Monday, October 24, 2005

It was a horrible experience!

What can I say, this weekend's experience sucked! Let me set the scene for you.

I left the office at noon, went home, packed up and picked up Lina at school. After buying a sub for each of us for dinner, we headed out to Camp Caritou where our Brownie camp was being held. Lina and I swept up, set up our bunks, brought in groceries, set up the Christmas tree and lights (theme of our camp), organized our craft stuff, set up tables and chairs and when we were done all that we sat down and made an angel for the top of the tree. It was really cute too, it was a Brownie angel, complete with brownie uniform and sash along with wings and a halo.

Then we waited. The other leaders arrived first we got them set up and then the girls started arriving. They were so excited! 15 girls aged 7 and 8. They immediately ran to the rooms to choose their bunk and get set up. I stood their smiling, my cheeks hurt I smiled so much. You could here squeals of excitement pouring out of the rooms. Parents were hugging their girls goodbye, siblings were exclaiming how happy they were that their sisters were going to be out of their hair for the weekend. Leaders were reassuring parents that all would be OK.

We started out by going over the house rules and talking about fire drills and the schedule for the weekend. Girls were giggling with each other, picking safety buddies, making up cheers for their duty teams. It was a blast, I was tired just watching all of it. We had cheese and crackers and juice for snacks. And then it happened. The water stopped working. We called the contacts on the camp emergency list and 3 people ending up coming out to try to get things going. The camp committee had worked so hard to raise the money to get a $10,000 UV system for the water so we'd have safe drinking water. Apparently the system had undergone maintenance last Monday and was checked again on Wednesday in anticipation of our camp. The girls were told they couldn't drink the water (it worked intermitantly) and were told not to flush the toilets. We had a large container of bottled water but with 15 girls the toilets started to fill quickly and using the lattrines outside about 150 feet away in the dark and cold was out of the question.

With the announcement that a part was missing from the pump, we had to make a call and we decided it was not safe to keep the girls overnight or for the weekend. We wouldn't have been able to cook the food, wash the dishes or drink the water. We had planned our food and activities around the fact that we were staying in a lodge with drinkable water. We didn't have the equipment or enough bottled water to deal with this development. So the other two leaders started calling parents and asking them to come back and pick up their girls. When we had reached the last parent and they were on their way, we sat the girls down and I told them that their parents were on their way to pick them up and that we would not be able to camp this weekend. The girls were in their PJs. They had moments before been running between rooms, singing songs and playing with their stuffed animals. Girls had been coming to us asking to call their parents before bed and we had put them off until we made our decision because we couldn't have them talk to their parents and then turn around and phone them and ask them to come pick them up.

Right around the part where I said "....we have had to call your parents and their on there way to get you....." I choked up. I started crying, they started crying. We were all in shock. The hurt and disappointment on their faces was excruciating to look at. We love these girls, this is what we do. And we made them cry. It SUCKED! So right after I told them, parents started arriving. We told them all to get packed up and one by one, sad faced, tear stained, quiet little girls started leaving camp. The last of them went home around 10:30pm. I don't ever want to go through that again.

By the time we cleaned up the place and packed up our stuff it was about midnight. Four cars driving out of camp stopping to lock up the gate in the middle of a cold dark night. To make matters even more sucky, I lambasted a racoon on the way home. After I hit it, Lina asked what had happened. I sat there with my head in my hands feeling like I was going to throw up. Lina even with being devasted about the camp tried to comfort me and tell me it was not my fault.

Her friend Chloe stayed with us overnight, I think I finally got them to sleep around 2:30am. Rebecca (one of our leader's girls) came over to play on Saturday. Lina kept asking me, what would we be doing at camp now mom?

It's Monday, it's a new week. The girls have a Halloween party to look forward to this Thursday, but I am sure that we'll have to have a talk with them and let them express their feelings about the camp and what happened.

Yuck and double YUCK!

2 Comments:

Anonymous angharad jones said...

I'm sorry, what a disappointment! I used to love those kind of weekends when I was a kid. Not that this will make up for it, but you backtack package is on it's way. Look for it in 3-5 days.

:)

4:30 PM  
Blogger ria said...

Wow, thank you so much!

It will lift my spirits. I need to finish my back-tack project too. Can't wait!

9:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

CRAFT

Leather craft
Wood
Basketry
Wirework
Decoupage
Quilling
Modelling & Pottery
Paper Mache

Textiles
Quilting
Sewing
Felt
Weaving
Appliqué

Knot work
Netting
Crochet
Knitting
Tatting
Lace making
Macramé
Finger knitting

Needlework
Crewelwork
Cross stitch
Embroidery
Smocking

Beadwork
French Beading
Loom work
Bead embroidery
Stringing

Stationary
Origami
paper craft
bookbinding

Cultural Handicrafts
Native Crafts
ART

Design

Dramatic Arts
Puppets (Finger puppets, marionettes)

Visual Arts
Photography
Drawing
Painting
Pen & Ink
Printmaking
Collage

Writing
Journaling

Music

Dance
FAMILY

Baby
Maternity

Letter Writing

Kids
Toys (Games, Puzzles)

Pet-keeping

Activities
Camping
Travel / vacations

Hobbies
Motorcycling
Pen Pals

Finances
THE HOME
Gardening
Organizing

Decorating
Candles
Pillows
HEALTH

Fitness

Cooking
Cooking
Baking
RESEARCH / EDUCATION

Homeschooling Resources
Science (Earth Science, Astronomy, Physics, Geography)
Literature
Mathematics
History

World Culture

Genealogy

Internet
Blogs
OCCASION
Family
Wedding
Christening
Father’s Day
Mother’s Day
Birthdays
Reunions

Holidays
New Year’s Day
Canada Day
Christmas
Easter
St. Patrick’s Day
Halloween
Valentines
Thanksgiving
Remembrance Day
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
Bags
Aprons
Belts
Hair Accessories
Jewellery
COMMUNITY & COMMUNITY SERVICE

Girl Guides
Sparks
Brownies
Recycling