Summer Break and a 2nd Man’s Wife

I had a great summer break this week, but alas it is over.  Yes, the “summer break” for some 2nd man wives only lasts for one or maybe two beautiful peaceful weeks and then come activities.  I actually like most of them, so this isn’t a whine.  Tomorrow we leave for senior camp.  I’ve had people through the years give me mixed reactions about this.  Most are sympathetic that I have to be with teenagers for a whole week.  However, this isn’t really all that bad.  It’s more the 14-hour overnight bus ride that really kills me. Once we’re there, I’m golden.  I mean really I look at it this way, I get a week away from normal chores, like cooking, cleaning and Wal-Mart.  I get to hear great preaching that convicts and inspires even us adults.  I get to be around a totally Christian environment without the distractions of the world and I get to be there when teenagers get moved and convicted and want to talk about it.  Also, in my case, my children get to go visit their Granny and Grandpa who are normally a 17-hour drive down 3hrs. to pick them up for the week. 
            Of course it has its downers as well.  Some people think I’m taking vacation.  Well, to that I say, “not exactly.”  For all of the perks, it is still no vacation. Did I mention the 14-hour bus ride?   I also don’t choose to spend vacation outside in 90-degree weather sweating it out to play field games.  Nor do I choose to spend vacation sleeping in a creaky bunk and sharing icky shower rooms and bathroom counters with 19 teenage girls.  I usually pull rank in the bathroom area as I can “paint my barn” a lot faster than these girls.  Nor do I spend my vacations checking hem lengths and cleavage exposure and I do wish that mom’s would do this before they send their girls to camp…grrr…sniff…argh (but I digress).  So, no, it’s not exactly vacation either. 
            After camp, we’re looking at a 3-week stint of running a fireworks stand. Which is the most time consuming of all our summer activities, but provides our teens with a lot of money in their teen accounts to be able to attend most of their activities throughout the year.  During that time we send our two daughters to Jr. camp (which, thankfully, I got out of going to this year).  Then there’s the trip to Chicago with our top 7 winners of our Wednesday night program.  After that a 3-day youth conference before school starts.
            Yes, summer is the busiest time of year for a youth pastor’s family not to mention the poor youth pastor.  However, it can be the most rewarding time as the teens are full of energy and excitement.  I’m curious as to what others experience during this time and what their perspective is. 
So here’s the challenge:  While I’m away this week (I’ll try to post, but am not sure as to the WiFi access or time constraints) I would ask that if you are a 2nd mans wife or any kind of ministers wife or even a youth worker, or even were ever a teen that went to camp, that you’d post a comment or send me an email to www.secondmanswife@yahoo.com.  I want to hear about your summer experiences.  Do they just plain wear you out?  How do you prepare?  What are your thoughts on camps?  What’s the best or worst camp experience you’ve had?  Tell me tell me tell me.  I want to hear.  Do you have any great ideas that you’ve learned in your experiences?  Dish it out sister!  So there you go the assignment has been given, please share and I’ll look forward to hearing from ya!  But for now, I’ve got to go pack.
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