camp!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Talent Night memories

Hello peoples,
Just so all of you know, my gracious sister Bethany has set up this blog for the countdown. I thought about posting all the countdowns on my blog but realized that would really clutter it up. So we have set up a blog for the countdown.
So if you have missed a countdown, or want to read them over again this year or next year (for the dear old times sake, of course....) you can come here to read them. I will be posting all the countdowns there after I send them out.
There is a comment section on this blog but PLEASE do not let it deter you from sending me emails. As I've said before: I thrive of feedback! If you don't give me feedback-- I'll...I'll...I'll... I'll think of something to do!!
There's all the boring stuff. :-) Now the fun begins. One of my favorite things about camp (amongst the many favorite things!) is Talent Night.

Here are some memorable Camp Talent Night moments:
>The time that Nathan and Jonny Dahlin, and "Ben and Jerry" Hayes sang the Monty Python "Brave Sir Robin" song. (I especially liked the part when Seth Moore jumped out at them with a sword and "Brave, brave Sir Robin ran away".)
>The time when Kenny Hangartner, the romantic woo-er sang a ballad of love to his brother Jon playing the "sweetheart."
>The "Three Little Maids" performed by Ben Casbon, James VanDyken and Patrick Swanson. Especially enjoyable since the song was about 2 octaves too high for them. :-)
>Bethany Unger (my sister) riding out on her rifle instead of the stick pony during our family's skit.
>Mr. Horvath's "Michelangelo and Pope" skit. "There's a kangaroo?!?"
>MIGHTY MIKE by the Kumley's
>Mrs. Erland's beautiful operatic performances.
I'm sure I've only touched the tip of the iceberg :-)
See you tomorrow! 36 days until Camp!!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

It's getting closer....

Hey y'all! What's up?
I don't know about you but I'm having a very good day. I went to school today and got two papers back from my Health class. I got a 90% on one and 100% on the other! That makes me very happy. :-)
So, countdown business. I've found that within a week of getting into the countdown that I feel a sudden lack of creativity. I wonder if it's because I'm trying to overachieve or if it's because I my brain has really truly gone dead, or if it's because there really is nothing new to say; you know, kind of like the Ecclesiastes theme: "Nothing new under the sun....all is vanity." Maybe that's carrying it a bit too far, but you get my drift. My point is basically that if you see something here that makes you think "Didn't we talk about that last year, or the year before that?" it's probably because you did see it last year.
But Wait!! I have something important to say! This year there are new people on the countdown that have never been to Camp before or have never been on the Countdown before! That makes it exciting for me!
I would like to take this moment to officially welcome to the Countdown: Erica White -a friend of Grace Mahar's (she requested that you be put on the Countdown :-), Stephanie Pitrone (Rebekah had me make sure you were here too.) Also Alex, Calvin, Amy, and Jeremy Barendregt. They have also never been on the Countdown before or to Camp before. This is their first year so I hope that you will all make them and all our other guests feel welcome and help them have a good time and help the RCC Family Camp to live up to its reputation. :-)
If I have by some misfortune forgot to welcome you to the countdown, my deepest and sincerest apologies and a hearty welcome to you as well. :-)

37 days until Camp!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Congratulations - we have reached the 38-day mark

Hello all,
This is going to be hurried as I have a very important show to go watch. LOST. The most absolutely bestest show on television. Next to Jerry Springer of course. :-)
Ok, so finishing up yesterday's thought on thematic days of the week:
Friday - We can play LOST. C'mon we're already on the beach and we have a whole bunch of woods behind the camp. What could be more perfect? We'll draw lots as to who gets to play the main characters. The rest of you can be the little people who wander around on the beach looking busy. Or if LOST doesn't work for you, we can do Gilligan's Island!! "A three-hour tour!" (my mom says LOST is basically Gilligan's Island on steroids.)
Saturday - hmmm......that will be the day to scurry around in a mad rush trying not to forget anything and then stuffing yourself full of ice-cream....oh, wait. We do that already. Oh well!
I have to go now. I need to go get LOST.
38 days until Camp!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

39 Days Left

Good evening everyone,
This is being sent out rather late I know; many of you are probably in bed and if you're should be! :-)
"Well, you're obviously still up!" you say.
Yes, well, there's a reason for that. As you can see.
I think this year there should be some kind of daily theme at camp.
Monday we could organize people into their geographical regions by the color of socks they will wear. All the orange socks sit together; all the green socks sit together; all the purple socks sit together; I think you get the idea.
Tuesday could be Protestors Day - protest anything you want: war, peace, the color puce (seriously, someone should protest that color...) raw vegetables, hydrogenated oils, etc.
Wednesday could be Opera Day- you have to sing everything you want to say. Chapel would definitely be interesting.
Thursday - it will rain.
I'm feeling very sleepy therefore Friday and Saturday's themes will be forthcoming tomorrow.
39 days until camp! :^)

Why aren't you in bed yet? :-)

Monday, May 02, 2005

40 Days Until Camp

Good afternoon everyone!
I hope you all had a good Sabbath.
I forgot to mention in the last email that if anyone knew of anyone that would like to get the countdown but isn’t on the list, to please let me know and I will get them on the list.
Have you ever had memories brought on by a smell? This happened to me the other night. I was driving with my dad down a country road when we smelled something like lighter fluid. I have no idea why, but I suddenly had remembered my first Family Camp memory ever. (*music plays and screen fuzzies to reveal a new scene*)
I must have been about 7 years old, (it was my first Camp) and the Church was staying at a place called Salmon Falls. (Also refered to as Salmonella Falls by some). Anyway, our family was staying in an A-frame cabin that was dark and full of cobwebs and spiders and a really dirty floor. I remember wandering around at night, by myself, shivering in my pajamas (I hadn’t thought of getting a coat…c’mon I was 7), trying to find Dad. Rebekah, who was 4, had woken up crying because she needed to use the bathroom. Bethany who was 10 ½ , didn’t want to go because she didn’t want to get up and it was dark outside; so she made me go. I can still feel how cold the floor was when I climbed down from my bunk. Brrr!
What does any of this have to do with lighter fluid? I think it’s because when I finally found Dad, which seemed like FOREVER, he was sitting with some other dads by a small fire and it smelled like cigar smoke and lighter fluid.
So there you have it: my first Camp memory. I have since multiplied my memories since that year, no more of which have to do with wandering in the dark in my pajamas or lighter fluid. :-)
What’s one of your best (or worst, if you’re the pessimistic type) Camp memory? I know we do this every year, but peoples’ favorite memories seem to change quite rapidly. :-)
40 Days until Family Camp!
Rachel :-)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Here it comes!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Attendants, Paiges, Serfs, Peasants, and all ye Fools take heed as well,

Yesterday I was thinking, as I was told once, is a very good thing to do, about the date. Suddenly I remembered that it was April 29th! I at once got very excited and asked my sister Rebekah what the date was to see if she knew the grand significance of the date. (the following converstation transpired yesterday afternoon)
"What's today?" I asked eagerly.
"Friday, April 29th." She replied complacently as if she tells me what day it is every day of the week.
"Yes, yes, I knew that. But what's tomorrow?" I asked again.
Looking befuddled "Saturday, April 30th."
"Uh huh. And what is April 30th?" I asked her this time very excitedly and pointedly.
She looked at me as if I had completely lost my marbles "SATURDAY. Is this a trick question?"
"No, no! What comes after April 30th?"
(another confused look) "May." She answered slowly.
"Correct! And what happens in May?" I press further.
*a loooong pause and another confused look* "My birthday?" she replied tentatively.
It dawned on me that she was just NOT getting this as you probably aren't either.
Therefore, to dispell all your concerns for my mental health, and to end your suspense about the significance of what today, Saturday, April 30th is, I shall tell you.
Today: Saturday, April 30th, 2005 AD
is the Start of the 2005 RCC FAMILY CAMP COUNTDOWN!! :^D
You may think I'm starting it a bit early this year but I like to start at the beginning of May, and seeing as how May 1st is a Sunday, I thought I'd just start today!
And along with it, as does the first countdown of every year, comes the following notice:
I welcome all memories, comments, funnies, or suggestions. Be forewarned that I will reject anything obscene, uncouth, tragic, or stupid. Be also forewarned that if I find what you have to say witty, clever, or in any way remotely funny, I will use it and let it be noted it might be plagarized. :-)
I don't send the countdown out on the Sabbath so don't be alarmed if you don't see it.
If anyone for any reason, does NOT want to recieve this countdown, let me know, and (depending on who you are) I will remove your name from the list. :-)
Well, that's it for now! If I think of something I'll fill it in tomorrow. Everyone have a great day!
42 Days Until Family Camp! (I'm so excited!!) :-)
Rachel Unger :-)