Day 8 (Vermont 2016 – by Matt Sanderson)

Matt Sanderson – NBTSC Logistics Goddess

Ugh, waking up is a chore after a late night. I’ve been a little under the weather for part of this session, so I’ve been making a concerted effort to get to bed early. Yesterday I finally felt completely well again, and took the opportunity to celebrate by staying up dancing until the end of prom, something I haven’t done in a few years.

We’ve got a relaxed schedule today with our 10 AM rest day wakeup call. I’d normally take it easy, but it’s the last day of camp and I’ve got work to do.

I need to take care of two projects today. The first is to organize groups and write out instructions for each staffer who will take a small crew of campers and clean a portion of the camp later this afternoon. The second is planning out something that officially doesn’t exist: the staff skit. 

Every year we play a prank on the campers during the last evening meeting. The meeting begins as normal with us hearing announcements from campers and talking about departure day logistics, but at some point during the meeting we smoothly transition from reality into theatre. 

When I woke up we had essentially nothing planned for this annual tradition, so I needed to get to planning. 

I ate a big breakfast of camp potatoes (the best potatoes!) and watched Evan (who’s Directing this session) lead morning meeting with his usual mix of meaningful quotes, serious announcements and hilarious group activities. This morning he invites campers to make as many human pyramids as possible in 30 seconds. The campers seem to want to go above and beyond with several pyramids with bases of 4 people immediately forming.

The rest of the day flies by. As usual, I meet with the junior staff during advisee time, sharing check-ins and making sure that everyone is on task and oriented, while also playing games together. Afterwards I grab a quick lunch then head to the staff office to work on the skit. 

I work right up until camp clean up time, get everyone started on their clean up tasks and spend some time putting away NBTSC supplies for the year. Then back to the office to finish the skit. 

After dinner it’s finally time for our evening meeting. Evan starts off as normal, then abruptly announces that we’d like to try a couple of alternate locations for meetings next year in case camp’s financial situation won’t allow us to rent the indoor spaces again. 

Evan invites the group to try several more locations until finally all of the campers end up down at the beach. During each transition several staff members have disappeared and at this point there are no other staff at the meeting. Evan makes a show of noticing and tells the campers that he was given a clue to where all the staff are. 

The hunt is on and the campers quickly find most of the staff in the infirmary but horribly disfigured! Each of us has an enormous frown and the wide eyes of a pug.

It turns out (the campers discover) that the camp dog, Winnie the pug, is actually some kind of evil spirit and has infected the staff with her Winnie-pox. Campers follow clues that eventually lead them to the dock where a wizard awaits. The wizard, played brilliantly by Liam (our Night Owl), instructs the campers to go back to the farmhouse where he will reveal an ancient artifact that, legend has it, can cure the staff. 

The artifact turned out to be a pickle, a clue to an infectious song made up by Zella, one our campers, for whom this is the last session as a camper. When presented with the pickle the campers immediately break into the pickle song, curing the staffers and saving camp. 

We take a bow and everyone applauds, skit completed and I can finally relax and enjoy the closing ceremony. It is magical and touching as always, and I get to bed early to catch up on sleep. Another great session!

Day 8 morning meeting
Post-meeting how-many-camper-pyramids-can-we-make challenge
The crumble
Gathering for last day group photo
Examining the lost and found pile after camp cleanup
Playing ninja