Yesterday at dinner, Cesar Saracho got the fancy spoon. There is one spoon in the camp’s batch of silverware that is fancier than the others and whenever anyone gets it we chant Fancy Spoon. The fancy spoon chant morphed into the Texas Toast vs. Fat Bread chant. Some people want it to be called Texas Toast and some want it to be called Fat Bread and there is often a camp-wide feud about it at lunchtime. We have a few Texans who are genetically biased. Debbie the cook had to intervene and bring things to a close.
I spent last night with the ‘survivors’, led by counselor Jason Gershowitz, on an overnight trip that had been postponed from a few days before. The group included Michael Gross, Zack Wagshal, Becca Dreizen, Stephanie Bronfein, Abby Molofsky, Julz Meier, and Ethan Ebinger. Most of the rest of camp had Monte Carlo night in the gym.
We slept in lean-to’s that Jason, who is an Eagle Scout, taught us how to build. We also made hot cocoa using water the group had collected in a handmade still, and purified by boiling (over a fire we started with flint, steel, and magnesium). Jason led us out onto the golf course to show us how to navigate by the stars. We also sat around the fire and talked about knots and other survival skills, and then just sat for a long time and joked around. I wish I’d had a tape recorder, because the kids were just cracking me up. Jason told us about some cool experiences he’s had as an Eagle Scout. We had s’mores and finally got sleepy around midnight.
We were all camped close enough to hear each other, but far enough away that we felt like we were ‘surviving alone.’ It was really strange crawling into my lean-to in the dark to go to sleep, listening to the animals and insects and looking up at the trees. Nobody complained about the bugs or the dirt, and everyone seemed pretty excited to sleep in something they’d built. It rained a little in the night and Stef said it was so cool to be lying there and listening but not getting wet. We dismantled our lean-to’s this morning, leaving the woods like we found them.
It is supposed to be our last overcast day at camp. This morning we emerged from the trees onto the golf course and the sun was shining through the drizzly rain, but no rainbows. The Leadership Two group had gone on a ten mile hike and slept out last night, so they were looking as sleepy as we were at breakfast. That group includes: James Teasely, Tucker Sullivan, Hannah Sherman, Jess Beiser, Jess Littman, Erin Uhlfelder – led by counselors James, Dean and admin’er Emma. On the trail, they had encountered a couple who had encountered a bear. It made me think of longtime counselor Billy Mathis, who not only made the camp bell out of his kidney stone, as I mentioned, but once saved camp from a bear by throwing his own leg at it. Incidentally, Billy also once filled the lake with his own tears. Counselor Mike Conti witnessed many of these acts firsthand. If you have any questions for Mike or the other counselors about Billy Mathis, just let me know.
Today is the superbowl! The whole camp usually comes out to support their teams. There will be an after party, and we’re excited to see the cheerleaders, who’ve been working hard on their routine (led by the mutli-talented counselor Myi). Today is also the play. I can hear the actors practicing across the field. Great day for spectators and participants alike.