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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

camp adventure day 4 (pt. 1)

Day 4 (part 1): Splish, Splash

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scott and I had high hopes for Wednesday, which would be our last
full day at camp. We wanted to go sailing, swimming and take a
ride on the giant swing. Naturally, it rained and all outside
morning activities were canceled.

For whatever reason, I was feeling exhausted. Even Scott
commented on how tired I looked. I wanted to be in good shape for
the Tactile Carnival that night. So I decided to go back to bed.
I was out until nearly lunch time. Scott went back to his room,
too.

I felt much better at lunch, and the rain had stopped. In all my
nine years at camp, I asked my first and only question during
announcements. "Is it safe to ride on the sail boat with Scott
Stoffel?"

This was an inside joke, referring to two years ago when Scott
capsized the banana boat.

The answer was both disappointing and delightful. They would not
be doing sailing this afternoon. Instead, campers could ride on
the banana boat.

My question caused a near panic about whether or not the banana
boat was safe. Camper after camper asked questions on this topic.
I felt bad. I was only trying to tease Scott.

When the announcements ended, Scott turned to me and signed, "no
no no no no no..." over and over again. Yeah, I could see he
really wanted to go on that banana boat again. I sure did... but
maybe not with him. Actually, we both wanted to ride on the sail
boat. It was something we never did in the past.

Scott was feeling desperate. He insisted there wasn't enough time
for the banana boat because he had to start setting up for the
carnival at 4:00. He'd certainly need a shower after being dumped
into the disgusting river. Blah, blah, blah....

We all knew his excuse was lame, but I gave in. When he found out
there would be no banana boat, he gave me a huge bear hug. People
were watching and laughed when they learned the reason for the
public display of affection.

We went swimming instead. It was hot, and the water felt great. I
was in a playful mood and tried to pull Scott off balance so he'd
get dunked under the water. His balance is bad. Mine is worse,
and I'm a wimpy little thing. All I did was dunk myself. He was
holding onto the side of the pool for support. I knocked that arm
off, and he went down. Yee-ha!

Scott wrapped a big noodle around my back. Then he stood behind
me and pulled me back and forth, side-to-side with wild turns. He
was trying to simulate the banana boat. I loved it.

We floated around the pool, always touching and always close to
each other. We attracted eyes, which apparently resulted in
smiles. I didn't care. I was happy and wanted the whole world to
know it.

I learned about the attention when Ruby returned from break. She
was leans far over the ladder to sign to me. I couldn't resist. I
took her arm and tugged. I must have caught her by surprise
because she fell in. We proceeded to splash and dunk each other.
I had not played wild in a pool like that since I was a kid. It
felt great. I didn't even care that I skinned my knees.

Scott left the pool early to change and get ready to meet his
father and start work for the carnival. I also went back to my
room. I wanted some alone time before the crazy night ahead.

At 4:30, I went to the old dining hall to crash the party. Scott
had invited me to stop by. He was busy teaching people how to run
the games. When he had a chance, he was eager to show me the
mermaid. She was one of the big prices that fit in with the water
theme. Did I say big? I mean, top prizes... err, I don't know
what I mean.

Scott had ordered the mermaid online. It wasn't until she arrived
that he discovered she was topless. Only a bit of hair covered
her breasts, and they were quite big, indeed. It was Scott's turn
to proclaim, "It was an accident!"

When Scott went back to work, I started checking out the prizes.
I was admiring an adorable WebKinz Clownfish, when Scott's dad
came up behind me. Frank is a really fun and cool guy. He was
teasing me about stealing prizes. I tried, but the fat stuffed
animal wouldn't fit in my pocket.

Scott and Frank had been working hard on a third version of skee
ball. Scott was excited to have me try it out. He was sure I'd be
able to play this one. I think Frank was just as eager to have me
play, because he pulled me right over to the game. This one is
even bigger than the second version. in fact, Scott had to buy an
8-foot table for it.

I threw my ball and got the gutter, as usual. But this skee ball
has slot returns. The DeafBlind player knows exactly where their
ball went based on which slot it ends up in. There's the left and
right getters (one point), top target (4 points,) middle target
(3 points) and the low target (two points.) I continued to roll
my six balls. I just about went crazy with delight when I got a
two and then a three pointer. I LOVE this skee ball game!!!!

Scott says it best in an email he wrote after camp:

Best Moment

As I sit here coughing nonstop, I can still smile at camp's best
moment. I invited Angie to stop by the carnival while we were
setting up to peruse the prizes. I was busy.

She told me at dinner she tried the new skee ball game. This was
my third attempt to make an accessible skee ball game for her. I
know she loved the game when she could see. Version One required
another person to mark where the balls went on a magnet board.
That just didn't work so well.


Version Two could be played independently, but she had to walk
around the table and  check the baskets to see where the balls
went. The latest version returns the balls to the player in slots
that tell where they went.


So here was the moment of truth. For a second, I thought she was
frowning. I  prepared for a death blow.

Then she said, "You did it!"

And I'm dancing on the table.

Scott wasn't really on the table, but he was dancing in his seat.
He gave me another bear hug and wouldn't let go. Me thinks he was
pleased.

Scott needed to eat fast and get back to work. The carnival was
supposed to start at 7:00. But announcements went on and on. They
were talking about the wedding. Then a camper started some kind
of circle thing for Andrew and Kelly. I was grinding my teeth in
frustration for Scott. He finally slipped out, but the carnival
would not start on time.

Campers waited outside the old dining hall for 30 minutes. I was
getting annoyed as I tried to stand and bugs feasted on my blood.
At last, the doors opened. It was like being at WalMart on Black
Friday... and I was at the front of the pack... caught in a tidal
wave of excited campers who wanted to have some tactile fun.

Angela C. Orlando

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