Camp Diary 2012
Wednesday, June 13th
When I woke up, it was absolutely freezing in my room. I started
calling it "the freezer," because the AC is insanely cold. I
really did not want to get out of bed. If I had known what a wet
and wild day was in store for me, I might have never gotten up.
It was just one of those mornings. First, I spilled most of a
bottle of water on my bed. I stripped off the sheets, and we hung
them on a rack to dry. Then I spilled the rest of the water on
When I was getting dressed, I put my bra on backwards. I was too
tired to figure it out. It was a bizarre moments.
After breakfast, Andy and I went to the art area. He was
finishing a beautiful ceramic mug. He really did a nice job with
I'm not too good with art, and they had no theme stuff to work
on. I started playing with clay, although I didn't have a clue
what to make. Joseph made a really cute pinch pot in school a few
years ago that he still keeps on his dresser. The far side goes
up into a self-sculpture. I decided to create my own pinch pot.
Instead of a figure, I made the sign language "I love you"
This was really a team effort, as my SSP helped me a lot. She
mentioned that when we were kids, we made ash trays. Now they
make pinch pots. I thought that was funny and true. She was a big
help in shaping the clay and smoothing things out.
They were also doing some work with leather. I made Joseph a
luggage tag. It has two little eagles and his initials pressed
into the leather. Then I had to sew the two pieces together. It
came out pretty cool.
After lunch, I made the fateful decision that set in motion an
event that will forever be remembered at West River Deaf-Blind
Camp. (Yes, Scott, I am telling this story.)
I decided to ride the banana boat again. Remember, I have never
fallen in. I put on my water shoes but not my swim suit. The wind
was cool, so I grabbed a long sleeve shirt to keep warm. It
seemed like a good idea at the time.
Andy, David and Scott were already at the pier with their SSP's.
That should have been my first clue to run away. But I was happy
to ride with my friends. I knew it was the first time for all of
Andy was afraid. I promised him that I've been on the banana boat
a dozen times and have never fallen in. Besides, we wear
life-jackets, so no one will drown if the do fall off. He felt
the rocking boat and refused to get on. He turned out to be the
smart one that day.
In hind-sight, I see what an idiot I was, but at the time, I
wanted to share this great experience with Scott. We planned to
sit with me in the front, then Scott and his SSP behind him. I
felt confident on my own. After all, I have never fallen off the
Somehow the seat order got changed. Scott was in front of me,
with my SSP behind me. I wondered who would give Scott clues
about which way to lean. That was the second warning I ignored.
We set off and the boat picked up speed. The wind and choppy
water made for a rough ride. I was loving it!
The boat made a turn, and I started to slip. Only the help from
my SSP kept me on. Two seconds later, I was soaked by a giant
splash. I leaned forward and felt around. Scott was gone.
Scott explained later that he was having a hard time keeping
balanced. He let go on purpose so the whole boat wouldn't tip. I
thought he'd be mad, but my SSP said he was just relaxing in the
water. It took awhile to get him back on the boat because the
waves were carrying him away from us.
With Scott back on, we took off again. It was a short ride. In
less than a minute, the banana boat flipped, and everyone fell
into the river.
I was a little shocked at first. I didn't like how the jacket was
pulling me up by the neck. When I broke the surface, the boat was
slightly on top of me. The water was chilly and my long sleeve
shirt felt so heavy.
After a moment, everything was fine. I was laughing and cheering.
It was an awesome wipe-out.
The SSP's were worried most about me. They left Scott and David
to come to my rescue. Scott was near my legs. He wanted to ask if
I was okay, but I kept kicking him in the guy. Ooops!
We were floating in the water for a long time. At last, it was my
turn to get up, but I couldn't. My fat butt kept dropping back
into the water. Someone finally grabbed the back of my shorts and
hauled me up that way. Some people were facing forwards. Others
were backwards. We were all soaked. Yet, in the end, everyone
survived their trip on the Banana Boat Titanic.
There wasn't much choice about what to do net. I had to change my
clothes! Thankfully, my sheets were dry, because I needed more
room on the rack. I put on jeans and a sweat shirt. I was still
We went back to the art room. I wanted to paint my pinch pot, but
it wasn't dry yet. A guy was helping campers make olympic rings
t-shirts. So, I made one for myself to wear on competition day.
It didn't take long. I was feeling so tired after my unexpected
swim. I ended up taking a nap. My SSP had a hard time getting me
up for dinner.
Naturally, our adventure was the talk of town that evening. I was
having fun teasing Scott. He says he will NEVER ride a banana
boat again. For the record, I don't think it was completely his
fault. The water conditions were not ideal. I learned that
Richard fell off earlier in the day.
They announced that we had to go to the meeting hall for a game.
This is something that always annoys me about camp. They tell us
we are going to play a game, but give no details until we are
starting. How can I make an informed decision about what I want
to do, if they don't provide any details? This problem was
especially bad this year because of all the olympic competitions.
The game turned out to be "hot potato." We were split into five
circles, one for each team. Campers passed a ball around the
circle. Whoever had the ball when the drum roll went off would be
I passionately hate hot potato. The game would be okay, but
people go crazy. Despite the use of inflatable balls, I still get
beat and scratched up. The woman beside me was thrusting the
ball so hard, it flew past me to the person on my other side.
Ironically, I won for the green team and moved on to the final
five. I was the first one eliminated in that round. I'm sorry I
didn't win any points for my team, but I was relieved to be done.
They next had a lecture about first aid and CPR. It was so
boring. I don't think the presentation was planned right for
people who can not see. We need hands on models. If only I could
have practiced on a cute guy!
I finally just left and sat outside. There were other people
around to chat with. I skipped the ice cream social and just had
We went back to the retreat center so I could take an early
shower. This time I had the bright idea to sit on the floor and
put my stuff on the bench. It was much easier, and I wasn't
afraid of cutting a vein while shaving. Alas, no plan is
fool-proof. The stall floor was rough, and my fanny got all
scratched up. What's that you are saying? Too much information??
They must have kicked the freezer up a notch. Even with my knee
socks and snuggie, I was still shivering and couldn't fall
asleep. I hate the AC in the bedrooms!
contact me at Angie.C.Orlando@gmail.com