So we were supposed to get there between 5 & 8pm on Friday. I figured that since we live a bit over an hour away, we would leave the house at 5, grab dinner about halfway there and then drive the rest of the way. However, DH reminded me of how terrible traffic heading that direction is at 5pm and suggested that we eat dinner at home instead. This seemed like a very good idea as we could have dinner with DH before we go. But alas DH worked late on Friday and we had dinner alone...but at least it was at home and it did save us from the terrible traffic.
We arrived at camp a bit after 7pm and found that instead of checking in at the Program Center that we needed to go to the dining hall (the staff was at dinner!) LOL! So we go up there and get our room assignment. No work for Friday, just get ourselves situated. We should start a fire because they were bringing us supplies to make Banana boats in a while. (Banana boats = split a banana with the peel still on, stuff it with marshmallows & chocolate chips, wrap it in foil and roast it in the coals of the fire until all mushy.) I learned that I'm not a fan of hot bananas! So I tossed it and had marshmallows & chocolate chips. YUM!
Sleeping the first night was AWFUL!!! Our beds were 3 inch mattresses on press wood platforms. UGH! My hips kept sinking down to the wood and then these things were the noisiest things on earth...every time that Darly moved it made noise and the same for me. I think when I finally did get to sleep, I either had to get up to go to the bathroom or our cabin mates had woken up at 5:30 and weren't very good at staying quiet at all.
So we were up bright and early on Saturday morning...breakfast wasn't until 8:30. No coffee for 2 hours after waking up! I wasn't a happy girl! But we were finally able to get breakfast and COFFEE!!! For breakfast we were treated to french toast & bacon. Yogurt, oatmeal & cereal were also available. Now feeling human we learned our work assignments.
Because Darly is older (there were A LOT of young kids there!) we were put on the tent setting up crew. The camp has platform tents. The platform looks a bit like a wooden deck with the tent itself strapped to the railing. Steps for putting up a platform tent:
sweep off all pine needles, sticks and other debrismove cot frames off the platforms
get the cot frames legs upright (they're folded down for winter...some rusted stuck!)
get mattresses out of shed & to the tents
set up tent
move cot frames into the set up tent
move mattresses onto the cot frames
clean the mattresses (note the mattresses are covered in vinyl so we just sprayed them with bleach water and wiped them down)
Other jobs in the camp site were:
clean the Biffys (Biffy = Bathroom in forest for you. aka: Outhouse)
clean the hand washing troff
clean the field kitchen
There were a lot of folks to help with all the jobs and at the first campsite it took a bit of time to figure out who should do what job and learn the job in some cases. But by the time we got to the second camp site we had it all down! the highlighted jobs are ones that Darly & I did.
At the second campsite the tents were going up quickly and Darly & I were the cot moving crew! We had two other folks helping us but we had it down to a science now. However once we got started on our 4th tent our crew suffered a major set back. A very strong gust of wind blew down tent #3! The tent knocked over two of the cots as well!
So the folks who were actually setting up the tents rushed over after finishing the tent they were working on. We weren't going to get much done until tent #3 could be fixed, so the rest of us headed to the dining hall for lunch. Of course we didn't actually get to eat lunch until the rest of our crew got there, so we just sat for a bit...but that was okay as we were able to refill our water bottles and try to drink as much water as we could. I think that I consumed an entire pitcher.
After lunch (baked potato "bar" chili or broccoli and salad bar) it was decided that part of our crew would return to finish the last few tents and that the rest of us would go to the game field to get it set up. Once at the game field we learned that there really wasn't a lot to do. We were supposed to set up the archery range...but the wind blew the targets over and we had no idea how to set up the red zone boundaries. We were supposed to organize the supply closet, but it was already organized. We did put air in all the balls with the two air pumps. Imagine if you will, 5 children + 2 air pumps. That was fun!
Once we had that all sorted out we were "free" for the afternoon! Darly wanted to go to the barn to see the animals. When we got there we were able to help collect the chicken eggs (note: we collected about 16 eggs that they are not allowed to feed to campers or guests. Only staff is allowed to eat the eggs produced at the camp. Campers can only have store bought eggs. How dumb is that?) We were greeted by Oreo, a mini-horse that likes to nibble on fingers. We chose to not feed him our fingers. We also found that the barn had some more work that we could do. I helped unpack and label brand new riding helmets. We were then invited to go horseback riding.
My horse Harvey was new to camp this year. The camp leases the horses so that they only have to take care of them during the camping season. They normally get back the same horses, but this year the camp will be offering horseback riding for the first time in 30 years, so more horses were needed. Some horses are trained to follow voice commands, others are reign trained. It seems that Harvey was used to being led around as he didn't listen to me at all and just followed our guide.
Darly got to ride on Denver who was also new to camp. He was better trained and Darly got to take him around the ring herself. I could be in trouble for more horse riding lessons.
Now that we were thoroughly grubby, it was time for dinner. For dinner we had a kind of "mexican" seasoned beef with rice, beans, tortillas & corn chips. They also had the salad bar out where we learned they had salsa, cheese & guacamole. At our table for dinner most of the folks were vegetarians so there was a lot of the meat left over that was heading for the trash can. I requested to take it home and it is going to be our dinner tonight.
After dinner we had a camp fire with skits & smores. I had the thought that Darly & I should head back to our lodge and grab our showers early, but we stayed for the show. Showering wasn't too bad and it was nice to finally get all that dirt off of us. I felt as if that was the dirtiest I had ever been in my life...although I'm sure now that I've been worse.
This morning all that was left to do was clean the lodges that we stayed in and with 13 of us that went very quickly. It could have gone much faster if we had a real vacuum instead of a shop vac...I may have to donate one to them.
We had a yummy breakfast of eggs, sausage, hashbrowns & biscuits. I had two cups of coffee! Then we made our way home.
Laundry can wait...I may take a nap.