Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Roughin' It

Last Wednesday through Friday, Rita and I took a group of 32 fourth graders and twelve parents down to Camp Don Lee in Arapahoe, NC. I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all as we reveled in perfectly gorgeous weather and explored all different parts of Atlantic Beach and the Neuse River. However, for the third year in a row, I stepped out onto to CDL property and my sinuses promptly began to drain. The first year, I just thought it was a fluke, physical and emotional stress. Last year, we all blamed it on a hellacious break-up with a man who refused to be broken up with. But after this year, I'm thinking I'm allergic to CDL. Which is very sad because for the most part, I like this field trip. Thankfully, after returning home and partaking of the lemon chicken soup from Spartacus Restaraunt here in Durham, I'm on the mend. Seriously. Magical, healing powers in that soup.

So I discovered, thanks to Rita, that you can entertain young boys for a fairly lengthy amount of time with just one pair of rogue underwear that no one will claim. On the last night of camp, we sent the parents off to have dinner and Rita and I took the kids on for ourselves. As bedtime approached I took the girls' cabin and Rita took charge of the boys' in order to make sure that they were packing and getting ready for our departure the next day. Fifteen sweet little girls neatly and quickly packed their bags, gathered their things and then went back to girly girl stuff. All of a sudden we heard a commotion coming from the boys' cabin. As I went to investigate, I saw through the screen porch Rita doubled over in laughter and seventeen little boys running around, howling, cheering and shouting, "Freedom Flag! Freedom Flag!" The "freedom flags" were several pairs of unclaimed undies that they then hung in the front of the screened in porch. I will never understand boys but I'm fairly certain that they'll never forget that. As evidenced by the fact that today in class, every once in a while, one boy would whisper "Freedom!" and the rest would take up the cheer. I couldn't bring myself to make them stop. I mean, really, little boy's tighty whiteys are pretty funny.

There was one thing that happened that had never occurred on a Camp Don Lee trip before. On the way down to Atlantic Beach, we always stop at the Neuse River Sports Shop for a bathroom/snack break. As usual, all the kids made a beeline for the candy but the girls did something else. They headed for the magazine rack. And proceeded to buy Teen Bop and Tiger Beat. They still make them! Not only did they buy them and read them, but once they were in the rooms in the girls' cabin, they proceeded to decorate their rooms with pictures and posters from the magazines. They nested. Right there in the middle of camp. It was like a scene out of "Parent Trap." You know, the one where the wind blows off all of Sharon's movie star and celebrity photos. I know more now about the teen stars of Disney than I ever wanted to.

These little ones were cold and since they were all so small, they took to wearing one of the dad's sweatshirts. They dubbed themselves "Snuffluffleagus" collectively and "Snuffle", "Luffle", and "Agus" individually. I think they were referring to Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. You gotta love that they know their Sesame Street.

We had a great group of parents who gamely tagged along on every activity, shepherded, corraled, endured bunk beds and multiple singings of "Three Short-necked Buzzards" which they demonstrated in their group shot.

Herpetology was a favorite class. I'm all about being eye to eye with a turtle, but I had to leave when the snake came out.

All in all, a great trip to end my five year history at Camp Don Lee....


  1. Kelin from 4B6:13 PM

    I had tons of fun @ Don Lee. I'll miss u when u get married. I hope 2 c u again.
    - from owner of the three headed simese triplet sunufalufagus

  2. Anonymous9:43 PM

    Oh YEs! Freedom will long be a song in my ears with the sight of the little white flag of glory blowing in the breeze- boys are such fun and they round up so quickly to join in. Eventually all the undies were claimed by the way- in the quiet and dark of night no doubt.


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