Chapter 4: Insignificant Happenings
I awoke the next morning, sat up, and wondered where I was. Suddenly, everything came flooding back: The trip, the camp, and the fact that this was Monday, the day we would go to Swampy and not exit until Friday. Feelings of excitement welled up in my stomach as I ripped off my blankets and started to dress. I finished and headed downstairs where I figured everyone else would be. I was right. Mom, Dad, Pastor Stevens, Karis, and Rachel were all sitting in the living room as Mrs. Stevens finished setting breakfast on the table. I wondered where David was. I quickly found out when I heard a *flush* and then a door open. If you don’t get it, it’s okay.
We ate breakfast, loaded up the van, and then Karis and I walked David over to the church where the registration tables were. He got signed up and then stepped onto a big yellow school bus that was waiting outside to take the campers to Camp Swampy. Rachel and the other staff members also went on the bus.
After David got on, Karis and I walked back to our van in the Stevens’ driveway where Mom and Dad were waiting for us. We left before the bus because Mom needed to grab a few extra items for her missionary story. We stopped at Wal-Mart on the way to pick them up. It seemed like an eternity before Mom and Karis were done in the store. I had seen the bus drive by, and grew more and more impatient as dad and I waited in the van. Finally, Mom and Karis came out and we were off to Camp Swampy.
When we arrived, the bus was being unloaded and about fifty screaming kids were running around like ants going in no apparent direction whatsoever. We drove the van to the staff cabin and unloaded our stuff into the room that was designated for Mom and Dad. I would have to sleep in the men’s staff cabin and Karis would sleep in the girls’. David was a camper, so he would sleep in one of the boys’ cabins.
After everything was squared away, Karis and I stood around wondering what we were supposed to do next. It seemed as if we were in the same boat as the clueless campers; we had no apparent direction to follow. We stood there, relished in this particular state of boredom when I popped the suggestion, “Let’s see what David is doing.”
We walked out to the big game field where the bus was still being unloaded and saw that finding David would be an even bigger challenge than we thought. The crowd of screaming campers was still there. They were waiting for their luggage which was being unloaded by the two adult guy counselors, Mr. Schumacher (Mr. Schu for short) and Mr. Hendrickson. After browsing through the crowd of kids, Karis turned to me and said, “I can’t see him.”
I was about to suggest that we should look by the boys cabins, but just then, over the hubbub we heard a very familiar voice over by the washstand.
“IT’S PRONOUNCED GHEE-GER-ICK!!!! NOT GING-ER-ICH!!!! GET IT RIGHT!!!!”
I turned to Karis. “Found him,” I said. We walked over to him. He was standing by himself by the washstand (apparently the kid he was yelling at got scared away) holding his suitcase in one hand and looking kind of confused.
“What’s up?” I asked him.
“What cabin am I in?” he asked me.
“I dunno—hey! Here comes Rodney,” I noticed.
He came over and asked us how we were doing and we explained to him our dilemma. Rodney, a tall, dark haired guy, 16, took off his glasses to wipe off a smudge, set them back on his nose, then replied, “What grade will you be in next fall?”
“Fourth,” David replied.
“Fourth?” Rod asked. “Great! That’s my cabin! Follow me.” Rodney and David walked off to their cabin and Karis and I were left with nothing to do.
I might need to add that in each cabin, there were two counselors: a junior counselor and an adult counselor. Rodney was junior counselor for the 3rd and 4th grade boys’ cabin. Junior counselor is an appropriate title for Rodney, seeing that his nickname is junior because he is the son of Rodney King Sr., thus making him Rodney King Jr., hence the nickname junior. Wow. Unconfuzzle that one.
Anywho, Karis and I stood around looking for something to do for quite a while, and then we heard a very loud siren. It was a megaphone siren. Karis and I looked at each other, wondering what it meant when suddenly, everyone began running toward the dining hall. We thought this was strange, considering it was only ten in the morning. Slowly we began walking toward the dining hall when we heard the voice of Mr. Lehman calling us.
“James! Karis!” he said. “C’mere a second!”
We turned around and saw him standing next to a man we hadn’t met yet.
Mr. Lehman introduced us. “This is Mr. Hemp,” he said, “the camp handyman.”
Mr. Hemp was a well built man in his early sixties and a very stubbly chin. He had a great personality and an even better sense of humor as we soon found out. I was starting to get used to funny people.
Mr. Lehman continued, “You guys will be helping him throughout the week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to the cafeteria so I can explain the opening rules and regulations and such.”
He jogged off toward the cafeteria and left Karis and me with Mr. Hemp. It was at that point when Camp Swampy 2008 officially began. Everyone else was inside the dining hall having fun with friends, but Karis and I were stuck outside setting up camp with a man we had never met before. Whoopee.