Staff Orientation begins! (Oregon Session 2 ~ by Margie Sanderson)

We’re getting ready to begin again, this time at Camp Myrtlewood in Oregon – NBTSC’s home since 1996. This is a guest post by staffer Margie Sanderson.


photo of Margie by Dandy Denial
photo of Margie by Dandy Denial

The first day of Staff Orientation feels about 72 hours long. It starts the night before, sitting in Grace’s backyard with some other staff, munching on fresh food from the garden, soaking in each other’s company without agenda. It is glorious.

The next morning Andy and Danielle make breakfast potatoes, camp style. They are delicious, and eaten between bursts of last minute packing and prep. Grace’s driveway fills quickly with camp supplies, personal luggage, loose sneakers, staff binders….around noon we begin to anticipate the arrival of the bus to take us to camp. To our great surprise and delight, it arrives 10 minutes before its scheduled time. We fill it up quickly and get on our way to Camp Myrtlewood.

The drive to Myrtlewood is always longer than I want it to be. I think that’s a universal experience of people coming to camp – once you get on the bus, you just want to be there already. Still, pulling in to Camp Myrtlewood is always more than worth the drive. There’s something about this particular location of NBTSC that always feels, immediately, like home to me. I step off the bus and breathe deeply this smell that is just pure camp in my memory.
We hug, unload, settle in, and begin meeting. There are a lot of meetings during Staff Orientation, but it’s fun just to sit and bask in the energy of all these wonderful people, gathered in a beautiful place, to make some magic happen.

Other highlights of the day include mini blackberry pies (thank you, kitchen staff), staff Speed Dating (an icebreaker game where you answer questions in pairs), and the viewing of a hilariously stupid summer camp movie.
I head to bed around midnight, snuggled into my tent and feeling very cozy and warm, both physically and mentally. I can’t wait for what the session will bring next.