The way I see camp is when you need to step out of your comfort zone. I go to a tech-savvy school and I think that they want us to be outside in nature instead of playing video games in an air-conditioned classroom.
I went to outward bound for camp and I really enjoyed it! It was by far the best camp I have been to. I was in the same group that Nicolas was in so I was very happy. When we got there, we had to find our group leader to lead us around but doing that was chaos. All the 6 graders were in a cramped parking lot running around like headless chickens. We found our group and got to know them. (We kinda had to because we would be spending the next 4 days together.)
We also did swimming skills. (The water was so cold that snowmen would freeze to death there) We also did a pontoon jump so we could practice for the jetty jump the next day. After that, we did a ropes course. Not the “High” ropes course that is like 20 meters off the ground but one 5 inches off the ground. That night we slept in a dorm. It was fun.
After breakfast, we went on a kayak journey. Everyone in our group had 3 people in their kayak except Nic and I. We went to a close island because that is where we would have our lunch. Since we had only 2 people in our kayaks, we had to carry a water jug and a dry bag in our kayak. The journey took a (I think half an hour) while. Once we got to the island we had a little debate. Declan didn’t want to do the beach cleanup. One of our leaders joined Declan (probably because he felt sorry for him) and the rest of us were on the “I want to save the world one coke can at a time” team. The “I want to save the world one coke can at a time” team won. I don’t think that Declan was so happy. I found many plastic bottles with some sort of yellow liquid in them. Weird. After that we had lunch. I was one of the volunteers that volunteered to hold up a tarp over the food as it was drizzling. Because I am so nice to volunteer, I held up the tarp while eating white bread without hands. (I know right!) We kayaked back but before we went to shore, we had to do some activities with the kayaks. One of them was when we had to make a raft out of the kayaks on the water. THEN we had to all stand up. Sounded easy enough but when we got the rafts together, Trevis slipped onto the kayak next to them and that rocked the kayaks so much that we all fell in.
Next, we did the Jetty Jump. That had to be one of my “highlights” of the camp. I was second in line behind Declan but the instructor made him tie his shoes and let ME go first. It was really fun because, for a second, you feel like you are falling (You ARE falling) and once you hit the water, you feel like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Declan went next. It was a long wait so I amused myself by catching tiny fishes. No one liked it when I would show them in my hand “Here, Want a bite” I would say. I think we would have gotten out 10 minutes before we actually got out because there was a couple of girls in our group that were scared. (In the end, all except one jumped.) Waste of time.
That day we also did “practice camping.” We learned how to set up the tents and tried doing it ourselves. (Failing miserably) we restarted. Eventually, we did it. (Hallelujah.) we ate dinner and did nighttime activities. It was a “shepherds and sheeps” game. I was the shepherd and I had 5 more sheep. We had to create a sign language because we had to get all our sheep to a pillar. Once we made the code the instructor moved all of the sheep around and blindfolded them. The other team won because their code was better (AND they had less sheep.)
I was ready for bed by then so I brushed my teeth and climbed into the tent. Then Nic. We played cards for a bit and then I started dozing off. Then suddenly, “SHRIEEEEEEEEEEEEK” The next group was telling scary stories. There were also kids tripping over our tent.
That morning we had to take down the tents because we were hiking to a real campsite. Trevis asked for help because his sleeping bag had no toggle on it so I tied a knot on the end. I also had Ovaltine for breakfast. I also volunteered to be a navigator to the place where we would start camping. On the map, It said that we had to take a bus to this place called “Pak Tam Au”. Here is the funny part. I said to Nic “Imagine if the bus comes and it is full so It can’t stop for us.” 5 Minutes later it really did come. It was full. Now everyone was yelling at me for supposedly “Jinxing” it.
We walked to a different place instead. That hike would be a tiny bit easier than the other one. Everybody took turns being Navigator. We stopped for lunch after we hiked up a mountain and back down. I had a tuna, tomato, cucumber, lunch meat, mayonnaise, cheese, and condensed milk pita. Disgusting but good. We hiked for about half an hour more and made it to a bus stop. Nic stopped me before I could jinx anything. Once we were waiting, I cracked a couple of jokes on how there were so many of us, we could get away with paying 5 fewer fares. (Because the driver couldn’t count us all.) Don’t worry, we paid the full price. I think.
We went to this place called “Wong Shek” to camp. It was next to a bay so the water was calm and not rough. We could also see lots of mountains and boats. All of us (2 groups) played tag. I always was the last one tagged because I would always pretend that I wasn’t playing. I don’t count that as cheating. I also hid behind a bush and also got the last one out. The next round (and final) I hid in a bush. (Yes you read correctly IN A BUSH.) it was hollow inside and it was funny that all the people that weren’t playing noticed except the ones that were playing. I eventually got snuck up on.
Then the instructors called us to start cooking. In my group, the boys (and some girls) had to go and get sticks for the fire. I was just walking off when I was called back to “Help” the girls cut onions. I started dicing the onions when everyone else around me started tearing up even though they weren’t chopping onions. I was lucky because I had a blocked nose that day. (“Not today fumes”) When all the people picking up sticks came back, Trevis was holding a stick. An oddly smooth stick. You will never believe this but Trevis even named it. “Guys meet Jimmy the stick!” It was kinda weird having a stick eat dinner with us. That meal was also the first meal that we spent not sitting in awkward silence. (Yay us!) I mean, we kinda had to because we were all squashed on one tiny park table. We talked about the stupid stuff we did when we were younger.
After that, we had to wash the dishes in the nearby public toilet. I got the big wok and had to scrape off all the gunge on it. I used the steel wool pads to get it back to its original color: Silver.
Then we made a campfire and had smores. The fire was burning well when Trevis realized that he had lost Jimmy. I saw it in the campfire so I took it out. Trevis thanked me. (The truth is that someone threw Jimmy on top of my marshmallow so I took it off it.) I had 1 and a half smores. After that, we set up tents near the bay. Oh and also it was pitch black and I had forgotten my torch in my bag. Nic and I set up our tent in the dark. Then we realized that everyone else set up their tent a little to the left so we had to lift our tent so it was with everyone else’s tent. I don’t know how but my side of the tent had bumpy rocks while Nic’s side was flat and smooth. I don’t know if it was planned for but I had a rough night. (Literally!)
That morning we had to take down the tents and fold them up so they could be loaded back onto a truck going to base camp. Nic and I folded ours wrong so we had to redo it. We also had to pack the sleeping bags because they were also going on the truck. I was also horrified when I saw that my sleeping bag had no toggle on it. That probably meant that I had slept in Trevis’ sleeping bag. We had no time to waste, We had to catch that bus or else we were walking. We got everything loaded onto the truck and made it to the bus with 10 minutes to spare. Nic and I had to carry a pot because It couldn’t go on the truck. We made it back to base camp and had lunch there. After that, we got certificates and said farewell to our leaders. We got our bags and went onto the school bus back to school.
I think camp was really fun and I think me (and my group) will have lots of cool memories to keep from Grade 6 Camp.
The moral of this story is to always appreciate sticks.