Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Camp Experience

...lead to a whole lot of sunburn!

And also a lot of fun.  Camp was very enjoyable, besides the HUMONGOUS hills, and terrible shower conditions.  I did end up in the same room with my two friends, (Ruby and Abigail) who came along with me, but not in all the same classes.  I got two of the classes I wanted, STOMP and Gardening.  But sadly, I didn't get the High Ropes Course, and neither did Ruby or Abigail.  The last class I got was Outdoor Living Skills, which was great, but it was still upsetting that I didn't get the High Ropes Course. 

To help you understand my camp experience, I'll show you my schedule.

7:00 - 7:30  Rise and Shine/Clean Rooms
7:45 - 8:30  Breakfast
8:30 - 8:45  Flag Raising/Announcements
9:00 - 9:45  Class 1 (STOMP)
10:00 - 10:45  Class 2 (Gardening)
11:00 - 11:45  Class 3 (Outdoor Living Skills)
12:00 - 12:45  Lunch
12:45 - 1:15  Fun Time
1:30- 2:00  Pack Meeting
2:15 - 3:00  Rest Time
3:00  Meet at Fairfax Shelter
3:15 - 5:15  Recreation/Swim
5:30 - 5:45  Change for Dinner
5:45 - 6:00  Flag Lowering
6:00 - 7:00  Dinner
7:00 - 8:45  Evening Activity/Snack
8:45 - 9:45  Campfire
10:00  Dorm Meeting
10:30 - 11:00  Prepare for bed
11:00  Lights Out!

As you can see, the days were PACKED.  We were always doing something.  

About the 7:00 Rise and Shine.  The first night, my friends and I all headed to the showers so we wouldn't need to take a shower in the morning.  It turns out that we were all sleeping in a lodge with about 50 or so other girls.  And we only had 8 showers.  That means there was always a HUGE line to get into the bathroom.  So we ran in real fast and grabbed a shower before it was taken.  And that was one of the worst experiences I had all week.  The showers were tiny, and they were all crammed together real close.  Second, the shower curtains did not reach all the way across the entryway, so you were always worried that someone would catch a peek of nude flesh.  Third, there was nowhere to hang your clothes and towel.  The only thing they had in between the 4 showers was a cheap plastic table to put your stuff on.  It was enough room for one person, but not enough for four.  Therefore, there was a lot of pushing and shoving, and when your shower was over, you would find your clothes lying on the ground next to the table, soaking wet.  And last but not least, there was a whole line of girls shouting at you to hurry up the whole time you're in there.  So my first night was horrible.  To avoid that problem, the next day I set my alarm clock for 5:30 in the morning, hoping that no one would be up that early; so we could actually get some privacy. The next morning, Abigail, Ruby and I all snuck out of our room and took a shower real quick.  And that worked!  So for the rest of the week we did the same thing, which REALLY annoyed the rest of our roommates. 

Our classes took up the whole morning, but I got some good ones.  The STOMP class was pretty good.  We ended up with an okay rhythm in the end to perform in front of the camp, but the other classes were MUCH better.  Ours was just music, but some of the other classes made skits, and stuff like that.
Gardening was awesome!  I learned a lot, and got to see a couple Garter snakes.  We helped to weed, plant, and harvest the small garden, then started to build a separate garden next to it.  There was a lot of variety in the small garden.  I got to try black pepper for the first time, and had some yummy tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, and squash.  The only problem I had with the Gardening class was the walk there.  The classes were very spread out over the whole campus, and let me tell you, this was a PRETTY BIG campus.  The STOMP class was not very far from my lodge, and it was even closer from breakfast, so I didn't have to walk very far.  But Gardening was ALL the way back to the entrance, which was a VERY long walk.  I was so glad they gave us fifteen minutes in between classes, because I needed every extra minute.  But the walk back was even worse.  To get to Outdoor Living Skills, I had to walk up a HUGE hill.  I was literally PANTING by the time I got up that hill.  To help you imagine this hill, I'll share with you that when mom was driving up the hill on the last day to pick us up, she said even the car was having trouble climbing that hill.
And last but not least, OLS.  This class was very interesting.  I learned a lot about what to do when lost in the forest.  The one tip that I will always remember is to always have an emergency stash of chocolate with you. :) Apparently it does some scientific thing in your body that helps you to keep a Positive Mental Attitude.

After all the classes were done, we had lunch.  I'd always heard that camp food tasted horrible, but I thought everyone was just exaggerating.  They weren't.  For dinner on the first night, they had chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes.  I didn't really think they could mess up chicken nuggets, so I grabbed one and took a big bite.  It was still frozen in the middle!  (Okay, now I'm exaggerating.  It wasn't actually FROZEN, it was just cold.  But still.)  But breakfast was always the worst.  The second day we had cold french toast sticks and bacon.  At least they didn't mess up the bacon!  And one day we got sausages for breakfast.  I like sausage, and always will.  Just not THOSE sausages.  I can't even describe how bad they were.  They didn't even stay in one piece.  They kind of crumbled apart when you picked them up.  But there was one good lunch.  We had chicken burritos with some spiced potatoes.  The chicken was wonderfully marinated, and the potatoes were AMAZING.  That was a good day.  But other than that, the food was awful.

You wanna know what "Fun Time" was, don't you?  Not fun, that's what it was.  Basically it was like a health class.  They made us do all these stupid games having to do with eating healthy.  I kind of just stayed out of the way the whole time...

Then there was the pack meetings.  Each person was assigned a pack, and during the evening activities you would all travel together.  Ruby and Abigail got assigned to the Eagle pack, while I was stuck in the Bobcats.  So I didn't see much of them during the evening.  The pack meetings were just basically a time to make a song to present at the campfire that night, or something like that.  I didn't know anyone in my pack, and I worked hard trying to make friends.  I failed.  So the pack meetings were okay, I just wish I knew more people.

Rec was probably my favorite activity at camp.  There you could do anything.  Play sports, make crafts, talk, etc.  I used my time learning to make friendship bracelets.  I made two in total, but have been also working on them at home and in the car now.  There were lots of beads and string, so I even got time to decorate my name tag.  Swim was, well, you know, swimming.  We had an hour to swim at the pool, and I passed the test the first day, but never actually swam the rest of the week.  We didn't have a lot of time after swimming to change before dinner, so I couldn't take a shower.  Therefore my hair would be all tangled.  So I skipped the swimming and sat on the benches and worked on my bracelets.

The Evening Activities were something we did with our packs.  Sunday night was the Amazing Race where we had to use clues to find certain checkpoints.  Monday was the carnival where we played games the counselors made up and earned points for our Packs, and tried to see which pack would have the most points at the end.  Tuesday was the Pool Party/Land Olympics where we hung out at the pool and played some weird games.  And Wednesday was the Dance/Movie Night.  Ruby and I went to the dance where we sang along to Justin Bieber and the Black Eyed Peas.  There was a disco ball and everything.  That was probably the most fun activity.

At the campfire, everyone sat on the wooden bleachers and held a meeting around the campfire.  (The fun kind of meeting.)  There were skits the packs led, which were basically meant to tease the other packs, and we sang songs.  

And that was the end of our day!  We were all really tired by the end, so the 11 o' clock bedtime was no problem for me.  All in all, camp was great, and I'm really glad I went.