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Thread: Back from Camp!

  1. #1

    Default Back from Camp!

    Well I'm finally back from Napowan. It was an amazing time and I have a lot of stories. I know this is a really long thread, but you don't have to read the whole thing. If your not going to though, please at least read the last paragraph. It's the only thing that happened that was really important. The rest are just stories.

    This year I worked at Eagle Oasis, which is a brand new program made for new scouts to get them to get them rank advancements. It was a great idea, but didn't work out to well. The only time scouts came is if they weren't busy doing anything else and their scoutmaster sent them to us. So the scouts never really wanted to be there. I also didn't have enough time to make them want to be there like I did teaching a merit badge last year, so I didn't have too good of a time there. The good news is that I had a lot of free time to read, nap, or do anything else I feel like.

    The first week was staff week. It was a lot of fun being with just the staff and being able to do just about anything we wanted whenever we had time off. When we didn't have time off, we were setting up our areas. Normally, you just get everything out and ready, but I was in a brand new area, so we had to build everything from scratch. This was actually easy because we really only needed a box to put all of our equipment in and a shelter. We decided to build a shelter out of a tarp and make it kind of like a circus tend, with the sides angled so the water would drain rather than pool. It took a full day to set it up under the hot sun and biting flies, and we were very happy to get it up. Well, that night it rained, and the tarp pooled anyway, and the tarp was ripped to shreds under the weight. This was upsetting, but it made me happy because they didn't go with my design with making a flat roof out of wood rather than an angled roof with only a tarp, and their design failed. Which brings us to week one of scouts.

    During week one, I had one job. It wasn't to teach the scouts like it should have been, it was to build the shelter. My boss would not question anything I did as long as I was working hard. So all week I went into the woods to find a fallen tree, de-limb it, cut it to size, drag it back, and repeat. In the end, I cut almost 30 spars and lashed together a really cool shelter that got me complements all summer. It was a few feet longer than a pick nick table, and wide enough to cover the whole pick nick table. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.

    The second week I had to get my lifeguard certification because we teach requirements that you have to be at the beach to get on Wednesday. The first week we took away from the aquatics staff that was already there just to watch us and that made them angry. So I got my lifeguard card so I didn't have to take away from their staff. Well, while week one got over 100 while I was chopping wood, week two was mid 50's. That's cold to begin with, but now I'm getting in and out of water constantly with with wind constantly blowing. I was shivering constantly for four days straight. It was terrible. But in the end I got it and that was cool. The rest of the week was warm too, and also no scouts ever showed up so I just got to tan all day on Wednesday.

    Every Wednesday for the wilderness survival merit badge, kids had to sleep outside in a shelter that they build themselves, and every Wednesday the staff set up the Waumpus attack. The Waumpus is the weird bear like creature that gotten its egg stolen by the staff one year so the story goes. Pretty much its just the staff making scary calls around the area the scouts have to sleep at. Last year, I was apart of it, but this year no one talked to me about it, so I didn't get to do it. Well one week I wanted to participate, so I went out to do it even though no one told me anything about it. Well, a bunch of other staff wanted to see it because the people who do it always say how amazing it is, so they followed me. Well, the staff the followed talked a lot and made too much noise and basically got the scouts prepared for something bad to happen. The head of the Waumpus attacks blamed me and forbid me from ever doing it again. Well, the next week I set up the anti-Waumpus attack. After they snuck into the area, I set up traps on the path that leads out. I moved a pick nick table in the way of the path, put chairs with a garbage can lid on it to make a lot of noise, and logs everywhere so they would trip. None of them knew that I did it, but every one was talking about it the next day. Successful revenge.

    On the last night of camp, there was supposed to be a big storm, but it blew around us. The sky was beautiful. The clouds were moving really fast over the very bright moon and there was lightning on the horizon. It was on of the most beautiful sky's I've every seen. It was midnight when I had the bright idea of sitting in a chair in the middle of a field and watching the sky tell I fell asleep. I got my chair and alarm clock, which I set the alarm to 4 o'clock so I could see the sunrise, and watched the sky. I was so comfortable until I heard a really loud hiss. I jumped out of my chair and and looked where it came from and saw the shadow of what looked like a cat, but was the size of a big dog (By the way, there's a story around the camp about a cursed cat and I though this giant was that cat). I grabbed my chair and high tailed it out of there. There was a group of staff still awake and I told them what happened. They said they had never seen me as scared as I was then, and I got scared a lot that year. We went back to that field with a flashlight to see if it was still there, and it was. It was a deer. A stupid deer hissed at me for sitting in an empty field. I didn't even know deer could hiss! Scared the crap out of me.

    The coolest thing that happened to me is that I had a huge epiphany. Early that day, I had said something really mean to a staffer, about how the staff wasn't a family to everyone and those people are going to leave and that he was one of them because he was angry about something silly. I made him cry, but I still felt good because I felt like I had converted his anger into sadness where he might be able to re-think how he feals. Later that day, I got angry at something silly and felt like a hypocrite. I went off to bed angry. As I moved my blankets, I saw the brownies my mom had sent up that I hid under my blankets so no one would get at them before the party that night that had made me angry. I was planning to giving them out but forgot. At that moment, 3 major thoughts flew through my head. One is that I was a huge Hypocrite. The other is that I love my mom, which sparked the third thought. I had been telling people all year how camp is my only home because where I come from is a broken family because my parents divorced. Now it felt like camp wasn't my home anymore and I had no home. At that moment I broke down crying. I probably could have held it back if I wanted, but I really didn't. After I started thinking clearly again, I thought about how I loved my mom again, and about how could it be a broken home if I loved her so much, and how could camp not be my home if I loved it there so much. Then I started laughing. I was about to go out and tell everyone what happened when I saw a small pink teddy bear hanging by a noose on my door put there by my brother (also works at camp). The reason this relevant is because at my dads house we hide this noose bear in places to surprise each other, and the moment I saw it I realized how much I loved my dad. Then I definitely knew I have a home back where I live and started laughing even harder about how wrong I was for the longest time. Then, while laughing, I started thinking about every theory I've ever had about myself, and I have a bunch. I've spent years of sleepless nights trying to explain who I am to myself. Now all of these theories came into question all at once and were all proven wrong. Now I'm laughing and crying because my entire life just fell apart, was re-put together, and then fell apart again. Then I remembered how I was going to be nice and give the brownies instead of just eating them all myself and realized that I'm a good person and worked hard to be a good person, and that's all that matters. Now I'm laughing hysterically, tears poring down my face and another staffer comes in because he heard me and wanted to see if I was OK. He tried to calm me down and I did my best to tell him I've never felt better in my life, but I was laughing to hard. As soon as I calmed down enough I apologized the the staffer I made upset and he started laughing and said “Tell me about your epiphany”. I told him all about it while still laughing uncontrollably, and I did so for almost the entire night. It was amazing.

  2. #2


    Welcome back, link!! **hugs**

    Sounds like you had a great time at camp!! Glad you had fun!! That was some epiphany you had there, I hope it made you feel better about yourself & your family!! I bet you were glad to get home after having it & enjoyed your homecoming!!

  3. #3

  4. #4


    Man I miss scout camp. Glad you had fun!

    Dont hate on the aquatics guys too much, I was an "aqua tick" guy and keeping a camp full of over eager, sugar charged kids from drowning or killing eachother isnt as easy as lounging about in the guard stand all day

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    I bet you were glad to get home after having it & enjoyed your homecoming!!
    Yes I did enjoy comming home, but I would still much rather be at camp. Though I love being in both placed, I do love being there more. I'm also not there long enough. The 2 months seemed more like weeks, and I was not ready to come back.

    And I do not hate the Aquatics guys. If I hated them I wouldn't have gone through life guard training.

    I cannot believe I forgot to talk about the twins! gah. There were these twins who were the most adorable pair you've ever seen. They were 12, about 3, maby 3 1/2, feet tall, blond hair, big blue eyes, the cutest faces you've ever seen. Whenever they wern't smiling, they naturally looked nervous, and whenever they smiled their faces would light up. The entire staff fawned over them the whole week they were there. Also, they couldn't say their R's, which changed them from adorable to adowable. Whenever I saw them I got so jelous.
    Last edited by Peachy; 12-Aug-2009 at 10:14. Reason: merging double post - use "edit" button

  6. #6


    Glad to have you back Link. It's amazing how camp experiences can make us examine our lives in ways we never could back at home. It's almost a spiritual experience. I can remember working our church camp one year. All I was responsible for was playing the music, which was enough, because it had to be note perfect. Late at night the kids had an activity, which was movie night. They were watching "Man of LaMancha". I was somewhat removed, laying down on a grassy hill watching the stars and the heavens when I heard the song, "To Dream the Impossible Dream". One summer when I was in college, my room mate was in that play, and it was directed by the Broadway director, a very big deal. Anyway, the song brought back so many memories, along with a whole new set of experiences as I had moved on with my life.

    Camping with others so stretches out your emotions, in so many different ways, and you can become so tired and so drained, that suddenly your whole psyche goes into different directions, laughing, crying, or an epiphany. Mine was spiritual. It was if I watched the heavens open up, and I saw through the universe to its end. I just laid there and took it all in.

    You're very lucky to have the mother and brother that you have, and I guess your dad. Sometimes mothers and fathers just can't continue to live together, but it doesn't make either one any less of a person. They've just moved in different directions, with different epiphanies of their own.

    Link, I've always liked you on this site. I guess your post confirms why.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Camping with others so stretches out your emotions, in so many different ways, and you can become so tired and so drained, that suddenly your whole psyche goes into different directions.
    I like to believe it's the new angle you can see the world from is the main reason, but being mentally and physically drained helps break down some barriers allowing self interrogation. What got to me though is being able to see so many points of views at one time. I picked my favorite ideals and try to live by them (Dogboy, I have taken many of your charactistics to hart. Your a good role modle and a great friend). Camp allowed me to create my own personality rather than have society pick one for me, which is good because I really wasn't good at being the person society wanted me to be. I've noticed a big change in the quality of my life sence I've worked there, and I really want to continue to work, but there's the money/college issue I have to worry about. It's all up in the air right now.
    Last edited by link; 12-Aug-2009 at 14:45.

  8. #8


    Wow link, i wish i would have been there with you; it sounds like it was (for the most part) fun. I've never gone to a scout camp or for that matter an actual camp during summer. Maybe next year I'll look it up and volunteer. I think i would have died over the twins, just sayin'. I too have to agree that being mentally, emotionally, and physically tired tends to allow you to look at yourself in deeper was than usual. I guess it's just because you're so tired you don't have the strength or he care to hold the facades up around your psyche....i don't know I'm not a psychiatrist.

    Anti-waumpus away!

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Little Tyler View Post
    Wow link, i wish i would have been there with you; it sounds like it was (for the most part) fun. I've never gone to a scout camp or for that matter an actual camp during summer. Maybe next year I'll look it up and volunteer.

    Anti-waumpus away!
    It's so worth working at a summer camp. Not for the money, they don't pay enough for the job to be worth it. Everything else is amazing. The staff become your family, the scouts are so much fun, and just the area your in is amazing. There are Scout camps everywhere too. Probably not within two hours of you home, but you won't have to travel half the country to get to one (although that is fun. I've been to a scout camp in alaska).

    The Anti-waumpus was so much fun. I interupted a crule prank with a crule prank. The irony always gets me.

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