The P Mob


All four of us got changed into dry bathing suits, got lathered up in another layer of sunblock, found the cleanest and driest towels we could (it’s all relative!) and put on our sandals. I tucked the bag of gummy sharks into my cargo shorts.

As we left the room, I propped our bedroom door open. It was super humid in our room with all the wet laundry drying. I was not sure how long it was going to take for all these clothes to dry. I was betting on a couple of days.

Next we went down to the health office and I jotted a quick note on the dry erase board that I was “Gone canoeing”….just in case someone needed me they at least had some inkling where I was. From there we left the main house and scuffed our way down the path to the boat house. We passed a couple of counselors, Ryan and Olivia, doing heavy maintenance on the steps down to the boat house. It looked like they were shoring them up with some big rocks, soil and gravel that they were shoveling from two wheelbarrows. The counselors were slick with sweat from all the effort. 

“Hi guys!” I said as my little group began to circumnavigate around the construction, attempting to avoid getting in the way.

“Hi,” they both responded, seemingly a little flat.

“Looks like some heavy work there you two, but it’s going to be great when you are done. I can tell.” 

“Yup. It’s super heavy work. It’s our punishment.”

“Punishment?! Were you two badly behaved?” I said with a little laugh, I thought about Sammy’s drinking escapade from night out, and I stopped my laugh short.

Olivia responded with a little nod. I probed no further. 

“Well, you are doing a nice job here, you guys. You keep up the good work.” I gave a little wave as we carried on down the steps to the boat house. Ryan and Olivia kept up the shoveling in silence.

We popped into the boat house to find Nathan in there, kneeling on the floor trying to untangle some fishing lures.

“Hey guys!” Nathan cheerily greeted us. The three kids ran over and surrounded him. He sat back on his heels.

“We are going canoeing!” my daughter boasted to Nathan. “We want to show our Mum a T rescue!”

Nathan’s eyebrows shot up and he looked at me standing behind the kids. I tilted my head to the side, scrunched up my face and gave a quick shake of my head. I had hoped they had forgotten that whole idea, cuz I was still not very interested in the T rescue with three small children.

“I have a great idea. Why don’t you have your Mum come to canoeing instruction tomorrow instead and our whole class can show her our T rescues? That might be a good idea! Waddaya think?”

Nathan looked back at me. I smiled and nodded.

“Oh, man, that would be so cool! I would love to see the whole class doing T rescues!” I said with a lot of enthusiasm! 

“Oh ya! Ya!” the kids responded. Whew! I gave Nathan the thumbs up. I was so grateful!

“OK guys, let’s get some life jackets that fit you.” 

Finding appropriately sized life jackets was a bit of a job. Most of the life jackets at camp are sized for bigger kids. Finding three teeny-tiny ones took a bit of digging. All the life jackets were hanging up to dry from six long wooden dowels protruding from the wall. You had to pull them off one at a time to check their size. The process took several minutes. While we were trying to find the correct sizes, I chatted with Nathan.

“They have some heavy maintenance going on the steps out there, I noticed.”

Nathan barely looked up from the tackle box.

“Oh ya. Ryan and Olivia will be working on those all afternoon today. They got into a bit of hot water so having them do maintenance is their punishment.”

“Were they involved in some ‘night out’ shenanigans?” I asked.

Nathan continued to sort the fishing lures as he answered.

“Nah. They were caught after hours on the P Mob.”

“What’s a P Mob?” I asked as knelt down and zipped up a life jacket on my son.

“Oh! ‘Priest-approved make out bench.'” Nathan answered matter-of-factually.

“Say what?!” I asked with a laugh. “Priest-approved what?” I was confused.

“It’s the big bench by wind surfing. Father Brian approved the design of it last year. It’s is supposed to be a lounge chair of sorts for the counselors to chill during their time off and read or get a tan. It can accommodate three people. It got built and then soon after some of the counselors realized that it was not only good for tanning…” He gave me a knowing wink.

“And now camp will get some super awesome steps to the boat house.” I nodded my understanding and Nathan nodded back.



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