I helped stack dishes and clean off the table. My three kids each grabbed a small pile and giddily helped take the dishes, cutlery and serving bowls into the kitchen. I could hear the busy sounds of the kitchen as they were in full force cleaning up from breakfast.
My eldest daughter came back to the table with a wet, soapy, wash cloth and proceeded to wipe her area of dining table down. She copied the slow, and careful manner of the campers as they did the same at their tables and then she passed the cloth on to my son who tried to copy her. My husband looked over at me with a surprised smile. I smiled back as I wondered how long this new behavior would last. We watched as the cloth got passed around and the table got wiped down.
The morning racket of the dining hall quietened as Lydia took the stage and held her clip board up for silence.
“Gooooood morning Camp Acooooooorn!” Lydia bellowed. “Are you ready for Visitor’s Day?”
Campers and counselors erupted into cheers and clapping.
“I SAID…WHO’S READY FOR VISITOR’S DAY!” Lydia pumped her arm in the air.
This time the camper and counselors exploded. They were standing, jumping up and down, arms in the air, shouting and cheering. Himself looked over a me as we watched this. We both laughed.
Lydia raised her arm for silence again and everyone sat back down. The hall quietened again.
“I appreciate your enthusiasm campers! But, in fact, we are not yet ready for visitors. Noooooo!” Lydia shook her head as she looked out over the crowd, walked back and forth across the stage and continued her sermon. “No we are not. We neeeeeed to clean this place up! We neeeeeed to tidy up our huts. We neeeeeed to spruce up the beach. We neeeeeed to pick up the garbage. We neeeeeed to put away our toys. We neeeeeed to show our visitors that we love our camp and we respect our environment!” Lydia stopped to take a breath.
“Yeah,” came an impassioned response from somewhere in the dining hall. Lydia had certainly taken on the air of a preacher. There was some clapping and giggling.
“In addition to tidying up your own quarters, each hut will be assigned an area of camp to clean up.” Lydia started to pull papers from the clip board she held. She passed out the assignments to each of the head counselors as they came up to get them. “We have forty-five minutes, Camp Acorn. Forty-five minutes until Visitor’s Day commences. LET’S DO THIS!”
With that, campers and counselors broke out of the dining hall and scattered.