Girls Camp Miracle
by Marlene Ellingson
It was the first night of Girls’ Camp at Taylor Ranch, Pinedale AZ and all was going great! It was a wonderful theme this year, “Be Loyal to the Royal within You” and I was excited to be there, with four darling 1st year girls, and Emily as their YCL! But when the sun went down, it got cold! I was planning to try out Dad’s idea of filling a water bottle with hot water, to put at the foot of my sleeping bag and warm my feet through the night.
I went to the tea kettle, delighted that water had been heating for hot chocolate. I reached out to grab the handle, not realizing that the handle had fallen down to the flame on the gas burner, and Sister Loar, our camp cook, had just pulled it back up with leather gloves, which had been burned from so doing. Several around me heard the sizzle of my flesh burning. I cradled my hand and went to find ice that I covered in paper towel and pressed over my burnt fingers, then went to find the camp nurses.
It took me a minute to find them, then opened my hand to show them. There were two rows of thin blisters down every finger of my right hand. The nurses, Sister Haws and Sister Whyte had me remove my “princess ring,” telling me to expect quite a bit of swelling. They talked to me about the pain and gave me an ibuprofen for it. Then, they suggested a priesthood blessing. It was quite late and most everyone was asleep. I had been looking for vinegar, as it had eased the pain of a burn before, but no kitchen at camp would have that. However, Young Women President Carol Stahle found someone who had a key to the Taylor’s home where we could search for some.
We drove over to where the men were camped, and Sister Stahle woke them up. Brother Gray of the High Council and Brother Gardner didn’t know me, but were totally willing to get up and give me a Priesthood blessing, with the consecrated oil. In it, I was told that my hand would heal.
Then we went to the house nearby, searching for vinegar. My thumb felt like it was still burning, and I realized I had not been cooling it along with the fingers. One of the nurses, Sister Nancy Whyte, remembered an old-time remedy that her mother had used on her, that took away the pain of her burn. It was baking soda, and we found some in one of the cupboards. So she made a paste of baking soda and water in a little paper cup and painted it on each of my fingers. So I closed my hand over the paste and we made our way home.
Everyone in our camp was already asleep, oblivious to what had happened to me. It was a little comical trying to go to bed with one hand. I couldn’t really change, nor put on new socks (as my pack was in a different tent). Nor could I really even brush my teeth, and it took a long time to even take off my shoes, so I lay down to sleep as I was. I prayed to thank the Lord for the Blessing and the Help and the freedom from pain at present. I told Him that I so wanted to be able to do my camp duties as Tent Mom, and do the whole experience with my 1st “Years, and to please bless me to be able to.
Though I woke up during the night with the cold, I did not wake up to pain! And when it was light enough to see, I opened my hand to look. There before me was a normal hand with absolutely no blisters! “I have had a miracle!” I exclaimed to myself, totally in awe and gratitude.