Thursday, June 30, 2005

The first big camp update.

So I am sitting here in my cabin with no power and an hour left on my laptop battery so I thought I would give you guys an update.

Camp is GREAT!!

Second: Anyone with kids who like the outdoors and camping should send them here. The place is great, there is so much for them to do; Canoeing, hiking, backpacking, swimming, archery, rock climbing, (power just came back on, yahoooo!!!!! More on this later) rifle range and so much more.

Care Packages - This is a shameless request for care packages. Everyone gets at least one during the summer and I don't want to be left out. Letters are just as good. I know in this age of e-mail writing is a lost art but a letter is ten times better than an e-mail. Address is given in a previous post.

Now to fill you in on the first 6 days.
It was nice to have a few days in camp before the kids showed up. It gave me some time to get to know the consolers and other staff. Most of the counselors and CIT's are between 19-24. Most where campers at one time and just love the camp. As I have figured out, you are either camp people or not. Those of us who are camp people love camp. The simple, laid back yet structured atmosphere is very condusive to stress free living. Three hots and a cot help as well.

The two brothers that own the camp are great guys who have been here since their family brought the camp in the early 70's. They both are teachers during the rest of the year at the school in Old Forge (K-12 and only 300 kids total). John handles the front end operations, and his brother Dave handles the back end camp maintenance. They are both at almost every meal with us. Dave spent today getting me and one other cabin our power back today. Not bad for a gym teacher. We had a thunderstorm roll through around 8pm last night and a tree fell and took my power line with it. It wasn't much of a problem for me as a group of use had plans to go to the local bar for the evening so I was not forced to hang out in the cabin in the dark. More on this later.

The job is great, it is exactly what I hoped it would be. So far I haven't had to make to many trips. Today was the first day I had to take campers to trails. There are two vans I drive, one is a van that was made into a "short" bus that seats 15 from the 70's. I drove that today with 8 canoes on the trailer and a bus load of campers. The thing handles only slightly better than the white whale I drove in New Zealand. It has an engine that has trouble getting to 50 mph when loaded and trailing canoes unless I am going down hill. I call it George. Then there is Gracie, new Ford F350 12 passenger van, what a dream compared to George. If I have to make airport runs, I can drive my car and they pay me for the mileage which is nice because I can smoke on the way there. Most of my days will involve a drop-off in the morning and a pick-up or another drop off for an overnight or longer canoe trip. So I get up at 7:55 am, ride my bike (more on this later) to breakfast by 8:10 then back to the cabin until my first run around 10:00. This can be a local run that gets me back in under an hour, I haven't had any long runs yet so I not sure how long they take. I think most trips are under 2 hours one way, which isn't bad in Gracie but George has no sound system at all. Then I will have a pick-up for all local trips in the afternoon. After that my day is done. I come back to the cabin and chill before grabbing a shower and watching some TV. I should say that I find it hard to believe that I only get 65% of 1 channel and I am O.K. with that. It's CBS and because I can watch Letterman every-night that makes easy to deal with. Watch him some time, he is so much better than Leno.

Some of the people who work here come with their kids who get to come for free! A 7 week summer vacation with your family that you get paid 250.00 a week for, how can you go wrong?

Walking back and forth from my cabin to the main dining hall was getting to be a pain so Alex told me about a bike in pieces that I could try and fix up. So I spent about 25 minutes putting this thing back together. Its an older mountain bike with a broken front de-railer that has me on the middle sprocket, so it's only a 6 speed not 18 but it is the best 6 to have. So I now ride everywhere in camp which took a few days for some of my leg muscles to remember what it was like to work. I will post a photo of the jalopy in a few days, it may have a slightly bent back wheel, missing one handle bar grip a crappy saddle and only 6 speeds but she's all mine. This of course does not change the fact I am in the market for a used golf cart (preferably an old school 3 wheel one with the tiller instead of a steering wheel just for the sheer danger factor alone. Hey I jump out of airplanes and bungy, what would you expect). Now stop and think about this for a second. Isn't that how you picture me getting around camp. We all have dreams.

SIDEBAR - For those who where waiting for my blood work to come back here is the news. My cholesterol is so low my doctor is putting me on a pork only diet.

My cabin is small (14 ft x 14 ft but very functional) having the loft to sleep in makes all the difference. Also it is one of the only insulated cabins in camp. Now you may ask how that makes a difference in the summer time? It gets cool every night so I open the windows and turn on the fans. Then when I get up in the morning I shut everything and turn off the fans. Because of this and the fact I am surrounded by trees my cabin stays cool all day long. Even when it was 92 the other day my cabin was around 76-78 all day long. If anyone would like to come and visit you are welcome to hang out in camp for a few days. Trust me it's worth the trip and I have plenty of room for up to two guests. Here is what you get a cabin that has a sink with a drain, a 3 1/2 gallon jug for water. A love seat, TV, Playstation 2, a selection of over 230 DVD's to watch at night, a classic early 60's fridge and a dark and quit place to sleep. The bathroom is 100 yards away though the woods or as close is the nearest empty Gatorade bottle, your choice. I have a small mouse issue but I am working on getting all of the one in a 50 yard radius of the cabin. I am two kills away from becoming an Ace. We even have high speed wireless internet in the office.

So a bunch of us went out last night to the local bar on the lake about 10 minutes away. The place is on a large lake with great views. The place is a total Nascar bar, in the winter time a few weeks before the start of the Nascar season, Rusty, Dale Jr. and a few others come up and hang out in the bar. I think they come up for a snowmobile race. Snowmobiling is huge in this area, the town of Old Forge is a huge destination for snowmobilers. The town has there own dept. of snowmobile trails for creation and maintenance. So the summer months are quite.

That's all for now I just finished dinner and stopped by the office to post this before I go out for the evening. More to come.

I hope there are not too many spelling and grammatical mistakes in this post. If so please feel free to keep them to yourself you smug bastards. Just kidding about the smug bastards part. :-)

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