|By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 07:15 pm: Edit|
Here is my essay for Pomona (and maybe others). It's a rough draft, I wanted a general impression of it before I spend time to revise it
My cousin Andy is exactly 362 days older than me (a fact I make sure to point to him during a certain three-day period every year). He is one of my best friends and one of the people who knows me best. Together, we decided to sign up for a two-week long kayaking camp the summer before my freshman year. It started my mom dropped us off in front of a big Greyhound bus on a clear June morning. When she picked us up at the same spot in early July, what she saw was two tan kids with buff shoulders and emaciated torsos, looking like they had just climbed out of a mine. What happened in the interim was a mix of wonder and horror on our part. One thing for sure, it has certainly made for a good story.
Before continuing with stories from the camp, I must digress and describe where we are. The Puget Sound is the slightly calmer and just-as-cold part of the Pacific Ocean that borders most of Northwestern Washington State. Scattered throughout this body of water are the San Juan Islands. Some of these are filled with summer homes and cabins of Seattle’s upper class, but most are home to a bunch of trees, eagles and other wildlife. It was between and among these islands that we paddled our kayaks each day. An easy day would only be an hour or two of light paddling, but there were those days when it took a good four hours of nonstop work to make it to the next night’s campsite. The views were just gorgeous while we were paddling. Each island is positively exploding with green, and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains overlook over the entire scene. Andy and I paddled together in our Kayak built for two on the very first day. A relatively easy trip and plenty of sunshine had us in high hopes when we got to our first campsite. As we set up camp that first night we realized this was not about to be a paradise trip.
One thing we had to do before enrolling in the camp was to sign a form saying that the camp would NOT accommodate our dietary preferences if we were vegetarian. I am an omnivore, so I had no complaint. That first night we learned that our dreadlocked camp counselor named Mike happened to be a full-fledged vegan. He also happened to be in charge of packing our provisions. What followed was that we were all forced to get by on a vegan diet for the next two weeks. Our provisions were roughly as follows: 2 bags powdered juice mix, 2 cans of oatmeal, a bit of salt and pepper, several jars of peanut butter, 6 loaves of bread, 11 eighty-ounce cans of peaches and a bunch of jugs of water. I looked at the food and my heart sunk; a few calculations told me that we had no meat, not enough bread and FIFTY-FIVE pounds of canned peaches. Mike dropped another bomb that night by announcing that since Andy and I appeared to be the strongest paddlers, we would not be sharing a kayak from that day on. We knew we were in for the marathon.
The next twelve days were painful. Andy and I were consistently paired with the slowest paddlers, meaning even more work for us. The food was rationed evenly and, as the two biggest guys, we were feeling it from the first day. Bread and peanut butter were a luxury by the end of the first week. We did get to spend time with one another on shore. Andy and I were in charge of preparing the last meal, so we threw in everything that was left: a couple of couple of pounds of peaches and the last of whatever spices we had left. In spite of developing a hatred for canned peaches and losing twenty pounds I would have rather kept, I can say now that I am glad I signed up for Camp Orkila. I have to admit that I came back with stronger arms and a stronger appreciation for food and shelter. I know that I got to experience something very few kids ever get to.
|By Caramelapple (Caramelapple) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 05:06 pm: Edit|
I actually liked it. Which is kind of surprising because I usually hate the "stronger appreciation for food and shelter" essays. If that's what you really feel you took from this experience, and that's why you are telling the camp story, then okay... at least you told it in a different and amusing way. I like your tone so my general impression is positive.
Hey, maybe I'll see you at Pomona. Is this the 2nd essay, option c? I think I'll write on that one too.
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