Let's Connect!

 photo 321404b9-d968-4cf4-ba37-daffc976f38f.png  photo LeelouBlogsfreeiconspinterest-1.png  photo LeelouBlogsfreeiconsInstagram-1.png

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I heart Camp...

So, I'm reading a little BooMama and she was talking about her mission trip to Africa. She's on a bloggy break and is reposting some "greatest hits" of her blog. Check it out here.

That got me to thinking about working at camp. Every year, around this time, is when camp would be coming to a close for the summer. The last of the kids left the day before. The staff had a night out--doing things that I probably shouldn't mention on the family friendly bloggy--and are now packing up their cars and heading out of town back to civilization.

You'll probably see clouds of dust following 25 cars going 85 miles an hour down Camp Lincoln Road in about 3 hours as camp is coming to a close.

Anyway, I love camp and more than ever I love stories about camp. Any time camp people get together, they try to out-do each other with tales of campers going crazy, staff who didn't pull their weight and how often they did a kitchen raid.

By the way, I've only done a kitchen raid once.

OK, maybe 6 times. In one 4 week session back in 1998.

Don't tell Bill Jones.

With camp, there are always fun stories. Here are some of my favorites:

Singing Hills Girl Scout Camp, Waterville, MN
  • Ness broke her leg: OK. Not really. My friend Dynessa and I worked at camp together and we played a trick on the camp director. In fact, we played tricks on her all summer. The best was when we made a fake cast and pretended that on the weekend off, Ness broke her leg and that she couldn't cover the waterfront (she was head lifeguard). This is what happens when the staff are given keys to every cabinet, door, room and shed on camp. We raided the craft supplies, made a cast and pulled a good one over the director. At dinner, Ness cut the cast off, walked in the dining hall and it took the director a while to realize that Ness was actually walking.
  • Staff Training Canoe Trip of 1994: This trip was the worst 3 days of my life. Not only did the new camp director feel that this was the best way to teach a new staff how to canoe, build a fire, use a compass, and so on....it was also 3 days of sheer hell. You know it's bad there are white caps on the river and your canoeing into the wind. We set up tents at the first camp and our camp director excluded herself from the group (bad sign). The rest of us piled into an 8 man tent (there was probably 15 of us in there) and bonded. We woke up the next morning and my best friend said, "The man I marry better love me for who I am because he has to wake up to this every morning" while pointing to her wild hair and no makeup. This is also the same trip that my best friend never got her shoes wet. She claims experience (after all, she was a Gold Award Winner). I claim shenanigans.

Camp Lincoln & Camp Lake Hubert, Lake Hubert MN

  • P & C: So, Camp Lincoln & Camp Lake Hubert (CL/CLH) have P&C (pop & candy). The kids get to go 2-3 times a week and have a small glass of pop and 1 candy bar on each visit. The kids have a pre-paid store account and it comes out of there. Staff, are on the honor system and can go to P&C any time they like. Wendy Legg & I taught target sports. Wendy taught riflery and I taught archery. We went to P&C probably 5 times a week. By our names, we noticed someone wrote "Holy P&C Batman!" Wendy's reply "If you worked with children carrying guns and bows, you'd go to P&C too!!" I triple love Wendy. I still talk to her to this day. She was the first person at CLH to talk to me and make me feel a part of the group.
  • My First Sailing Experience: Sailing at CL and CLH is a big deal. So, when our cabin got to go sailing for an evening activity, I was so excited. I'd never been! That evening, a little girl by the name of Rosie was earning her Skipper Award in sailing (THE sailing award) and she was "captain" of our boat. She looked at me and said, "Kelley, you have a very important job. If the boat tips, you need to take the mast of the boat and slip it between yourself and your life jacket. OK?" I looked at her and said, "Ummm...what?" She said, "Yeah, we need to make sure that the boat doesn't turtle. Bill Jones gets mad if the boat turtles." I said, "Um...turtle?" (remember, I taught archery). Rosie says "Yeah, that's when the boat is completely upside down. But don't worry. We don't tip too often." And thankfully we didn't. But boy, I was nervous.
  • 300 Plastic Drink Cups = 1 Awesome Practical Joke: Yes. I broke the rules. Practical Jokes are against the rules. But this guy had it coming. Paul was the program director at CL and he thought he was such a good joker. So, I challenged him. He was all talk, no action. I sealed the deal when I took 300 plastic Dixie sized cups and lined them up in neat little rows on the floor of his cabin. I then filled them with water. I did it on his day off. He came back to camp, opened his cabin door to make his way to the bathroom and was stopped dead in his tracks. He could only grab 2-3 cups at a time to dump out the water to make a path to the bathroom. Needless to say the next morning, there was a note on my desk that said, "you win". Ha!
  • Mice. In my cabin. Yuck: Well, the cabins sit empty all fall, winter and spring. So, it is not uncommon that a cabin gets a mouse (or 5 or 100). I moved into my cabin when I started at camp full time in 2002. First thing I notice? Dead mouse in the trash can. Great! One night, I'm in the cabin, eating a little snack, and I notice a mouse pop his head out from under the recliner. I froze. I couldn't move!! My roommate, Kerry, comes home. I tell her what I found. She's very positive and talks about setting traps. I wasn't buying it. So, Kerry went off to find someone. Who does she bring. Paul (yes, the same guy from the plastic cups). He was bound and determined to get that mouse. Hearing the drama in our cabin, another camp person, Ian (also known as Silk), came by to help. So now, imagine a cabin with two grown men. Both British. Both determined to get this mouse. They tried catching it with their hands. They tried to put a box on top of it. Nothing was working. Paul grabbed a broom and was going to get that little mouse. Not to be outdone, Ian grabbed......a flyswatter. In case you're wondering, the mouse was not caught. It went out the hole it came in. The next day, the maintenance guys sealed up the hole.

The best part about working at camp is hands down the friendships. I have so many wonderful friends all over the world. I wouldn't have traded one minute of camp for any other job. Yeah, camp doesn't pay all that well--so kids who need to make money over the summer don't usually pick working at camp. But to me, that didn't matter. I have friends across the USA, in England, Australia, New Zealand, and many other places.

At camp we have a saying: CFAB (pronounced "see-fab"). It stands for Camp Friends Are Best. And really, they are.

No comments: