Lydia stopped by at the end of lunch and asked if I would make the clean hands announcement. I agreed. I had to admit that making the announcement was becoming one of my favorite activities.
Lydia took the stage and held her hand high. The noise level in the dining hall quickly dropped to almost complete silence. Only the clanking of the melamine dishes as they were being loaded up into the dishwasher could be heard in the background.
“Good afternoon Camp Acorn! Nurse Anne has an update on the clean hands award, so we would appreciate your attention.”
Immediately the crowd broke out into cheering and chanting “Cleeeeeeeeean haaaaaaands! Cleeeeeeeeean haaaaaaands! Cleeeeeeeeean haaaaaaands!”
I stepped up onto the stage and raised my hand. The chanting petered out.
“Campers? I am super impressed by the progress you are making. Everyone’s numbers are up on this check. Keep up the good work!”
“Cleeeeeeeeean haaaaaaands! Cleeeeeeeeean haaaaaaands! Cleeeeeeeeean haaaaaaands!”
I raised my hand again and the campers settled down. “On this check today the hut with the most clean hands was…..” I waited a couple of seconds (ooooh the drama! the anticipation!) as I gazed down toward the Bear hut campers’ table who had been leading in their numbers. I smiled and they began to nod their heads and grin back at me.
“The hut with the most clean hands was actually….the Deer hut!” I said as I pointed at them.
The Deer hut counselors rose to their feet with a “Boo yah!” and then the campers rose to their feet cheering and screaming in their little prepubescent voices. The other huts looked on in glumness as the Deer hut counselors spontaneously led the Deer hut boys into a Conga line of sorts and danced around the perimeter of the dining hall singing “We have clean hands!” kicking their foot out on ‘hands’ as they went.
It. Was. Hilarious.
I sat back down and enjoyed the ‘high fives’ from all of the Deer hut campers and counselors as they Conga’d past my seat. Just as they were starting their second trip around the hall the side doors flew open and Shawn came bursting in. He stopped to take is some deep breaths. He had obviously been running and appeared very panicked. The Conga line stopped in its tracks with Deer hut campers stumbling into each other.
“Guys!” yelled Shawn, “Someone is trying to sabotage Camp Acorn!”
And with that dramatic entrance….my first experience with a Camp Acorn ‘all camp’ had started.