Unification News for September 2001

Middle School One Heart Camp 2001!

by Theo Seher

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…

"Good Morning camp one-heart", I bellowed at the top of my lungs, "Good morning", the accumulated mass of soon to be sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth graders squeaked back. With a sigh I muttered to my fellow group leaders, "It's gonna be another looong day..." and turned back to my congregation. "Good morning camp one-heart," I shouted once again. Their response was instantly perkier as they realized that I meant business. It was the best time of the day, mourning, err..., morning exercise.

Every day the campers woke up at the crack of dawn, hoping that today it would be sunny, that today they could go tubing, and that today, mysteriously, lectures would be canceled. Sadly, every day their dreams of sugarplums were smashed into little bits at the start the day by morning exercise and its sadistic and cruel leader, me.

The weather this year was horrible. Camp started off at 100 degrees, but halfway through it started raining, and was not sunny until the last day. Regardless, each day the crazy exercise leader made the campers roll around in the mud attempting to "stretch", carefully explaining how to do each stretch and what its effect was. However, the only people capable of even nearing, or even in some cases surpassing (like the splits :0), the leader's flexibility, were the Hardman's, so everyone else just watched in horror as several mad contortionists dominated stretching. Following this the leader from hell lead the campers back down to his home, it was time for...UNITY JUMPING JACKS..., the bane of any large group.

If you do not know what unity jumping jacks are ask anyone who went to camp, they'll be more than happy to tell you, if not give me their names, I already have a list for next year. The principle of U-jump Jacks is that if a group is unified, then they will easily pass such a simple task as counting to twenty or so. Quite frankly, they are easy, the middle schoolers finished once on their second try, however (except that one day when Amadea Jessen lead them, and it only took two tries), the maniacal leader that is me lead the troops. He had them do all sorts of crazy things, like having the high schoolers count even numbers and the middle schoolers count odds. All his ridiculous orders were designed to trip up the innocent campers, all praying that he would break his own leg so that they could stop. However they survived, and lived on another day to plot and scheme for the evil leaders' death.

Despite the early morning suicide "jogs", the prolonged exposure "jumping jacks", and the tortuous "stretches", not a single camper died (I think...). It was an enjoyable experience for everyone, everyone that is, except the tyrannical exercise leader. Despite his best efforts to whip the campers into shape, to eat their vegetables, and to hydrate themselves properly, his efforts were not enough to overcome his newfound archenemies—Gary, the head cook. Beneath the onslaught of donuts, french toast, bacon, sausages, hot links, and pancakes for breakfast every day; and barbecued chicken, fried chicken, ribs, and steak for dinner (not to mention Kool-Aid at EVERY meal), our beleaguered hero could not withstand.

Everyone gained untold weight, gouging themselves three times a day. It made our hero cry to see the pudgy children, swelling up every meal, especially since he himself had not the strength to abstain (he gained 7 pounds). Alas, all his hard training and exercise had come to naught, and he went home as an unhappy camper. His only consolation was that next year he could come back with a truckload of slimfast and a long piece of rope to tie up Gary. So all you campers and parents of campers, and especially Gary, beware, next year things will be different....

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