Fall OE: Week 5

I am way too jazzed on life right now to sit down and write a long blog entry. Driving by myself for 17 of the past 35 hours just makes me want to be around camp people, but I’ll do what I can to focus for you.

This week had another four day school group. They started off on our bad side. Unclear for the exact reason, but there were a bunch of really bratty kids and a few VERY homesick kids, which is something I can’t really remember seeing much throughout the outdoor ed seasons. Luckily, for everyone involved, they grew on us over the week, and I think we grew on them. Amusingly, they were a very … well … the best word for it is “horny”, group of sixth graders. A lot of relationships forming and dissolving and a lot of touching. Only among the students, to be clear. My favorite, and a lot of people’s favorite I think, kid for the week was a kid who could be a summer camper (NT). The other kids in his tribe worked great with NT, which was really cool to see, and he was a sweet, smart kid most of the time. On the first day, though, he was feeling pretty homesick and he was in my cabin. Before dinner, NT had a pretty big breakdown, apparently (I missed it), but come bed time he was asking if he could go home, if I could let him go home. He even offered me all $110 of his own money if I could let him go home. I told him no. He then asked if I would let him go if he had a million dollars, and was shocked when I said no. Fortunately, he wasn’t very agitated asking to go home, just sad and pleading. It was adorable. He then said that he would fight his meds (which make him go to sleep) and stay up all night because he didn’t want to sleep here. Managed to convince him to go to bed, and I’m sure he was asleep within five minutes of me starting telling a story. The next morning when we woke up, he told me, pretty much as soon as he got up, that he was glad he stayed because this is a pretty cool place. I mean, how awesome is that!? He didn’t even have to experience more of camp, he just had to realize that he could sleep through the night here, or something.

There were other fun things through the week, but nothing particularly new. Although, Friday after the kids left was interesting. We cleaned up and then got to set up an Archaeology class for the school that is coming in tomorrow. (175 kids, all at once, its going to be cray, but you’ll have to wait a week to hear how that goes…) So, a guy who has worked at Camp before, and works at other nearby outdoor ed programs, came over to help us set up an archaeological site on camp grounds for the kids to get to dig in! We laid out a grid and buried a bunch of arrow heads, flint shards, a deer skeleton, and a fire pit with some pottery firing in it. He also explained how he teaches the class and such. It should be pretty cool to see how it goes. Woohoo! And after we went over the hill for foods and I had the delicious fried green beans. mmmmm.

Then, the real fun had an opportunity to start. Saturday morning, I got up and drove back to the DC area, and not just on a whim. You see, back in the summer, three friends from college and crew and I had registered for a Cosmic Run. It is a 5k run/walk at night with light shows, color powders, glow sticks, and dance music, followed by a rave. It was awesome! So, I drove for 8 hours, listening to music and observing the countryside, going in and out of rain. And I go their earlier than I had legitimately expected (“If I leave at 10a, I should ‘get there’ by 6p, so I’ll be there by 7p” Woah, I actually made it at 6.) So I got to hang out and see everyone else arrive and wait for my friends to show up. The whole set up at the race was pretty cool. The start line had these giant inflatable pillars that they lit and would change colors when you hit them! What?! Then there were color changing strobe lights and stations along the run where volunteers would throw handfuls of the colorful powder at you. It was also disorganized, like this post. No one really told people where to go or when to go there. People just began filling up the start line as 8p approached, and then passed (when it was supposed to start). Then they sent out waves of 100 or so people randomly. It was weird. Plus, no one was timing anyone! No chips, or paying attention to numbers. It was not a race, everybody won! At the start line, as I discovered once my friends showed up and we went to the start, there was an MC/hype man there getting people pumped up, throwing out SWAG (bracelets, glow sticks, glow in the dark stunna shades, etc…), and randomly starting the groups. Then you ran, or walked, or danced, or did whatever you wanted to do to progress through the course. My favorite part was seeing all of the funny things people were wearing – light up tutus were very popular, and deservedly so. At the end of the race, everyone got their own bag of colorful powder and were sent on to the field of the minor league baseball stadium we were at for the rave. (If you are unfamiliar with the terminology, a rave is a dance party with electronic/techno/dance/DJ music, crazy lights, glow sticks, a lot of people crammed into an area smaller than they should reasonably fit in, and often, although definitely not always, MDMA. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some there, we saw, well, smelled first, some people smoking pot while they were walking the course, so…) So, we then spent a couple hours dancing and jumping and getting covered in more colorful powder and crowd surfing until 11p. It was a crazy fun way to spend a night. Now, I could not do that every weekend, but raves are not yet on my Murtaugh list.

A big thing in my own behavior that stuck out to me during the whole Cosmic Run was how I behaved towards others. I think the Camp mentality is really beginning to sink in. I’m feeling the Warm Fuzzy. High fives everywhere, cheering, and reminding everybody that they’re awesome. They probably thought I was crazy, but hopefully it made them feel even better.

And the weirdest part was that some people brought their children to the rave.

After the run and the rave, we were almost ready to leave. Unfortunately, before the run, one of my friends had locked his keys in his car… A call to AAA got everything solved, in a surprisingly reasonable amount of time, but not before we tried to break into his car using glow sticks. (They’re not optimal tools, btw…) With access to all of our cars, we went to get some food, because what else would you do after midnight?! We ended up at a Wawa and almost made off with a trash bag full of day old donuts, the manager wouldn’t have it. And we didn’t want to wait around two hours for them to take out the trash. We caught up and said we should do things again. Hopefully, some college buddies will be heading out this way to see Ohio eventually! Then, I drove home to my parents house by 3a to sleep for a few hours before driving back to Camp today. What made today’s drive totally worthwhile, besides the crazy awesome race, of course, was finding Space Jam for $5 at WalMart. Whoop whoop!

Sorry it was short this week, but I can’t sit for much longer. Seriously. Hopefully next week will be better for reading, but there are exciting weekend plans in store, so… no promises. Thanks for reading!

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