Day 23. June 17th ’14: An Overnight, A Storm, And A Tent With A Massive Hole In It!

9:10am
Jeez I’m so tired. Should have gone to bed earlier last night but I was in the office helping organise a bunch of (very confusing) paperwork until super late.

It’s cool though, cos I haven’t really got much on today besides some final organisation for Media. Sorting out lesson plans with Danielle, and running her through the equipment and the rest of the jobs she’ll be doing to help me out with the media program this summer. It’s a lot to take in but I think she’s getting the hang of it all.

3pm
Getting ready for overnight tonight. I think I’m one of the very few people who actually likes overnight. So, we already live outside in big canvas, platform tents, but once a session (once every two weeks), the counselors take their kids out to different spots around camp to set up a tent, cook their own food on a campfire and spend the night under the stars. I think it’s pretty cool

Anyway, tonight we’re all heading out on a staff training overnight – Section and Activity head won’t usually have to go on overnights, but this one’s just to show the counselors how it all works and what they have to do.

Summer Camp USA table football
It’s been a busy week!

5:30pm
Made our hobo dinners (meat & veg wrapped up in tin foil) and now we’re off to circus field to make a big fire and cook everyone’s food.

9pm
Took forever to get everyone’s food cooked and eaten. It would usually be done in heaps smaller groups, but for the purpose of showing everyone how to make a fire and cook their campers food, it was easier to do it all together. Jess did an excellent ‘this is how you make a fire’ demo, covering herself from head to toe in dirt and ash!

Then, once food was done, we all split off into our groups (a couple of returners/supervisors with about 8 or 9 counselors) – I decided to go with Rosa’s group, as otherwise she’d be the only supervisor in her group, and my group already had about 5 of us!

Now we’re down at the swamp (although we’re pretty sure we’re in the wrong place, cos none of us have ever been to the swamp before, but it’s a clearing in the woods with a fire pit anyway, so it’s working fine), got our tent set up, and are all huddled in our sleeping bags eating the leftover chocolate brownies from my birthday last week and having chats about life and camp.

Summer Camp USA
A quick break from staff training!

1:15am
Just woke up to pounding rain and howling winds. There’s a MASSIVE storm going on outside and the tent is swaying all over the place. I think everyone’s awake, but no one’s saying anything. Uh-oh, I’m pretty sure the tent is gonna fall down. Just caught Rosa’s eye… I think she’s having the exact same thought.

1:20am
Yup. I was right. The tent fell down. It’s just one of those teepee ones that’s held up by one big pole in the middle and a few minutes ago it came crashing down, causing the tent to fall, billowing all over us. All the girls are screaming. If it wasn’t the middle of the night it would be pretty funny.

Summer Camp USA counselor overnight
We love overnight!

2:15am
Well that was eventful. We’re back in section now, in our proper tents and bunk beds.

But back to earlier…I got up and put the tent back up and then we all just sort of sat there waiting. The tent was blowing all over the place – there were cries of ‘the tent’s going to blow away‘ from some of the girls (um…I’m pretty sure it won’t cos we’re in it!) – and the sides were really tight cos of the pegs and ropes, so me and Rosa went outside to pull out the pegs to stop the tent from ripping. And literally as soon as we stepped outside, there was a huge ‘CCCCRRRRHHHHH’, and sure enough, the tent ripped wide open, leaving a gaping hole between the ground sheet and the fly. Like, big enough for us to walk back into the tent through. Oh dear.

And it was pouring with rain…did I mention that? We were sat inside the fallen down, ripped tent, wondering quite what we should do next, holding the tent up above our heads (like you did in those games of parachute when you were younger), as the water came seeping in from, well, pretty much everywhere.

It was a bit of a test I suppose, to see how the new staff members might cope if something like this happens on their overnights with their campers this summer, but after about half an hour of sitting there as our sleeping bags (and ourselves) got wetter by the second, we decided to make an executive decision and call it a night. We couldn’t fix the hole, and if we put the pole back up, the wind would just knock it down again. So we waited for the rain to die down a little bit, grabbed our stuff and abandoned ship. We ran all the way back up the hill, through the woods, past all the sleeping (dry) people in the other overnight spots, until we got back to our nice dry tents.

But I’m now totally soaked, as are my sleeping bag and pillow. Hmmm, gonna go find a blanket to sleep under. There must be one around here somewhere. Goodnight.

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