You get used to it!

Dessert that night was ice cream! The entire dining hall went totally mental when the LITs dropped off the bowls full of chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream on to our dining tables. Campers cheered and clapped. Angus tore up to the stage and did a happy jig to show his extreme pleasure. We all watched with complete delight. The dining hall was bursting with joyful excitement.

It is amazing how, living the camp life, that you appreciate the finer things with much greater intensity. I guess you get used to the lack of sleep, privacy, free time, self direction, hot showers and clean clothes. So, something as simple as ice cream becomes epic!

Father Brian took it upon himself to dish out the ice cream equally and then he passed the bowls out around the table. I was passing a bowl on to my son when Lydia whispered in my ear.

“Are you prepared to give out the Clean Hands Award cake tonight? Shawn has one ready for you.”

“Oh yes! I can do that.” I nodded excitedly. I had kept a running tab in the corner of my nurses notes so I knew which hut was leading. 

As we were all digging into the ice cream, Will quietly took to the stage. He pulled the Silver Broom out from the closet and held it up over his head.

“Camp Acoooooooooorn! This. Is. THE SILVER BROOM!” Will bellowed as he held the broom up and slowly walked back and forth across the stage while the audience went berserk. Campers jumping up. Counselors began to chant the names of their huts. Fists pumping the air. Will raised his finger to his lips to quieten the crowd. Gradually a hush fell over the room.

“This winner of The Silver Broom Award for this first week of the boys session is none other than….” Will paused and the chanting started again. Will again raised his finger to his lips. “The winner is the Cooooooord Hut!”

GLEE!

Five LITs burst from the kitchen banging spoons on silver bowls and marched out to surround the Cord Hut dining tables. One LIT had a stack of dessert plates that he plopped down on the table. Shawn was in the back of the line holding a huge chocolate cake high in the air. It had chocolate frosting and silver sprinkles on it. The Cord Hut campers were singing, laughing, and jumping up and down with unbridled glee. Immediately the cake was cut and the counselors began to divvy it up for Cord Hut campers. The three other Huts sat forlornly looking on with their shoulders slumped and grim expressions on their faces. Now it was my turn. I took the stage. I cleared my throat.

“Hey guys!” I said. I was a little nervous! “Ummm, so….I’m here to give out the Clean Hands Award.” I gave an awkward two thumbs up. Again, the dining hall erupted into utter pandemonium. I had to giggle. I looked over at Himself at the Director’s table and his mouth was gaping slightly open as he took this all in. I caught his eye. We both shook our heads, smiled and laughed. It was comical. The chanting began again.

“Cleeeeeeean haaaaaaaaands! Cleeeeeeean haaaaaaaaands! Cleeeeeeean haaaaaaaaands!”

I let it go on for about a minute. Then I raised my hand for silence. The noise stopped pretty abruptly. 

“All the huts showed huge improvements but the hut with the most clean hands this week was actually surprising since they are our youngest campers, the Deer Hut!” I said as I motioned my arm with a big flourish towards the Deer Hut tables.

Again the group of five LITs burst from the kitchen banging spoons on silver bowls and marched out to surround the Deer Hut dining tables. Another stack of dessert plates were plopped down on the table. Shawn was in the back of the line holding another huge chocolate cake high in the air. This cake was embellished with icing that had the outline of two hands on it. While the Deer Hut cake was being cut up the Deer Hut boys recreated their conga line. Dancing around the dining hall singing “We have clean hands!”.

The Cord Hut campers cheered back “We have clean huts!” while the Rock and Bear Hut campers went back to finishing off their ice cream.

I sat back down beside Himself. We looked at each other again and laughed. Himself bent towards me, I leaned in so he could speak in my ear and be heard over the brouhaha. 

“I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like that before.”

“It’s like none other, but you kinda get used to it.” I responded and shrugged. 

“You get used to it.”








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