More evidence of progress

I had a “long” shower. Meaning five pumps of the shower valve. I know! I know! We were only supposed to use two pumps. It was scandalous! But, in my defense, the first two pumps didn’t count cuz the water was iceberg cold so I couldn’t even get under the shower head until the third pump. So really, this Diva just got one extra pump. 

I quickly got changed into what I considered my ‘afternoon’ attire: bathing suit with shorts and t-shirt over top. With this strategy, I was ready for anything!

The kids arrived back from their instructions. They were full of chitter chatter about their morning instructions. I hurried them to get dress cuz I had to do another clean hands tally. I had them come with me as I went down to the health office. As I pulled out the after lunch meds, they washed their hands and then I checked on Ted. He was asleep again (!small alarm bells!).

“Ted?” He rolled over sleepily.


“You going for lunch?”


“You can come down with us then, and just have a seat at your table.”

“OK.” Ted slowly got up out of the bed, rammed his feet into his sandals and led the way down to the dining hall all rumpled clothing, bed-head, and bad breath.

I sat the kids at our table and looked over to the staff table and explained that I was going to do another clean hands inspection. My son decided he wanted to supervise again. I grabbed his little hand and walked over to the staff table and we sat down. I found my clean hands crew awaiting me. 

“You guys up for another clean hands inspection?”

“Absolutely!” Angus saluted me.

“OK guys, let’s mix it up this time. I will take the Deer Hut. Muddy takes the Rock Hut. Lydia? You take the Cord Hut, and Angus will take the Bear Hut. Keep your standards high and refuse any attempts at bribery? OK? Break!” The four of us gave a single clap and got up from the staff table.

Angus busted out of the dining hall entrance and bellowed, “Prepare for inspection!” 

Campers and counselors quickly came to attention. Counselors started to frantically run down the lines of campers doing their own inspections of hands and fingernails. Mentally I attempted to prepare myself for the horrors of the youngest Deer Hutters. These little guys tended to have the worst sense of personal hygiene.

I piggy-backed my son as he poked his little head over my shoulder and we began at the front of the line. Twenty little Deer Hut boys. Their hands told a story. They were callused from wall climbing, they were paint covered from arts ‘n crafts, they had blisters from paddling the canoes, and they had rope burns from sailing. And there was dirt of course. And a fair amount of it too. But some of them had made obvious attempts at washing their hands. Some of their hands even smelled….like soap! I tried to stifle my excitement.

“OOOOOH! I smell some soapy clean hands!” I said as I came across the first set. I held them up to my son.

“Yeah,” he cheered.

“Ewww! These don’t look quite clean enough.” I said sadly as I came across hands with paint and filthy nails.

“Boooo,” my son exclaimed. 

So, down the line we went. ‘Yeahing’ and ‘boooing’. The Deer Hut campers watched enthralled and began to echo us.


“YEAH,” the boys jumped and clapped with unbridled joy.


“Boo,” the campers echoed glumly and their heads and shoulders would sag.

Wow. Who woulda thunk doing a clean hands inspection would be so highly entertaining?! Only at camp.

When we ended our inspection I had counted eight sets of clean hands this time. We had made some progress. 



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