Once in a while I meet a new person. When you meet a new person you have to learn what they enjoy doing. Sometimes these people like doing adventurous stuff like surfing or hiking. Fans of surfing never have a thing in common with me. Other than we live on the same planet and remove waste from our bodies in a similar fashion. Unless they’re like that One-Armed-Shark-Attack-Girl who no longer can poop. The fans of hiking always let me know that the person is cheap and lives close to mountains. Why not go to the mall and take the stairs if you really feel like climbing? It’s air conditioned. The only bears are the husky gay men with Frogurt trying to pick up the twink who dispenses the sprinkles. Only once have I done something outdoorsy that you adventurous folk like to do. This is my experience.
I wrote a few blog posts ago about different school field trips. Well, in sixth grade they took us camping for a week. The place they took us is called Stokes. I’m not sure if that’s the name of the campground, the town, or a lie the teachers told us. Rumor had it this was the site where the first Friday the 13th movie was filmed. Another rumor had it that we were just in the same county, but not on the same campground of Crystal Lake. The truth remains a mystery to me. Mostly because I don’t care enough to do any research whatsoever.
(At least they kept it accurate to New Jersey and smogged out the stars)
Before ascending we had to undergo training. The first part of this training was picking a partner. The day of partner picking was on a Monday, the day I normally faked sick for school. I was lucky to have a friend who nobody liked much so we became partners. Our training took place at a local park. The only activity I remember was having to transport a bucket of water across a jungle gym without walking on the ground. This was pretty dangerous as at one point a kid in my group had to sit on top of monkey bars about 15 feet in the air holding a heavy bucket. I’m pretty sure we got it all the way to the end before some girl tripped and spilt the water. Women–this is why laundry machines are inside. If they were outside of the house we’d probably have a lot more fires.
The bus ride to Stokes was unmemorable. We watched Aladdin, I think. Or Legally Blonde. I might be confusing it with our eighth grade trip to Gettysburg which I totally forgot to write about in my other post. The only thing memorable from that trip was I am still convinced a chubby girl in my class offered me a hand job while there. It felt disrespectful to all those who lost their lives so I stared at her and blushed without giving a solid response to her come on which I probably misinterpreted in the first place.
(I never realized Lincoln was so tall. He could probably sit on the flag pole. Maybe that’s where the rumors came from)
My cabin I stayed in was the reject cabin. Not because all of the other students in it were the biggest losers in school or anything. No. that was merely coincidence. We were the last students to choose partners. We even had the one “three team partners” who had no friends at all and had to become a triple threat. Our cabin was across the lake away from everyone else. We were a motley crew. A Star Wars obsessed nerd with holes in his shoes, a fat kid with pink eye, three redheads, a couple more fat kids without pink eye, and a fat kid who insisted he was Ra the Sun God. No relation to Joe Henderson who once signed my yearbook and believed he was a rival God to Ra known as Fireball. It was just that kind of school.
The trip was about teamwork and learning to hate yourself. I think it was only supposed to be the first one, but the other came naturally. My actual activity group wasn’t so bad. I liked most of the people in it. Even the girls were unintimidatingly cute. Sorry girls. You were all 5’s. Even our leader, who was a local high school senior as they all were, was a dud. He was the only one who was not athletic. He had glasses and a gut. Someone was keeping me among my people.
(Even the number 5 seems ashamed in herself for being so average and hairy. Much like the girls in my group)
Activities we did everyday had to be done differently. Showering was not done alone. It was done in a room with other boys. Nobody showered completely naked. Some of us even left our shirts on. Then our cabin leader informed us not to be ashamed of our bodies. He gave a really great speech about how we’re more than what our bodies represent. We should learn to love ourselves for who we are on the inside. We showered in parkas after that.
Food was a pain in the ass. Each day one person from your group was forced to be something called a “Cruiser.” I think that’s Latin for bitch. We’d have to actually get up from eating and fetch people at our table food whenever they asked. Yes! They really had us do this. Garlic bread day was the worst. I didn’t even get a piece because Cruisers got food last. What did this teach anybody? I’m not sure. A teacher yelled at me for putting the spoon on the wrong side of the plate while setting up everyone’s silverware. I wanted to run away and cry. Or find out Friday the 13th was filmed here and that it was a documentary. A machete going through that guy’s face would have been delightful.
My only other good food memory was the night they announced dessert would be fresh fruit. A chorus of boos rang out through the entire cafeteria. I’m pretty sure a few popular girls were overturned in protest. We wanted a real dessert. Pears are not real desserts. After eating though us sickly children would have to go up to the nurse’s station and get our medicine. I was on nasal spray for my allergies. This was an actual woman who lived on the premises year round for all of the school trips. She was a stereotypical redneck. Her husband worked at a gas station and her infant daughter wore no clothes. How could I tell it was a daughter? She wore no clothes.
(Dessert does not grow on trees. It comes from a package of cookie dough)
As for actual activities that took place there was kayaking in water so shallow I could see the salamanders walking around. There was a blind folded rope climb across a river which I do not understand how it was legal. Teachers even shook it while we walked across. This was early 2000. We had just survived Y2K and now you’re trying to kill us on a blind folded rope bridge? We were supposed to learn trust. I learned that slutty looking teachers are not very nice. Our other activities were board games, a variety show put on by the teachers, and a couple of outdoor games like tug-of-war. I’ve always been really good at tug-of-war. Put me in the end loop at the back and watch me sit there like the heaviest object imaginable.
(This is how we were forced to play. Buff, naked, genitals tucked away, and with Lego haircuts. Pretend I’m the grey guy in the back with one arm)
I didn’t mind the trip overall. Some people I know hated it. I think it was because I imagined people being massacred a lot at that age and it helped me get through difficult times. That’s always what I used to do in long car rides. Pretend I had a machine gun aimed out and could shoot everybody. If it rained I would watched the drops race each other. Sometimes I’d combine the two and the rain drops would be racing blood drops. This is something called merging ideas.
P.S. Be sure to fill out your Mad Libs bracket if you haven’t already! Calling something a bracket always gets people excited.