Yep I remember those. Ready for a story?
I went as soon as I was "of age" (12) and had an awful experience.
I ended up getting my period on the second day there. Now when I get my period the first day feels like my whole abdominal area is being shredded by a gremlin on the inside. I would cope by popping some strong painkillers, knocking myself out and crawling into bed for the whole day.
Not at christain camp though! Nope! I was told to pray the pain away. What made it worse was my cabin was on breakfast duty so I'm awake at 5am to "serve" my fellow christain brothers and sisters. I get scolded by my cabin leaders for not being cheerier while pouring coffee. I try to tell them again that I'm feeling really unwell and they say I "just have a bad attitude" and "the devil must be influencing me".
After breakfast they announce one of the "bonding" experiences for our cabins will be a mystery today. They tell us to wear sturdy footwear and clothes we can move around easily in. "Great" I think, "I get to go hiking with a gremlin attacking my inside".
It starts off as a 2 hour hike until we make our way to a wide river. There's some old tires next to the river and I feel physically sick while the camp leader annouces that we are to cross the river together using only those tires.
I'm wearing a super sized pad.
For those who have never worn pads in water before, let me just say they absorb a LOT and triple in size. Add in the water and frequent movement causes them to detach from your underwear. A super sized pad is designed to be much larger and longer than normal pads therefore holds more and will be larger.
I immediately pull aside my cabin leader (who is a 22 year old jock type male) and say in a panicked voice "please can I be excused, I feel sick". He just laughs and says "don't want to get your fashionable outfit wet huh?" (I'm wearing an old shirt and some shorts but I digress). I try again and admit in a frantic whisper "no, no, I have my period, please I'm wearing a pad", he looks at me disgusted and just says "hold it in, it's not my issue".
I hold back my tears and refuse to even go near the river.
Meanwhile he's announced to my group that I'm refusing to be a team player and think I'm too good to get wet. My team create a raft type thing with the tyres and start to cross without me. At this point I'm considering just walking back to the camp by myself but know there will be a lot of repercussions for doing so.
My cabin leader walks up to me while I'm thinking this over and says "if you don't cross the river, our team will be disqualified". I tell him I'm really sorry but since we weren't told we were going to be emerged in water I couldn't adequately plan for my period and that if I go in, I'll have no protection from bleeding everywhere. Again he says "just don't bleed everywhere!" and picks me up and throws me in the river in the direction of the makeshift raft.
I can't comprehend what has just happened and swim quickly to the raft. I can feel the pad ballooning up with water and just hope that the pads in my back pocket have stayed dry.
As I push the raft along I see my backup pads float up alongside me, absorbing water. I burst into tears at this point. I have to walk back to the cabins with nothing.
As we reach the otherside I look up and see all the cabin leaders using a canoe to get across. When my cabin leader makes it he just exclaims "see? That wasn't so bad was it? No need to cry!" I tried to ask the other girls in my group if they had anything but because of what our leader said earlier they deemed me a diva.
On the walk back one of the female cabin leaders gave me some tampons but that was on the last half hour of the hike and there was nowhere on the trail to insert them. I found out later the reason she approached me was because someone commented on my dripping crotch.
I think this was my second or third time I had ever gotten my period so the whole experience was mortifying. Especially since I was so young. I have a feeling that if this happened in a secular camp that none of this would've happened.
Sorry for the essay everyone!