The speed boat demonstration continued for about 15 minutes before Shawn yelled, “There it is!” He was pointing at the larger of two islands that sat 600 hundred yards from the shoreline. Emily pulled back on the throttle, the boat dramatically slowed and we all jerked forward. I finally could let go of my hat that I was tightly holding on to. I rubbed my neck and tenderly stretched it. I was pretty sure my neck was gonna pay the price for the whiplash effect!
Little Indian Island was a beautiful chunk of land. From our perspective, coming in from the north, there was a 40 foot rocky face topped with soaring pine trees. As we slowed we travelled along the eastern side of the island. Campers appeared between the trees, shouting and waving. I could not suppress a smile. We all waved back. I would like to think they were excited to see us but, truth be told, I knew they were most excited for the dinner we had on board.
The campers, while dodging trees, attempted to run along beside us. The island sloped downward and as we came around to the south side, I could see a small dock along the lowest point. Emily slowed even more and carefully steered the boat towards the dock. Muddy and Amy were waiting on the dock and greeted us. Shawn threw out the boat fenders and we gently pulled along side the dock. Shawn then threw out the ropes and Muddy and Amy tied us securely to the mooring rings.
Six campers came bounding down the incline towards the dock, yelling. “What’s for dinner?”
“Hamburgers and hotdogs!” The campers cheered. “Now since you are here, you can help us take all the food up to the fire pit,” Shawn said as he hopped off the pontoon.
“OK! Sure thing, Shawn!”
My three and I grabbed our backpacks and then I directed the kids to each take a bowl as we exited the pontoon.
“Thanks for the ride, Emily,” I turned back to her.
“Very welcome! Did you enjoy it?”
“Yes!” The three kids responded enthusiastically. “Thank youuuu!”
“Bet you got here faster then we did canoeing this afternoon, Nurse Anne?” Amy asked me.
“Oh ya. We got here really, really fast!” I nodded and did another neck stretch. “Where’s the fire pit?” I asked.
Muddy pointed up the incline and the four of us carefully climbed up the dirt path as we held tightly to our bowls of food. It wasn’t many steps before the incline leveled off and we came to the fire pit on an area of flat land that measured twenty square feet. The fire had a huge grill stretching over top and Rob was tending the fire.
“Welcome!” Rob called to us as he looked up from the fire. “Thanks for bringing dinner! You can put those on the picnic table over there.” Rob motioned.
We put the bowls down on the table. The other Deer Hut campers followed behind us and placed their supplies on the table too.
Amy placed the bowl of onions on the table and then patted Patrick on the shoulder. “Do you want to drop your backpacks in your tent?”
“Yes please.” He responded.
“Follow me!” Amy waved to us and we fell in behind her. As we trudged up the hill I saw four large eight man tents and four single tents. Amy walked over to one of the eight man tents, pulled the zipper up and held the flap open for us.
“Welcome to your home! We loaned you four of our sleeping bags,” Amy pointed to them, rolled up in the corner of the tent.
“Is this all for us?” Megan looked incredulous.
“Yup! All for your family.”
The kids barreled inside, threw their backpacks down, and started to unfurl the sleeping bags.
“I call this spot!” Sarah called out.
“I call this spot!” Patrick mimicked her.
I stepped out of the tent and turned to Amy. “Goodness! Thanks so much! We are all set up and we have plenty of space. This is awesome.”
“Most welcome!” Amy said cheerfully. “Dinner will be ready in about an hour. If you want, you could join us in cliff jumping? Muddy and I were going to take a group over there and lifeguard.”
“That sounds terrifying.”
“For some it is, I guess.” Amy laughed. “It’s not a big cliff really. Feel free to come and watch if you like.”
“Thanks Amy.” I said and then crouched over to enter the tent. I threw my backpack on the floor and knelt down. The kids were chatting excitedly. They had laid out their sleeping bags and taken out their pajamas. “Looks like we are all ready in here. You guys wanna do some cliff jumping?” I asked.
“What’s that?” Patrick asked.
“You jump off a cliff into the lake.” I said.
“Sounds scary!” Megan said with a disgusted look.
“No way! It sounds fuuuun!” Sarah exclaimed as she waved her hands excitedly.
I couldn’t agree with her less, I thought to myself.