TMI Thursday: in which I am long winded but it is worth it in the end

TMI Thursday
Back when I was churchy, I went to a churchy summer camp. Kids from all over the state of Kentucky would gather for a week of Jesus at a tiny little campground just outside of Louisville.

When one was old enough, the cool thing to do was to volunteer to work at the camp -- cleaning the restrooms, helping in the cafeteria, and serving snacks at the canteen (which is called The Manna Hut. I told you it was churchy.)

Since I lived about 15 minutes from camp, I decided to make history the summer I was sixteen: I volunteered to work all six weeks. The Camp Director even decided to pay me for my efforts -- I earned a whopping $125.00 per week, which I was encouraged to put into a fund for an overseas missions trip at the summer's end. (I think I saw dollar signs in my eyes, so I decided to skip the trip and pocket my pay. I'm pretty sure the Camp Director -- who organized the trip -- was not entirely pleased with my decision.)

The camp is always divided up into teams and compete against each other in scavenger hunts, belching contests, etc. to win a Thursday night pizza party. The volunteers get to participate and are always on "the peach team" and get to go to the pizza party regardless. There are hundreds of photos taken. Endless games of tetherball and volleyball are played. Cute college boys from a dramatic arts group at a Florida college hold your hand all week, wink at you, make you feel like you're their girl. (Well, if you're me.) Snail-mail addresses are exchanged at the end of the week.

Ahh, camp.

So, I was having a hell heck of a time that summer, feeling the stirrings of the Spirit (which I am now certain were stirrings for that college boy, Jeramie, who turned out to be quite douche-y, if you wanna know. He called me after camp, and pretty much phone sexed me against my will. I don't think he asked himself the important question: WWJD?)


It was the last week of camp, and the campers were all-ages, and all had physical and mental disabilities. This was always my favorite week of camp, because these people look forward to coming all year long. It's the only time they aren't stifled by their handicaps, the only time being disabled puts them in the majority. And they all had the most positive outlooks on life. There is one camper, Tony, who I will never, ever forget. I was mopping the cafeteria one afternoon and he was hanging out with me. He was probably in his thirties, and he is in a wheelchair. I was complaining about mopping, whining that my back was killing me and that I wished I didn't have to do it.

He told me, "Amber, if I could walk, I'd mop that whole floor for you a hundred times."


Anyway, on to the TMI. There was one camp counselor (one of the college drama boys!) who would sneak off at night with another camp counselor, a blonde dimwitted gal who was as skinny as she was easy. (Whitetrashspice.) Now, the problem was that since they were staying in rooms with people with special needs they really needed to be there in case one of them needed something. All the volunteers got wind of the situation, and we were all pissed.

So, the last night of camp, the camp director's son (who I ever so briefly dated, of course) and his brother decided that they wanted to bust the lovers and get them caught red handed. He wanted me and my friend, Anna, to assist them in setting a trap. The plan was, when the two walked out of their cabin and off into the woods, Anna and I would sit at the picnic tables in the middle of camp and wait, so that after they re-emerged post make-out sesh, they would join us at the picnic tables for a chit-chat. Director's son would be the lookout, and upon his signal, his brother was to bang on the door of his dad's cabin and tell him there was an emergency -- to get him out of bed so he would come outside and bust the horny couple.

Everything went according to plan until the camp director emerged from his bed. Anna and I, seated at the picnic table with the guilty party, looked just as guilty of sneaking out in the middle of the night.

Camp director chewed us new ones while directing us back to our bunks. I wish I could remember the words he used, but I don't think I have ever been yelled at so profoundly in my entire life, before or since that night. He basically told us to pack our bags and that we were leaving and were never welcome to come back. Ever. We were told to stay in our room until he told us what to do. We tried to explain, but we couldn't get a word in.

We thought he might call our parents. We thought he meant we needed to leave then, in the middle of the night. Shaking like little leaves, we packed in the dark. I was crying because I am emotionally weak. We lay in the dark on our bunks, waiting for certain punishment, sure to be harsher than hades.

I'm sure we dozed, but I just remember starring at the ceiling for what felt like days. Around sunrise, there was a knock on the door. Camp director's evil wife said, "He wants you in the kitchen in thirty minutes, ready to work. We have to close down the camp today. Do not be late."

So, he wasn't sending us home. No, of course not, with all the work to be done. He gave Anna and I the most disgusting of the jobs, hosing down and scrubbing out practically every crevice of the campground. We worked for hours.

Apparently, his sons did not cooroborate our story, did not validate the fact that she and I were scheming with them for an honorable purpose.

My regret is staying until the early evening that day and doing all the work I did. I should have left the camp that morning, and gone home to a hot shower and my comfortable bed and thought of camp director and his spawns-of-satan sons, doing all the work on their own. No, instead, I stayed, because I was a good Christian young woman, turning the other tear-stained cheek.

I carried a grudge for years, until the time a few years back when that campy family came into the restaurant where I was working as a waitress.

If you think I might have spit into my hand a little and then allowed it touch the camp director's french fries, you might be right. If you think I might have had an itchy nostril, and then accidently allowed that same thumb into the egde of the son's chicken pasta dish, you might also be right. If you wonder whether or not I may have gone into the ladies room, produced a soup spoon from my apron, and stuck it near my (rear)nether-regions before exiting the ladies room and taking out the soup du-jour to my ex-beau, well...

I'm not confessing to any of it.
Check out Lilu's blog for more tragic tales!


There was a guy I hated who would come into the greasy spoon where I worked and--wait, why am I telling you this? This is blog fodder!

Oh well. I like you. You're cute. And you like IU. And stuff.

Anyway, guy comes into the restaurant all the time, orders a hamburger with a thick slice of tomato on it. Every time, he would hold his fingers about a half inch apart, telling me how thick the tomato should be.

And, every time, I dropped that effer on the floor before I put it on his burger.

When he died a couple of years later, I felt guilty, like all the floor sweepings had accumulated in his body and poisoned him.
Oh this is bringing back memories of camp...thanks, I have some blogging to do.

I do hate the self-righteous preachy types. Had a priest lay on the guilt pretty heavy after confession once. I hated him for that and hated him even more when I found out he was a philandering alcoholic.

I'm gonna try to think happy thoughts about greasy spoons now...
okay, maybe not spoons.
jayme said…
swati's heater is so fucking hot. i think i am dying. please help.
Travener said…
This is why I don't mess with the staff at restaurants.
Amy said…
Hilarious! I think they deserved that! If not for that particular offense then for all the rest of the stupid stuff they did. The "evil wife" was the only one of them I never particularly cared for.
I have a story you'll appreciate! The first year I wasn't at Crestwood I tagged along with a friend to AG church camp in Indiana. And when I say tagged along I mean it. She was on the special guest worship team and wanted someone to go with her. I did't even have permission to be there! I was sleeping on the floor. I'm pretty sure they even asked me to leave but I didn't have a way home!
Well let me tell you what we KY kids were missing out on. They have a lake at their camp and those fun blow up things, and a boat for tubing! They even wore their bathing suits in public! Shocking I know.
So anyway the last night my friend and I decided to stay up all night riding around on the golf cart with the night security guard (hot 19 year old youth pastor.) I'm quite certain that this was (at the time) the most rebellious night of my young life.
He was complaining about a room full of girls who wouldn't turn off their lights so my friend and I decided to help him with the problem. We went up to the room with a couple of super soakers and hosed them down in their beds. However... by the time we got up there they were in their beds with the lights out. For the life of me I can't figure out why we thought this was a good idea. The counselors were so pissed. Our only explanation was "he (the security guard) told us we could." I was actually really embarrassed when I had to face them the next day. I'm pretty sure they put my name on a list as never being allowed back on the property. On second thought... I'm not sure they ever knew my name in the first place.
Tina Lynn said…
I have no clever and/or sarcastic comments. I think the sleep deprivation is getting to me. I ALWAYS have something clever (or at the very least...sarcastic) to say. I think maybe the world is coming to an end...

You read my blog?!

Amy is my old camp friend, guys. This is really exciting. :)
Amy said…
Ye, every day! You are very entertaining!
Amy said…
I wasn't trying to say 'ye' there. That was actually a yes.
Ashley Stone said…
haha, never mess with the people that handle your food!
UberGrumpy said…
That was a long post.

Good job with the spoon though. Now I know what you mean by 'worth it in the end'.
LiLu said…
Never, ever confess...

But ROCK ON. Hahahaha!

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