Hats and hygiene. Nightmares too.

I woke on Wednesday morning before the morning bell had rung. These bunk bed mattresses were pretty good but not quite the thick mattress we had a home. There was only so much my back and hips could take before they revolted and woke me up. I was the only one stirring on the third floor, so I padded quietly down the hall to the shower.

There were only two showers in the main house. One on the second floor and one on the third floor. The first floor has a set of four showers that are meant only for the campers to use once a week. Yes. Once a week. I know, I know. Shhhh. It’s OK. It’s OK. Take a deep breath. It freaked me out too when I first heard that, but when you consider that these kids (and the counselors for that matter) were in and out of the water at least two times a day and maybe up to six times a day you realize they probably didn’t need to shower daily like us city slickers felt the need to do. In and out of the water. In and out. It really did keep the stink down! 

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And who really cared what your hair looked like at camp? If it was bad, there is always a hat to wear. And it didn’t matter what kinda hat. It could be a baseball hat, a bandana, a woolen hat or even if it looked like something a sherpa would wear. Hats were cool at camp. 

The lax in standards of hygiene was kinda freeing actually. Think about it. Eighty boys. There were no girls at camp (save the female counselors who were older and out of their league) so there was no one to try to look good for or smell good for (although admittedly slappin’ on a quick layer of Old Spice never hurt nobody!). Not that most of the boys really even cared. Of course, it didn’t necessarily work the same way for the girls session I found out. Especially when some of the male counselors resembled members of the ever so popular Backstreet Boys! Swoon!

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After having said all that, I, personally, still preferred to shower daily. I still liked to scrub my scalp daily and lather up with my Lever 2000! I intially thought that there would be a mad line up to use the showers every morning, but soon I came to realize, it was really not an issue at camp. The counselors would much prefer sleeping in then showering. They might use their hour off to shower but most likely not…cuz they usually napped during that time too. It was all about priorities. For as much as I could tell, besides myself on the second floor and Father Brian on the third floor, there were no other morning ‘showerers’ (I just made up that word!).

My son had slept so soundly that my moving about in the room or even the bright sunlight did not waken him. Instead….he was shocked awake by the blaring music of Radio Acorn. Today it was “Back in Black” by AC/DC. He sat bolt upright in a total panic. Great way to start the day with your heart racing and adrenaline pumping! I was not sure he would ever get used to the musical wake up call!

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I got the kids moving. I wanted to avoid the morning wake up crew. I caught a glimpse of them as I came back from brushing my teeth. The crew consisted Lydia and Rob dressed in prom dresses (yes, indeed, there was a lot of ‘drag’ going on at camp, and everyone was pretty cool with it) with Lydia holding what I can only describe as a large stuffed toy animal cat head with a petrified smile on a long stick that they used to bop people on the head in an effort to wake them. That cat with it’s macabre smile was super creepy and the stuff ‘o nightmares!! And I figured the kids would not appreciate it either, so I shooed them out of their rooms quickly!

I got the meds set up and the ‘joke ‘o the day’ posted while the kids hung out in the hallway and giggled and danced like goofballs to the ear splitting music of Radio Acorn. The D.J. had the bass totally cranked up that day cuz you could feel the floor vibrate! Amazingly enough, some of the counselors managed to sleep through all of this. And hence, the need for the wake up crew!

We got down to breakfast early. I had the kids sitting at the table ready to go and took the opportunity to grab a coffee and stick my head into the kitchen. Shawn was finishing up the last few trays of bagels (Yes! Freshly baked bagels! At camp!) I asked about the possibility of making a cake for the ‘Clean Hands Award’. He didn’t think it would be a problem at all. He would get Ashley to make it for me for next week on Thursday night. Ashley was one of the kitchen staff who loved to make cakes for special occasions. She relished the decorating part of it especially. Sweet! Now I could put my plan into effect (insert evil laugh).

When I returned to the dining room I discovered Bill was at the breakfast table with his wife Barb and their two young daughters. Their eldest, Yvonne, was a year younger than my twin daughters and their youngest, Shelby, was the same age as my son. Barb was full of news of the city. She has spent five days at home with the girls doing some laundry, some gardening, and visiting some friends and family. It had been a nice reprieve from the camp. Barb was cheerful and energetic (you would have to be to be a the director of the arts program at a camp, right?) and I could tell that we would be ‘kindred spirits’ as Anne of Green Gables would say. 

While I was chilling at the breakfast table, Angus pulled up a chair beside me and sat down. 

“Anne! I have a favor to ask of you.”

“Good morning Angus. No, I cannot give you any of the narcotics in the nursing station.” I said smiling and lifting an eyebrow.

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“Nah. That’s not it. Not drug seeking today. Actually I wondered if you might be so kind as to tell us a ghost story tomorrow night at our campfire?” Angus asked with his hands clasped as if to beg. “We used to have Dennis do the ghost story the last few years but he finally got a real job after graduating from university and Ben and I thought you might be able to come up with something. We have about two hours of time to fill and only have about 10 minutes of content at this point. Would you be able to help us out?” He looked at me with “The Puppy-Dog Eyes”.

I was a goner. I vaguely remembered some ghost stories. I was sure I could come up with something… anything…for those sad sad eyes! 

“Sure Angus!” I patted him on the shoulder and he immediately brightened. “I will come up with something!”

“SCORE!” He jabbed his hand in the air. “Thank you! Thank you so much!” With that he left as he jotted notes on his clipboard.

Hmmmm. Now to wrack my brain for those old stories….

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