Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Would They...?

So I survived the weeklong rustic camp with our 7th and 8th graders. They're a great group of kids. Since we joined five other schools for the camp, we appreciate our kids even more. :)

Yep. Home sweet home for the week.
Where do I begin? There really is no way to describe the week. Maybe Alternate Universe? The Twilight Zone? I'm not sure, but I do know I had several mini-nervous breakdowns where I couldn't stop laughing and tears were dripping down my face.

I might look into treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome. If you remember, I mentioned my friend J and I were the only chaperons for our school besides our principal. Thankfully, we all had similar reactions to the camp. I wouldn't have made it through without them.

Even though I wrote an 18-page summary of our trip and could curl your toe-hair with some of our experiences, I'll only share how every conversation  between J and I started, and we had these conversations roughly 75 times a day.

"Why would they..."

• …not buy a cheap bottle of soap with a pump for our bathroom? (See photo below.)

• …not serve the chocolate milk when it’s fresh?

• …have such a small, old, rusty trash can for a bathroom that serves 40 women?

• …have only three shower stalls for 40 women?

• …not have locks on the bathroom stalls?

• …not have hooks or shelves in the showers for your towels and clothes? (There was one shelf. I think the picture below says everything on that subject.)

• …not clean the carpets occasionally?

• …not give a discount to people staying in the moldy, stinky basement? (That would be us.)

• …not fumigate? Two HUGE spiders were in the basement. One was gigantic, orange and on one of our girl's jeans in her duffel bag. Both spiders had to be killed. Another girl had a giant moth on her bed, which we honestly thought was a leaf. Nope. It flew.

• …not have shelves for the bunks in the basement when they have them upstairs and at the lodge?

• …have such unappetizing, un-kid-friendly, yucky food? (We are convinced the chicken over biscuits was really muskrat over biscuits--especially since we watched a counselor skin a muskrat the night before. My sloppy joe tasted like I was chewing on a construction worker's armpit. Also, our salisbury steak meowed at me. I've never tasted beef like that. Purr...)

• …not have adequate cleaning supplies if we’re supposed to clean the place?

• …make the kids pass a helmet around without spraying it with lice spray?

• …have four huge bins of dirty clothes for the kids to dress up in for the weather skit—it’s scabies waiting to happen.

• …make the nightly presentation an hour and a half? It’s WAY too long.

• …sing songs meant for 8-year-olds?

• …not have any furniture to sit on besides the bunk beds and a few hard, metal chairs?

• …have such overgrown bushes? Trimming them doesn’t cost anything.

• …not mow the lawn? Again, basic maintenance.

• …not give everything a fresh coat of paint?

• …not have water fountains to drink from? Does anyone drink from a sink next to the toilet? That’s like drinking from the toilet. I have a photo of the one drinking fountain we were supposed to drink from the entire week. Yes, it is connected to a bathroom sink and is less than two feet away from the toilet. (I can't look at this picture without having chills run up and down my spine.)

J and I made several runs for cases of bottled water. I could go on and on and on.... But I'm home! I will put the week behind me eventually. :)

On a happy note, I have a few exciting announcements--Wendy Burke, my good friend from Maumee Valley RWA, just released her debut historical romance novel, Respite, through Decadent Publishing! Congratulations, Wendy!

And Dora Hiers has good news too. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense novel, Journey's End, is now available through White Rose Press! Congratulations, Dora!

It's SOOOO good to be back! I can't wait to catch up with you all!

Happy Monday!


  1. What a week!! I would ask those same questions:)) Welcome home!!!

  2. Okay, I'm reading this early this morning and my stomach's turning! I'll never look at sloppy joes and salisbury steak the same way again! Glad you're back and hopefully lice free. :)

  3. Welcome back to civilization, Jill!

    I'm totally with you on the water fountain. Eww! How long will it take you to forget this week and volunteer to do it all over again? lol

  4. Okay, that does not sound like fun! But what great memories you can laugh at now that it's over!

  5. But you laughed a lot, eh? :D :D :D

    That bathroom sink faucet is my favorite.

    ~ Wendy

  6. I'm glad to hear someone else won't drink water from the bathroom sink. As a kid, I was convinced the water from the sink came from the toilet! Glad you survived, I wouldn't have lasted past the first glance at the camp. The spider would have done me in.

  7. Oh my GOODNESS. I don't know if I could have handled all of that for an entire week. Gross!

  8. Good morning!!

    Oh, wow! I chuckle off and on that I made it through the week. Am I spoiled? Yes. Am I squeamish? Yes! But I love being outdoors, and the kids' activities made up for the gross factor. :)

    Thanks so much for coming over and holding my hand as I slide back to real life!!

  9. Oh. Yuck. Please tell me this was not a Christian camp. I hate it when we do sub-standard stuff.

    Welcome back to your clean world!

  10. Welcome home, Jill! Lots of rich setting details in your list!!

  11. Oh. my. word. You win Hero of the Year Award, for sure. Glad to see you back! :)

  12. Oh my goodness. The spiders would have driven me right home. I bet it's one of those horrible experiences that you'll look back on and laugh.

  13. WOWSERS!!! What a week. And I'm with Katie. One look at the arachnid and I would have left the kids to their own devices.

  14. As I read, it sounded more and more like something you'd have seen thirty years ago when I was eight years old. Like it or not, people's expectations of basic comforts have changed. Sounds like this place didn't get the memo. :D

  15. Hello new here ... and let me just say that I have to run & take a long hot shower with lots and lots and lots of antibacterial soap just from reading the list of things! *shudders*

    Glad you are back and in no need of a tetanus shot.

  16. All I can say is: Wow! Just Wow!

    Oh, and spiders are... *shudder*

  17. Welcome back, Jill! Oh, I could not handle the spiders or the moth. EEEEEK!

    Three showers for 40 people? How did that work?

    Glad to see you survived :-)

  18. Thank you, thank you for coming by and listening to me whine! Yeah, the drinking faucet/bathroom sink nearly made me run. The spiders? A close second. And 3 showers DID NOT work! It was chaos!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

    (Welcome Sophie and Catie!!)

    Did I mention there was a CASKET in the basement with us?? They made room for a casket but not another set of showers?? Going to my happy place...

  19. Hi Jill -

    Argh! I would have cancelled the weekend and demanded my money back.

    Oh well, as my niece would say, "You made a memory."

    Susan :)

  20. Jill:
    Will you HAVE to do this again?
    Did you know anyone who did this gig before you?
    If you HAVE to do this again, you might want to pack a special suit case with the stuff you need to get over the shortcomings.
    If you know of someone who did this chaperoning before at the same camp, have a long talk with them and kindly mention you would have liked a forewarning.
    Have you considered using this experience in a story,ala Steven King.

  21. Sounds just awful. I'm glad you are home. You do have some funny stories, though.

  22. Oh, Jill. Muskrat and biscuits. I'm still LOLing. Glad you made it back in one piece.

  23. Ha, yeah that's pretty much the same way I remember camp. Definitely an adventure with plenty of stories to tell. Honestly it wouldn't be any fun if things were simple and easy. You wouldn't have any stories to tell.


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