Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Mascot


This weekend I held a training session for the Camp Selah staff volunteers. This comprised everyone as young as 13 to as old as . . . I suppose it's just as well I don't know how "old as." Anyway, it was a pretty mixed group, with the younger ones by and large having more Camp Selah experience than the older ones, and the older ones having more life experience than the younger ones. I'm excited about this group. It's not necessarily the same mix of people that they/we have had in past years, but I think it is a good mix, and I'm excited to see what new things can come out of this new combination.

The night before, I was so nervous about this training thing that I woke up at 3 and never really fully went back to sleep . . . except for long enough to dream some dream about Oscar escaping and me getting pulled over by a cop. Also, another group from church was planning on using the camp this weekend, too, and, as we've only seen about one sunny day for every 12 so far this summer, I was, I feel, understandably worried that it was going to rain and we were all going to end up crammed into the Lodge at once and all my trainees were going to look at me like, "What the heck was the point of this? Great idea, Jenn!"

Then the sun came out. It actually came out! And it stayed out. Not in my Hometown. Not in the City. It poured in those places later in the day. But over Camp Selah the skies were blue and the air was warm and we spent most of the time outdoors. Also, the other group ended up being late, so there was scarcely any overlap at all. The teens and two other adults and I all stayed overnight, too, and it was great to see the teens having a chance to bond before the camp season started, so that when it does, they can jump right in as a team and rely on each other.

Also, I brought Oscar. Oscar's such a shy little dog. This is the dog who crawled under my desk at work when Pastor Ron came in to say hi to him. Yesterday, he had to ride on the lap of a teenage boys on the hour-ride to camp. He isn't a huge fan of car-rides and I wasn't convinced how any of this was going to go over--either with the teenage boys, or with the dog. He did shift laps a couple of times, but the guys handled him well, and one of them even eventually got him to settle down.

He spent most of the day being leashed up near wherever we happened to be doing activities, and every so often someone would approach him politely and pat him and let him smell their hands, and he didn't turn away. In fact, he actually started going to people volitionally. Everyone seemed to love him because he was responsive but he doesn't jump or bark. A couple of the teens called him the camp mascot.

By this morning before we cleaned up and left, he was trotting around the Lodge without his leash, in a business-like manner, looking as if he were trying to keep everyone tidy and in line. This is a really boring, "what I did on my summer vacation" kind of ending, but seriously, it was a banner day. I could not have hoped for better on any front. It's nice to have a day like that every once in a while.

Photos: Mascot-Oscar. jennw2ns 2009
All Fun and Game. jennw2ns 2009

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