Lauren's blog - Tuesday after lunch

Wow quite a storm last night. I think of myself as pretty good at rolling with stuff like that, but I didn't feel like I did last night.

We had an all Troop campfire last night and at the risk of sounding negative, the skits were lame. Worse than lame. In the boys' defense, they might not have been given enough time to prepare, as originally a campfire was not on the schedule. A few of them tried to ad lib, and that helped a bit. NODEATH had a great song. You can always tell when Tony is in camp by the music! The boys so much appreciate the effort of the alumni entertainment, but I don't think the boys "get" that it doesn't just come by magic, and that the alumni put quite a bit of time writing and practicing the music.

After the campfire I went back to the computer lab to check on weather. Looked like nasty stuff coming at us, and it was a debate for J and I whether to just stay in the building or try to get some sleep back at the tent before the storm hit. We opted to try to start sleep, knowing it would be a long night with interrupted sleep. We mostly had all our stuff in containers - knowing we have a leaky tent. And our bed is up on an air mattress, so while a leaky tent isn't ideal, it seemed like we would survive it. I read for a bit and just as I tried to close my eyes, the storm started with a Woosh!!! You could hear it coming from quite a distance through the trees, so there was a very dramatic effect. Just a loud roar coming closer and then it hit the tent. We survived that one ok. Then the rain started. We lay there debating what to do next. The wind and the rain made for a lot of noise on the tent. We realized the rain fly wasn't secured well and rain was coming in, so J went out in the storm to try to secure things better. Sitting in the tent I decided to put on my pants and get things ready because I didn't think I could move fast enough if a warning came to get to shelter. As we were gathering ourselves, the wind continued to really whip our tent, so the tent would lay down, and then pop back up. We were sorta holding it up from the inside. I was sure something was going to snap and I really didn't want to be inside it when everything fell apart, so we decided to abandon ship. Everything was so loud. I ran up the road while Jeff closed the tent up. We ended up at the A Frame and the guys who were there were so calm and collected. It really helped. They said the power had been knocked out and could be several days before it is restored.

I was very impressed at how well things were handled during the storm. Even the refrigerators were taped shut. There were adults out during the storm checking on each boy campsite. They did find a tree down and there was concern about how that would affect the boys. Throughout the preparation and during the storm I only heard about safety of the boys being first. There was nothing left to chance. Had I not known differently I would have thought a middle of the night storm like this was a regular occurrence.

The worst of the storm didn't last too long (I think we had endured the worst of it inside our tent!) and then there was a break so we went back to see what was left of our tent. One side had collapsed, but upon further inspection, the pole had only pulled apart and had not broken, so it was fixable and our tent was back in business. Fortunately before we left I pulled the pillows and covers to the center of the mattress and that made a big difference as that all stayed dry. One side of the mattress and sheet got quite wet though so for the rest of the night we were trying to sleep, both of us, on the dry half. Didn't make for a restful night but it was good enough. It was amazing, as we were falling asleep, how bright the lightning got inside the tent. It really just was blinding. The restless sleep brought about a middle of the night bathroom stop - something I try to avoid at all costs.

Morning came and the rain had stopped and time to assess the damage. Our tent had pretty significant puddles and edges of the bed were wet, but otherwise we came out ok. Breakfast menu was adjusted from another day to something that didn't require power, or the refrigerators. But a great breakfast it was of oatmeal, fruit, and granola bar. It was impressive that after all that overnight action AND no power, camp was still continuing to function as normal. Everyone was fed and MB periods started.

Rowing MB at the beach was piece of cake with two cooperative and motivated boys. The water was still, sky was clear, and temperatures were perfect.

Sometime in the morning I started to question the wisdom of me being in camp. After an interrupted night of sleep, and water in the tent, I started to wish I was headed home. But since it wasn't a good option at this point, I tried to make the best of it. The water is pumped with electricity, so we didn't have running water (used hand sanitizer) and using soap and water is important to me. So after breakfast I obtained a container and pumped water into it to have a hand washing station outside my tent. Oddly that once simple thing seemed to turn it all around for me. Well, that and the can-do attitude of everyone in camp. Amazing at the motivated bunch of people determined to make everything work. Remember that tree that I mentioned fell - well it was cleaned up by noon.

You also might not know that we have a water filtration system in camp. It really makes a difference in how the boys stay hydrated because previous to this system, they didn't like the taste of the well water and wouldn't drink enough. But a bonus now without power, is that we had 100 gallons of filtered water, so no worries about drinking water!

Without power we didn't have access to phones or computers. Surprising/embarrassing how much I depend on my phone out here in the wilderness. It is my clock, my timer, it's where I store the schedule and my book, and of course my camera. All that shut down. And I wasn't able to blog this morning.

The generator was brought out first thing to keep the refrigerators operating and lunch was on as normal. The menu today was Brats, hotdogs, chili, mac&cheese, and watermelon. As always, there is milk and PB&J. During lunch cleanup a small rumble spread through the camp as people were getting word that the power came back on. Time to power up my phone and write my blog! :)

Someone wrote me asking if Dave is in camp. NOOO! I miss him this year. He has an internship in Dallas and just wasn't able to take the time off. But Drew and Joe (Dave's patrol mates) are here and are doing a fabulous job of being nice to me. Joe took time off from the Army (medic) to be here at camp, and Drew is here most of the week except for the few days he missed over the weekend by being at National Guard duty. It's great to have them here at camp.

We get our emails every evening before dinner, so I hope I have lots of emails coming to me today! :) Thanks for hanging with me this long!