After our camp tour the kids played on the beach and in the water for over four hours on that warm and welcoming Saturday afternoon! Of course by the end of the four hours the energy level was definitely flagging. In fact my son napped for an hour on the beach wrapped in a towel. The great thing about playing in the water is you are guaranteed the kids will totally sack out at night and they will go early! Mum’s happy! 🙂
The kids were using little shovels burying their feet in sand when the bell rang out. We could hear it loud and clear. Three rings, three times in a row. Just like Caroline had told us. It was dinner time. We quickly scrambled to put away the shovels, dusted as much sand off as we could, pulled our shorts and T shirts over our (mostly) dried bathing suits, rammed our damp, sandy feet into our sandals and hurried up the hill towards the dining hall. I noticed that the kids left a trail of sand behind them as they went. I had no idea how much those little bathing suits could hold until we changed into PJ’s later and saw the pile that emerged! They would need to bring in another truck load of sand sooner than they had planned if we kept this up!
We arrived in the dining hall to a group of about twelve people standing around two of the wooden tables set for dinner with melmac plates, bowls and coffee cups. The group was mostly teenagers, and a couple of adults, one of which was Fr. Brian whom we had already met and who came over to greet us. The other adult was Bill, the camp director. We were warmly welcomed by all to the table. I noticed Caroline, Shawn, and Will were there too. Each of the counselors introduced themselves. Some of them went by their last names, and some had goofy names too like Mud and Chubby (he was not). I noticed the ‘sleeping counselor’ from our tour stood amongst the group, resplendent with some pretty sweet bed-head too.
We sang a grace before we sat down to a fantastic dinner. I mean, who knew? We had sesame chicken teriyaki on a skewer for Pete’s sake! Garlic mashed potatoes and a Caesar salad for sides! For desert we had ice cream! Wow! I didn’t eat this well in my dorm at university! And needless to say, having three little kids, I didn’t eat like this at home either! Camp? This was a camp? I had not expected this, that is for sure. Bill cautioned me, however, to keep my standards low, that this food was a little bit better than the regular fare since it was such a small group. I nodded, preparing myself for the worst.
The only thing that was not great was the Kool aid. It was seriously watered down. I was not even sure what flavor it was supposed to be but it was pink so I figured strawberry? Or cherry? The girls shook their heads and stuck out their tongues when they took a sip. Turns out it took about six years before we ever noted an improvement in what the campers called the ‘Kool aid of indeterminate flavor’ when Father broke down and begged the kitchen staff to forget about saving money and just add more juice crystals ‘for the love of all that was holy’. Yah. It was that bad.
I got the oppotunity to chat with Bill during dinner. In his mid thirties, Bill was a counselor at camp years ago. He finished university, went to teachers college and became a high school English teacher. Now he was back as the director. This was his third year at it. It sounded like a great summer job for teachers, although Bill admitted that it was hard staying at camp all summer. His family stayed most of the summer in the camp director’s house on the far eastern portion of the property. His wife, Barb, assisted with directing the Arts ‘n crafts program. This weekend though, Barb and their two children had gone to their home in the city for a bit of a break, but would return in a couple of days.
After dinner Bill introduced me to the two counselors responsible for ‘child care’ during the session. Anita was a tall slim seventeen year old sporting a bandana that attempted to hold back her wild curly brown hair, a wife beater t-shirt that had seen better days, droopy yellow men’s boxer shorts and black high top shoes. Sammy was the ‘sleepy counselor’ as it turned out. She was also seventeen, and was a tiny blonde. Aside from her bed-head she sported the baggy t-shirt and the pajama bottoms that she was wearing in bed along with Birkenstock sandals. I was judging again…you know it! But, the kids of course could not have cared less. As soon as the two girls knelt down to introduce themselves the kids were like moths to a flame. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship, I could tell!
“We would be happy to take the kids for an hour now if you like. That way you can have some time to check out the Nursing Station.” Anita offered. By this time my son was climbing onto her back and the girls were jumping up and down and pulling on Sammy’s arms.
“Deal!” I said punctuating it with a nod.
Sweet. I could finally have some time to familiarize myself with the layout. I was pretty anxious to see what kind of supplies they had in the Nursing Station. I got the key from Bill. It was on a lanyard that I tossed over my head. Now I could get to work!