Tuesday 26 July 2011

that was you...

Still wrapping up some final thoughts on Camp IAWAH.  It is such a great place.  I seem to work harder and feel better the whole time I'm there.  Seeing French pounding away behind the scenes was excellent too.  You sure need guys like him to keep such a big camp running. 

There are the "upfront" people too.  These are the guys that give the place personality.  These are almost archetypal Camp People.  They have abundant skills, humour, energy, passion, and verve; plus they can keep this going all summer...unreal.

I was watching one of these lads entertain the 100+  boys campers.  He was just explaining the night's game, but the kids were in stitches...joke after joke, yet they all understood how to play when he was done.  Perfect.

French came up behind me, part way through, and said: "that is you 15 years ago". 

Here is a clip of IAWAH:

Tuesday 19 July 2011

IAWAH...summer nights

Evidence of French's Week at IAWAH

Just got back from hosting 107 boys at Camp IAWAH (Proverbs 3: 5-6).  This is a place where French and I spent many summers.  French always worked the maintenance side of things, and I worked as a counsellor, and in program.  He really had a knack of rubbing the camp admin the wrong way.  One summer he brought up his CD collection in an empty Labatt Blue 24 case.  He kept it in his window..."to prop it up"...he always said. 

I'd call his relationship with the camp ambivalent, so I was a bit surprised to see him up there again this summer.  I saw him one day just mowing lawn.  He'd popped up last year, but he had not mentioned that he intended to volunteer.

The first night I found him in his truck sleeping.  He'd mown lawn for 12 hours and he was beat.  I coaxed him to snag a bunk in my room, but he insisted on sleeping with no pillow, and only used a beach towel as a blanket; he called it his penance.

After spending the day mowing or washing pots he'd hide out behind the gym, smoke cigarettes and read his old Bible.  One day he broke this routine and manned the barbecue during a big rain storm.  French had always had affection for the old camp cook.  The two of them looked crazed flipping burgs amidst a howling storm.

I asked him about his week of "heavy labour".  He took a big draw from his smoke, stubbed it out, exhaled, closed his ragged Bible and said: "best week yet".