I arrived at the beach to discover my three intent on completing an elaborate sand kingdom. There were four campers helping them this time. I grabbed my towel and laid it on the sand in a shady section. I stretched out my legs, leaned back and watched. It wasn’t many minutes before general swim time was over. The kids looked up to find me and I gave them a wave. Meanwhile the campers lined up to leave.
The beach got quiet quickly once the campers left. I sauntered over to the sand creation.
“Nice job!” I said as I admired it with my hands on my hips. I noticed all three of them were covered in sand. I took a look at my filthy nails. “Anyone interested in taking a dip? I’m so dirty and I need to wash off before we leave for Little Indian soon.”
“We are leaving soon?” Patrick’s head snapped up to look at me.
“Yup. Less than an hour.”
Megan pumped her little fist in the air. “Yes!” She cheered. I wished I had her enthusiasm.
“Anyone want to jump in the lake?” I asked.
“Yes!!” The three of them clambered to their feet and ran, as they kicked up sand, onto the dock. I followed behind.
The three of them lined up on the edge of the dock, over looking the deep end. I walked right in between them.
“Oh excuse me,” I said as I gently pushed them out of the way and I jumped right in without hesitation, performing my best attempt at a cannon ball. When I came up to the surface, they were all giggling. I had managed to splash them.
“Watch me, Mum!” Megan followed suit. Then Sarah and finally Patrick, with his life jacket on, jumped into my arms. We swam out to the raft, climbed up and jumped in again. And again. And again.
I climbed up onto the raft after my latest attempt at a cannon ball, which I believed was my best performance of the day and examined my fingernails. They were clean. Mission accomplished.
“OK. I think I’m ready for Little Indian island. Are you up for it?” I looked to each of the kids.
“I’m so ‘cited!” Sarah exclaimed as she clapped her hands and jumped up and down.
“Me too!” Patrick and Megan chimed in.
“Let’s go then!” I dove in and my three little ducklings followed.
We grabbed our sandy towels and sprinted up the road. Once in our rooms we changed into dry bathing suits and then added layers over top. I threw on a baseball cap over my damp hair. We grabbed our back packs and headed down to the boat house.
Emily was loading up the pontoon boat with food that was stacked on the floor of the boat house dock.
“Need help?” I asked.
“I would really appreciate it!” Emily smiled.
We dropped our packs on the dock. The four of us worked together to hand the food items over to Emily. Bowls of sliced tomatoes, lettuce, onion, pickles, potato salad, sliced oranges, precooked hamburgers and hotdogs, cookies, a box of hamburger buns, condiments, plates and utensils. My stomach rumbled.
“OK, now your back packs.” We handed those over to her and she lined them up along the front of the boat. “You guys ready for your adventure?”
“Yes,” the kids responded and did a repeat of the clapping and jumping display I had witnessed on the raft.
“Welcome aboard, matey’s.” Emily held out her hand and we one-by-one stepped onto the pontoon deck.
Shawn stepped into the boat house, carrying a five gallon cooler on his shoulder. “Almost forgot this!” He stepped onto the boat and caused it to rock.
“That would have been a disaster!” Emily responded.
I grimaced, thinking of the tasteless Kool-aid that was contained within the cooler.
Shawn stepped off again and started to pull life-jackets off the wall and toss them into the boat. “Speaking of disasters. Everyone gets one of these.”
We shrugged them on and zipped them up.
“Have a seat anywhere you like.” Emily said.
The kids sat at the front of the boat. I sat on the side. Emily turned the key in the ignition and as the motor came to life, Shawn untied the rope. She carefully backed the pontoon boat out of the boathouse as Shawn pulled up the boat fenders and then sat across from me. Once we had reversed out of the boathouse, Emily turned the bow, and then put the boat into drive. We putted along at a leisurely pace as we rounded the fishing dock and a few counselors who were sunbathing on the dock. The kids waved eagerly to them. They responded with a slow wave back.
The kids had huge grins on their faces and their hair tousled in the wind. They were taking in the water, the waves and the cottages we passed as we headed toward Little Indian. We continued on for about five minutes. “What a nice boat ride.” I thought to myself.
“Are we OK now?” Emily asked Shawn.
Shawn turned to look backward towards camp. “Yuuuup. I think we are good now,” he answered.
“Hold onto the railing,” Emily called out to the kids and they took hold of it. I turned to look at Emily and watched as she quickly pushed the throttle forward. Surprisingly the ungainly boat picked up speed rapidly as our heads snapped back. The kid’s expressions briefly turned to fear and then unbridled glee as the wind whipped their hair into a frenzy around their faces.
“Woooo hoooo! Adventure awaits!” Shawn exclaimed as he raised a fist in the air and my three echoed him as I watched in astonishment.
So much for a nice boat ride.