Week 7: Outdoor Skills

July 27, 2008

This week has been an interesting one, on Sunday Hannah and I waited by the screen houses while the campers arrived after we set up our cosy one person tents that we’d be staying in for the week. The campers this week have been loud and seemingly uninterested in anything that either Hannah or I had to say. So we started the week how we always do with some name games and in the evening we taught them how to build the camp fire for the rest of the camp and finally before going to bed we took all their watches which they loved us for. We used Monday to teach them about everything that they’d need out on trail such as leave no trace, schmooing (pooing in the woods) and they were fitted for the nice, brand new backpacks.

On Tuesday morning we packed and took the backpacks over to the teen X garage to pick up all the group gear that we had to take such as food, tents and in Hannah and I’s case, the stoves, fuel, knives, extra water and first aid. After getting Ben to shake down the things the kids had packed which led to some interesting begging to take those non essential items such as pillows and stuffed animals we headed out to the start of the trail. It wasn’t long before the complaints of heavy backpacks, ‘are we there yet?’ and ‘how much longer?’ began. Four miles and almost four hours later we arrived at the first campsite where we set up and cooked chicken fajitas, after dinner we took them down to the river where we got our first taste of iodine water which they loved, but really didn’t taste that bad. The first night went smoothly and we left in the morning with no trouble, we hiked the next three miles and arrived at the second campsite at around three in the afternoon, where we set up all the tents and were thinking about getting the fire ready when it all went downhill. Just to set the scene, it hasn’t rained here in Rhode Island for almost 4 weeks so when the heavens decided to open it wasn’t going to stop. In the torrential rain the lightning began, at first a minor scare for the kids but when it really started to come down, a flash flood was developing and two trees near us got struck by lightning the decision was made to get out and evacuate to a safer place. We ditched all of the stuff apart from my rucksack (which had all the med forms, and more importantly my camera in it, all waterproofed of course!) and ran up towards research where we were met by a van which all the kids were bundled into then Hannah and I continued up to the house. In the end everyone got out safely and there were 2 further storms that evening, so being inside felt nice.

The view from research after being rescued

Thursday morning our stuff got picked up from the camp site so we had to hose it all down and hang everything up to dry, during another storm, in the evening a few of us had our night off so we went out to Applebys for dinner which was a welcome change from camp food. On friday we set up all of the tents to dry and finally put everything from the trip away before planning our parents program and sending them home.

Friday evening we had the mid summer staff party down at ecozone with the theme of ‘keeping it green’, where all the coordinators raffled off prizes and I won a free ice cream run from a parlour of my choice from Kate so I can’t wait to cash that in! There was food and a slip and slide and a good time was had by all. Next week I’ll be around taking photos and I know that I’m going rock climbing and kayaking so it will be a good week.

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