Thursday, July 2, 2009

Towel Camp Journal - Day 4

Twelve members of our congregation are on a trip to North Carolina to work on the homes of those in need. It's called Towel Camp. I thought you might like a brief run-down of each day as it happens. You’ll be able to follow along - and I might even be able to send a photo each day. Hope you enjoy it.

Day 4:

Hump Day. The room at breakfast was filled with more moaning and groaning from the aches and pains of the previous day. However, what most of the youth groaned about was the lack of sleep. I’m afraid that is a recurring theme: they stay up as late as they can get away with and stay in bed (sleeping bags) as long as they are allowed. Even 7:00 a.m. is too early for them. Go figure.

On the other hand, they were anxious to get to their work sites for two reasons. First, because they now only had one more day of work to finish their projects -- Thursday is the last day of work. On Friday, all groups visit each other’s sites and meet the people they have been working for. It’s is a chance for us all to appreciate what our new friends have been doing and to make yet newer friends.

Second, they knew that this Wednesday had a special treat in store. We were going to work only half a day and then go to the lake for swimming and canoing.

Our group thought we were going to finish building a retaining wall. Instead, we dug more postholes -- with the manual digger of course because I managed to break the gas powered auger the day before when I hit a doozie of a rock on the last hole. By the way, that earned me a nickname on my team: TAB, The Auger Breaker. Sigh.

The digging was easier this day because there had been a couple of hours of rain in the early morning. Of course, that meant that we were working in mud -- red slippery clay -- but you can’t have everything. We had to fill in or redig a couple of other holes that had been measured wrong, and by the time we finally set the posts in place, we only had time enough for some arm wrestling.

When we arrived at the pavillion we had reserved by the lake (it’s Lake James, by the way), we found it occupied by that camp of 6-year-olds from the YMCA. I mean, it was the exact same kids who had driven us from the showers. I think they are following us. We found a way to share the space, had our lunch and went for fun in the sun. Sadly, I did not get pictures of the lake. About a dozen of us rented all the available canoes while the others swam. Our flotilla explored as much of the lake as we dared until one canoe capsized. (NOTE: All canoers wore life jackest!). They were older and were able to tow their canoe to a nearby sandbar. On the way back, another canoe capsized, so it was back to the sandbar to empty them out. That was when we decided we had had enough fun.

In the evening, we received our Towel Camp 2009 t-shirts and had eucharist. I was able to celebrate while another priest, Mary, who is also on my work team, preached. It was great fun.

Finally, after church, the kids from Hyde Park made a special phone call to sing Happy Birthday to Tara Cotton. Happy Birthday, Tara!