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Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Camp Moment

The other day a co-worker placed on the inter-office classifieds, "Canoe Lessons". She's headed up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) next weekend and had never paddled a canoe. She felt it was time to get some lessons.

I had to share with her the Great Staff Bonding Experience of 1994. But told her that I'd be happy to show her how to canoe.

I mean, as a camp person it's my duty.

That, and showing how to roast the perfect marshmallow.

We met at Lake Calhoun today (she had a 1/2 day off, I had the whole day off) and I showed her how to paddle a canoe.

We went over hand positions. We went over J strokes. C strokes. And how to bring your canoe to a dead stop. She also asked, "So, what if I tip. Then what?"

I have to say, I was mighty impressed that my canoe skills were still in check.

As we were leaving, my co-worker so kindly paid for the canoe rental (and lunch! Thanks again!!), and as she was taking care of the bill, I hear 3 girls talking about wanting to rent a canoe. It went like this:

Girl 1: Let's ask if you need parents
Girl 2: No, let's ask how old you have to be to rent a boat
Girl 3: No, let's just say, "I want to rent a boat."

I turned around and said "She's right" (pointing to girl #3). "Don't give them any indication that you're young. Just pretend like you're old enough."

SIDE NOTE: I realize that there are age limits for a reason. But let's face it. The girls are in life vests, and in water that would probably only be chest deep. So, please do not leave me a comment telling me that I'm a bad adult for suggesting the the girls not disclose their ages. I am not their parents. That is a job for their parents, not me. And if the people in the canoe rental hut had any sort of sense, they would clearly see that these girls were no more than 12.

Back to the story...

Girl #3 says, "See! Told ya!" Then she points at my t-shirt, "Hey! She goes to your camp!"

I looked down and realized that I was wearing a Camp Lincoln & Camp Lake Hubert Alumni shirt. I look at Girl #1 and said, "You went to CLH?" She said, "YEAH!!!" with a big, wide smile.

So, right there, in the middle of the Lake Calhoun beach, I talked to a girl who went to camp this summer for 4 weeks and lived in Fawns. When I told her that in 1996 I was a counselor in Fawns she said, wide eyed, "really?!?!"

Either she was really excited that I was in Fawns or that she can't believe that someone as old as me was young enough to be a counselor in 1996.

I'll go with the fact that she was excited about the Fawns common thread.

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