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.