Showing posts with label Carol Joy Holling Camp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carol Joy Holling Camp. Show all posts

number 81

When Quilt number 81 came into the office, I fell in love. The entire thing is hand-stitched, made by a group of ladies in the hobby room at their senior home. The fabrics are old and wonderful...each one reminded me of the stash my grandma harrington used to quilt with.

The morning of the quilt auction, LaVonne (the ubber-generous donor who surprised me last year by purchasing the quilt of my dreams at last years auction) caught me and asked which quilt I had my eyes on. I darted the question for a long time, thanking her for last years generosity. But she is a forthright woman, and finally asked me point blank, "what is the number, Becca?" I said 81.

All morning long at the auction, women gathered around 81, unfolding it, marveling at how much work went into this quilt. They brought friends back, family members. And with each viewing I began to feel more and more unsettled. This quilt was going to go for a lot of money, and I realized that LaVonne would gladly purchase it for me. What's worse, is that I could tell there were many who really, really wanted this quilt too. And I just didn't feel right about getting it for free.

So I found LaVonne, with Rory by my side, and told her my worries, and that I had chosen a different quilt. She got stern and told me that if she wanted to buy a quilt for me, that was her decision. And I back peddled and told her that her generosity had already touched me last year, but that I felt funny if others really wanted this quilt...

Then Rory jumped in to thank her for last year, but again trying to back out of this whole Becca-has-expensive-taste predicament. And the funniest thing happened. LaVonne stood up and took my husband by the chin. Honest to goodness. Held his face right there in front of hers and said, "If I want to buy your wife a quilt, I will do so." Rory was super considerate and continued to tell her, of course you can buy the quilt, we're just saying you've already overwhelmed us with your generosity... And all the while LaVonne was still holding his chin.

In the end she said, "I will bid on that quilt, but I will decide whose lap it will end up in." And we agreed that was a good plan.

The quilt went up for auction, and LaVonne got it for $580. And because she was bidding the last couple hundred against just one person, she ended up offering that other person the quilt for his ending bid of $570 and then LaVonne gave the $580 to the camp even still. Which means the quilt made more than $1,000 for the camp.

I ran over to LaVonne after this other person received the quilt, grabbed her by the shoulders and said, "I love you! You have no idea the guilt that has been lifted off of my shoulders." And she frowned, "You need to get over that."

I didn't see who got the quilt, but I'd be lying if I told you I don't think about it often. It was really that stunning.

My favorite moment of the day was when LaVonne purchased a quilt for Sarah, one of my favorite, steadfast, always dependable counselors. Sarah is new on staff and didn't have a clue of LaVonne's history. LaVonne overheard Sarah tell me that she had an emotional reaction to a quilt (which is so funny, because I could actually relate, even though it might be that we're just dramatic girls...). I asked her which number and when she told me, I saw LaVonne behind her make a note of it.

So when that quilt came up, Sarah bid with confidence up to $75 and then dropped out. I felt like I was watching some great Olympic moment where I was privy to the backstory... The quilt went for over $300 and I could see Sarah stand up and go back to her job of serving water to out guests. When she walked by LaVonne, LaVonne called her over to show her the quilt she had just won.

Sarah commented, "oh, yes. I loved that one too. I like your taste."
LaVonne replied, "I got it for you."
Sarah, "No. That's fine. You won it fair, and it's really beautiful.
LaVonne, "No. I didn't want it. I bought it for you. It's a gift for you"
And then Sarah got it.

And she got all choked up.

the grand finale

Last Thursday was our last day at camp with campers. We successfully completed 8 weeks of summer camps with kiddos and I feel really good about the mission we accomplished.

Friday was a massive work-project day, cleaning each site, taking down tipis and tent cabins, moving bunk beds, taking apart cots, giving the community garden some serious tlc, organizing all of the art, day camp, team-building equipment and cleaning every nook and crany imaginable. Truth is, I LOVE a good work-project day. I am just like my dad in this respect...I love organizing and getting things back into place. It was a great day for me.

Saturday was the annual Carol Joy Holling Quilt Auction day. It was superb as always and I've got lots more to say about this day.

Sunday was our last day with summer staff before they departed for the school year. We worshipped and ate together one last time and then said goodbyes 73 times. I am really going to miss this staff. I felt really connected to this group of people.

Now it's Monday and I am utterly exhausted. But in a good, fulfilled way. Camp is quiet today and it feels like a good day for lots of deep breaths of gratitude for a safe summer, another growing summer and all sorts of funny one-of-a-kind memories that summer camp provides so faithfully.

It's Quilt Auction Time!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, gather round.
It is almost time for my favorite day at Carol Joy Holling Camp. If you live ANYWHERE close by, you really should put this date on your calendar and join us.

On July 31st, we will auction off well over 300 quilts that the fine people of Nebraska have made. The proceeds go to the camp. The day has this whole old fashioned feel about it...people use their bidding paddles to fan themselves, there's all sorts of hootin' and hollerin' when the bidding gets competitive and the auctioneers are just plain entertaining. You're met at your parking spot by a golf cart for a ride to the auction site, and all day long people are coming and going.
You might remember my elation after this day last year. You can read about it here.

Now here's the deal. I'd recommend coming for lunch, because lunch is always a good thing. And I would recommend clicking this link for a lovely look at all of the quilts to be auctioned off. If you click on the name of the quilt, a larger image will appear. It's nifty. There are still quilts pouring in each day, so they're not all up on the site, but many are. If you find a quilt you love, then you should try to be here when that quilt is being auctioned off. Quilt #1 will be auctioned at 9:00 and Quilt #399 will be auctioned closer to 5:00.

My personal pick: Well, you'll just have to come and see. Because I L,O,V,E love it. But I do have a limit that I may not bid over, set lovingly by my budget-smart hubby, so we'll just have to hope no one else finds it as stunning as I do...
I hope to see you there!!!

my 2nd of July parade...

Last week my counselors shined. They were so creative all week long. I was left with a really hard decision of who should get the gift card for the most creative programming idea. In the end, I sort of played it safe and rewarded the entire staff with a 2nd of July parade for which I purchased $25 worth of parade candy.

I told my staff to think of all of the 2nd of July parades they had ever, ever attended. And then I asked them to rank them from best to worst and to please put the parade we were about to experience at the very top of your 2nd of July parade list.

We all went outside, I made them sing "You're a grand old flag" and then five decorated golf carts came through the crowd throwing candy at everyone. And then they circled back for one more chance to throw their candy at their friends.

It was silly, fun, and a pretty decent camp parade. I suppose this was a nod to Mt. Carmel's parades and Flathead's parades. It felt necessary and was a great kick off to our extended weekend off.

life at camp

I realized I haven't written a whole lot about camp lately, which is funny, because it is basically my life right now. We are in the middle of our fourth week already...which is crazy and amazing that it has gone by so quickly and so smoothly.

The staff is fantastic and I am so pleased by how well they love and care for our campers. But last week it was obvious they were losing their steam. As a whole, we were missing the spontaneous, wacky, excitable staff that I hired.

So I threw out a challenge to them at our meeting on Friday and again on Sunday. I told them I wanted fresh programming, clever ideas and funny stories all week long. I held a carrot in front of them in the form of a $25 gift card to any place of their choosing from my very own personal money. And that the gift card would go to the staff person who comes up with the most unique/clever/imaginative program of the week.

The past two days I have come into work to find notes on my desk from counselors telling me of their plans. One cabin, tonight, is having a dance party on the platform of a tent that has no tent on it. Half of the campers have agreed to create a strobe light out of all of their flashlights, and everyone else will dance. I love this idea.

One site is making origami animals and hanging them from the trees. This whole site has rallied behind this idea and today I had the site coordinator frantically looking for more online patterns for these kids because they are so excited to make more.

I've heard whispers of other ideas too. One group is leading underwater basket weaving...literally underwater, in the pool. The best part is that the campers know of the challenge too, so they are trying to think of more and more creative things to do as well. It's getting really fun...and it's only Tuesday night! I'll report back on Friday with the best ideas from the week.

day two of summer camp

I have enjoyed the last two days of camp so, so much. Our first week of campers came yesterday and I have spent my days wandering camp, getting to know the campers and asking the counselors how it is going.

There are five sites in operation onsite at camp each week. Tonight I ate supper with Tipi site and enjoyed some Frito Pie made over the fire. Then I went to our Springs site and made a drum out of wood and packaging tape and joined a drumming session. Then I was asked to judge a sandcastle creation competition at Trailhead site (of course, everyone was a winner) and ended the evening at Ranch site watching tug-of-war and a funny lemonade relay game.

While eating supper, a camper asked me when my baby was due. I told her November and then a sweet boy in 4th grade came up to me and asked me,

"Do you know my sister, Casey?"
"Oh! Casey our wrangler?!! Sure I know her."
"No, she's not here."
"Oh, where is she?"
"Oh. Did she used to work here? Or how might I know her?"
"Well, she's 26 and she is going to have a baby in November and I thought maybe you'd just know her since you're both having babies then."

So funny. This boy is a new favorite of mine :)

The other favorite line of the evening was when the two minute warning was given at the sandcastle competition, the 2nd grade girl covered in sand and carved into a mermaid started screaming at her team, "You guys! Help me! My boobs are crumbling! You guys! I'm serious! Fix my boobs!"

Staff training is an intensive time of information and important material, but now it's just so fun to sit back and get to know the little lives we were preparing for all along.

just checking in...

Staff Training is full swing and I could not be happier. This staff is so fun. Each individual is making me so excited just to get to watch them and their gifts in action all summer long. This is a laughing staff, a thoughtful staff, a faithful staff and a bold staff. I've got a fun summer ahead of me.

I got to come home on Saturday for some time with Rory. We went out to a lake and I started a book and he finished one. Then we ran errands together and it made for a fun, normal day in the midst of a very, very full schedule each day at camp. We've got one more week ahead of us, but everyone is in good spirits and we're happily getting to know each other. Thanks for the prayers everybody!

and we're off...

Today I have 20 summer staff arriving for leadership training. Then on Wednesday, 50 more college age students will join them. All in all, we will share 12 intensive days together, building community, preparing for campers, readying our hearts for camper Bible study and all of the late night conversations and questions that so faithfully surface at camp. We will go over emergency procedures, songs, crafts, hiking trails, tips for cooking over a fire, game leadership and general tips on how to be a good counselor. We will talk about difficult campers, and how we lovingly discipline and remain in control of kids who might be a bit trickier to love for six days. We will plan skits and worships, devotions, storm procedures, improv games and walk through how to greet campers and their parents, assuring them that they have one jam-packed, super-fun week ahead. We will have swim tests, boating orientation, high ropes orientation and horse orientation. We will be very, very tired when it is all over.

I have been lining up all of our speakers and presenters, session topics and locations. And you know what? I'm feeling ready. Which is saying a whole lot. Because I am usually quite the worried and anxious woman. But it dawned on me today that this will be my fourth year leading a 12 day staff training. I led two years at Mount Carmel and this will be my second year at Carol Joy Holling.

Going through my "staff training" file, I found all sorts of agenda's, email copies and hand-written notes-to-self that say "remember for 2008..." And after going through that file, I just felt confident. It's amazing how after four years of something, you actually do start to get the hang of it! Surely there will be unexpected challenges and things that come up. But you can't prepare for all of that, except just in knowing, those challenges will come each year and I can deal.

So keep us in your prayers. I'm moving to camp on Wednesday and plan on considering this time as a 10-day trip for work. Rory will come and visit and I plan on getting away for an afternoon or two. But this way I have a bed at camp for napping and can be present for our 7:30am-10:00pm day of events.

a beautiful day at camp

After leading the adult retreat, I jumped right into more days of Adults with Special Needs. I had 26 people show up today, and we all got to take a hayrack ride, pontoon ride, go fishing and roast our hotdogs over the fire. We planted flowers and decorated flower pots for mothers day, made peanut butter pie, sang songs and shared in a Bible study. It was a busy, full day, and tomorrow I'll do it all again with another group of adults. The plan is to go to bed early tonight...

what a friend we have in Jesus

I just spent the past few days leading a retreat with this title for a great group of adults. We had a nice three days together, and shared many helpful and thoughtful conversations.

The focus of the retreat was on Psalms and Prayer. We learned a lot, and by the end of the retreat, I had them writing their own Psalm, based on the 23rd Psalm. We called them our Personal Psalm 23, taking each stanza and writing new words to correspond to our first line, "The Lord is my ______." We shared these Personal Psalms the last day, and there were lots of tears shed. It's amazing how powerful it is to recite the promises of God for our own individual circumstances.

I wrote one, and thought I'd share it with you.

My Personal Psalms 23:
The Lord is my baby's maker
He is the best creator, the king of all creation, and I have nothing to fear.

He knit me in my mother's womb
and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
With great care, he is knitting this baby just the same.

He is good to teach me so much during this expectant time
like how the fierce love that I feel towards this child
is the same fierce love he has for me.

Even though I've missed a day or two of taking my prenatal vitamin,
I will not live in fear.
This is your kid. You are the one who started its beating heart.

You have a purpose and a plan for this little life; a future and a hope.
Even though hard days will come, and mistakes will be made,
You promise to be there.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and the little life inside of me,
and we will worship and praise your name forever.


If you're looking for something new to try during your quiet time, give this a whirl. It's amazing how many promises we have stored in our hearts, and to write them out...applied to the worry or concern you are facing at this very moment is powerful and nurturing.

the heavens declare

I spent today and will spend tomorrow writing our summer Bible study curriculum. It is late in the game, but the curriculum arrived terribly late, was terribly disappointing and necessitated a rewrite. It's a really exciting project though...I love lesson planning, and I love using my imagination as I figure out how to best communicate the reality of our God and how knowing him changes everything in how we live our life in this world and the next.

The theme we chose is from 2nd Corinthians 5:17, focusing on the New Creation we are when we are in Christ Jesus. It's going to be good stuff and I'm so excited. The second day is all about God's creativity in creating the wonders that surround us and the scripture above gave me the chills as I worked it into the teaching lesson for each camper to hear all summer long.

I'd love for you to keep me in your prayers as I work on this project. I really pray that these days of writing can be Holy Spirit days, where I get to be a vessel, and God chooses the words and themes and focus points that he wants his campers to hear each day of the summer ahead.

PISH. en. ski.

That's how you say Pysanky, the art of Ukrainian Easter Egg Dying. I hosted 28 women here at camp on Friday night for an evening of candles, enya-type music, low lighting and calm conversation. It honestly was one of my favorite events I've led at camp because it was just so relaxed.

My friend Gina and I set up all afternoon so that when the women arrived they each had a place setting with instructions, bee's wax, a candle, two washed eggs and a kiska (the tool you use to apply the wax to your egg).
I had three stations for dying the eggs. And our host Grant (on staff here) made 33 wire egg dippers for me! He's a good guy. The colors of the egg dye are astounding. It's my favorite part of pysanky...the dye is so bright and saturated that the eggs turn brilliantly bright. It's what I always wanted my PAWS to do growing up...but those colors always ended up so muted unless you left your egg in there overnight....

The women all came with a close friend or sister or family member and it was so fun to watch close friends laugh and giggle as they tried something new. I love girlfriends like this.

I began our time together with a flipchart full of instructions. The very first thing listed was: Someones egg will break. It might be yours. It will be sad. And then I warned that these little eggs can become quite precious, but to please remember, it is just an egg.

Thankfully, we only had three eggs break, and they were all the practice eggs. Special thanks to Lisa Groves, my lovely sister-in-law, for sharing Pysanky with me three years ago. Who knew I'd become such an enthusiast?!! If you're interested in learning more, go to:

the snow has melted

...which means summer is really on its way. I know it's still a few months off, but when you work in camp ministry, there is a whole lot that needs to get done before summer can start and truth-be-told, I think I was finding a bit of comfort in the blanket of white that told me it's still the dead of winter.

But after a few sunny days and now a lot of rain, the stuff is almost gone and summer is definitely on its way. Deep breath.

Our summer staff applications are due next Friday, but we already have 75 applications in. This is really exciting and I am confident we will have a solid staff. I spent last week and much of this week interviewing each applicant over the phone and I am encouraged.

I ask each applicant to tell me about their family and faith-life growing up. And I ask them whose faith they look up to and how have they challenged how you live out your own faith.

I love these questions, because more often than not, I hear of faithful, loving families that have chosen to raise their child in the church. I hear about Grandma's who are always praying for their grandkids and how much of an impact their faithfulness has had on the faith development of the college student I am talking to. I hear about a parent who brought the kids to church every Sunday and Wednesday for 18 years while the other parent stayed at home.

I hear about faithful Sunday school teachers, pastors and youth directors. But more often than not, the person's faith they look up to is right within their own family.

In Deuteronomy chapter 6 we are commanded, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

I have left these conversations thankful that God sets us up in families and that these families are our primary mission field. I am left filled with hope after hearing these applicants tell their faith stories and so grateful for the generations before them who have remained faithful to the call of Christ in going therefore and passing on the faith to their kids and grandkids.


I always wanted to go into ministry of some sort. I remember telling people if I could find a job that combined kids, Jesus and the outdoors, then I would have found my perfect fit.

So camp ministry seemed like an easy choice. My favorite conversation is wondering 'how the faith is passed on.' Camp Ministry is this conversation lived out in real time between counselors and campers (and often visaversa!).

Lots of my gifts fit this job well. But there is one part of this job that I just haven't felt equipped for yet. Managment. Overseeing and managing 70 college students who have campers on five different site at Carol Joy Holling, not to mention the other two camps we run and the numerous day camp groups that all go just a lot to take on. I like to have a good feel for what is going on at each site, with each counselor, with each camper. But with this big of an operation, we have to rely on systems of communication, empowering and entrusting our site coordinators who head up each site. And make sure that our ten days of staff training paint a picture of the summer ahead that excites, motivates and raises responsible, creative counselors.

To say this overwhelms me, is a serious understatement.

So I've done some reading lately, trying to build my own knowledge and abilities for the job I feel called to do. I want to do it well.

The first book I read is called, "Leadership and Self Deception" a book published by the Arbinger Institute. It was a quick read, written in story form. I took a lot from this book and felt convicted many times. Central to the main theme of this book is how we assign blame to others when we feel (and know) we, ourselves, have fallen short. And how this human habit of casting the blame often leads to feeling like the victim and feeling like others around you are incompetent and lazy. All actions and motivations will stem from this attitude overtime, and we can either sit in our misery and frustration, or see our coworkers as human beings and decide to jump on board and help the cause of the organization. This is a complete general overview of the book, and honestly just one tinsy's more of a whole concept to take in.

The second book I read this week is called, "Tribes" by Seth Godin. I have followed Seth's blog for a year now, and this book was just as insightful and helpful as his daily blog posts. This book is a motivator, helping the reader see how they can be a leader no matter where they fall in the hierarchy of their workplace. And how creative change, new ideas and belief in a cause will always be more interesting to be a part of than the status quo. I got a collection of Seth's books from my coworker, Casey, and I have already cracked the next book in the stack. He's fun to read and gets lots of wheels turning in my head all at the same time

If you have any other helpful books on how to lead, how to organize a team of 70 college students, how to motivate and empower, please comment below. I'm wide open and ready to learn.

at a student union near you

In the next month I will visit ten different colleges to recruit my camp staff. Tuesday was my first day, and it was successful by all measures. I have the contact info for some really great potential staff, and I am excited.

But I work for that contact info. You can basically picture me standing in front of this table, saying on repeat, "Have you ever thought about working at a summer camp?" "Would you like to work at Bible Camp?" "Do you have a job this summer?" "Are you looking for a great summer gig?"

I say one of these phrases to each and every person who passes. Many pretend I am invisible. Others pretend they need to check something on their phone. Some smile kindly and still don't answer back. A few say they've got a job for the summer, or need to take classes or have an internship. But then, once in a while, in a long, long while, someone stops. They look at the board. They look at me. And then they light up. "Yeah, I have thought about it before. Where is this camp?"

And then I begin phase two: my smooth pitch. I probably said it 20 times today. And I ended up with 12 names and emails and phone numbers. Next, I will email these 12 with personal follow ups. And after ten college student unions, I should have accumulated 120 names and emails in an effort to find the 40 Summer Staff I am still looking for (We already have 30!)

So look for me. I'm the lady being ignored all day at your local college. :)

Truth is, I love this part of my job. I love that I get to be a part of God's work, calling this staff together. I also love that my skinny jeans tucked into my boots were right in style with the female college clones who all dress alike. At least I know I'm keeping up with the times.

recruiting for summer staff

I am out and about the next few weeks recruiting my camp counselors in student unions across Nebraska, looking for some faithful college students who love kids, love the Lord and love the outdoors. If you know anyone who would fit this role, send them my way. Carol Joy Holling is one exceptional camp and I have one sweet job, getting to guide 70 creative souls all summer long...

Also, if you know of any potential campers, we have camps for 1st-12th graders and family camps. All the info is up now at And if you go to this site, you may just find a video of me in perfect Camp Skit form. All I can say is that it was fun to make, and seemed funny at the time...

And here's a link to the video of our summer staff from 2009. It's nine minutes, and I think it gets the most fun toward minute three, so let it buffer and fly to minute three for the music video part. I hadn't seen this video since the last day of camp, and it was SO GREAT to watch it today, remembering the incredible work we do during the summer at Carol Joy Holling and getting fired up for another summer ahead. I'm so excited to see who God will call to serve on our 2010 Summer Staff and the lives that are transformed because that's just what God does at camp.

Christmas Craft Night

We had a fantastic turn out for our first Christmas Craft Night on Friday night. The hope of this evening was for women to come and make classy gifts to give to teachers, babysitters or coworkers. We had 30 ladies come, and had a really great time. I had the room set up with six different stations and the ladies moved around the room as they pleased. We had great food, great childcare and Bing Crosby singing us into the season.

Our craft stations included: Christmas Cocoa cones, Fabric covered magnets and tacks, Scrabble Tile Necklaces, Gift Tags and pretty gift wrapping, and Bath bomb cupcakes. Click on any of those titles for the link to the tutorials, where I found all of these fabulous ideas!

I hired a few camp counselors and co-worker's kids to be our babysitters for the evening. They were awesome. When I went to check on them I found the crew having a snack in their fort. Love that.

The evening was not without a few glitches, however. I was in charge of welcoming ladies, helping with the bath bombs and helping with the cupcake frosting. And honestly, I probably should have delegated the frosting or bath bombs. One batch of frosting was so thin it ran off the cupcakes entirely. Another batch of frosting misfired, when all of their ingredients were added together at the same time. Turns out, this is how you make marzipan! The putty was incredible and we actually played with it for a while because it was just that cool. At that point, I realized I needed to hang out at the frosting table and made sure everything was put in exactly as the directions specified. And then it turned out great every time.

Pretty Gift Wrapping

I enjoyed another day of Women's Christmas Craft night preparation and today I worked on making demonstration pieces for the gift wrapping station. I found this pattern for a paper iris on this site. Pretty easy to make, and lovely on the present.

Fizzy Bath Bombs

A while back I found this awesome tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets. I love this blog...three crafty friends who do cool things together. How fun is that?!! The site is full of inspiring and thoughtful projects to tackle and I have many bookmarked that I want to try. So, anyway, I found this tutorial, and later my co-worker, Casey, and I decided to host a Women's Christmas Craft night at Carol Joy Holling. The hope was to get a bunch of crafty-types in a room for a night of food, creating and childcare done by camp counselors. Genius. So this Friday night we have 20 women coming to make three different projects, one of which is the Fizzy Bath Bomb. Today I did a trial run of this project and basically decided that I have the best job in the world.

First I gathered all of the supplies. This was the hardest part of the entire process. I had to track down five cups of citric acid. And figure out what witch hazel was (it's not a vitamin, so don't waste your time looking in the vitamin section in countless stores across omaha...just head over to your local walgreens and go to their face wash section. who knew?!! not me, obviously.) But once I gathered all of the ingredients it was a pretty simple process. I told Rory that by the time the ladies actually come and do the crafts, it will only take them 10 minutes because the prep work has already been done for hours, and if I were really honest, days. It reminds me of watching someone on a cooking show and they say, "simply toss your chopped vegetables in the pan" and you think to yourself, 'well who chopped those vegetables?!! All recipes would be easy and simple if your ingredients were premeasured and ready to dump into your pot!' Basically, this is what I have done for craft night.
So from there it was a pretty straight forward process...mixed the dry ingredients first and then added the oil and coloring. Apparently the citric acid and baking soda are the two things that really make these babies fizz. Again, if you want the actual instructions with step-by-step pictures, click here for great easy to follow directions from Little Birdie Secrets.
Adding the witch hazel was maybe the trickiest part, but it would be hard to screw this up, so I use the word tricky quite loosely. The key is that you don't want to ever saturate your dry ingredients or it will activate the fizz prematurely. So you spray on the witch hazel until the mixture clumps easily in your hand.

Then I packed the mixture into the cupcake cups seen below. The stuff hardens really fast, so I filled them fast. I plan on making mostly cupcakes, but wanted to try the actual "bomb" like you would purchase at LUSH.

For the cupcakes, I made a lotion frosting to go on top. It actually is a pound of powdered sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar. I was sort of weirded out about bathing in powdered sugar until I realized that lots of people use sugar scrubs, so it can't be that horrible for you.

It stiffened up really quickly, so we filled the icing bag fast and decorated our fizzy bath cupcakes. This is my friend, Gina, who showed serious skill in her use of the piping bag. Very impressive, Gina.

They hardened up within two hours. Hard as rocks, actually. I was still curious how they would react in the water, unsure if I had done everything exactly right. So we tested one. I can't explain how thrilled and relieved I was that it worked, because I have been promoting this entire event based on these things, raving about how cool they are when they fizz up, while thinking, "Lord, please let them fizz up!" Not only did it work...but it fizzed like a hottub jet shooting up out of the water. Well, I mean, like the little spits of water that shoot up from a hottub jet. Not really like a gushing fountain. I'm just trying to say the fizz was impressive!

We wrapped them up and are all set for Friday night. If you're in the Omaha area and want to come, drop me a line. We'd love to have you!