Monday, August 29, 2005

Every Minute Counts Part Two: Camp Scalding.

12:00- The ASWC (Associated Society of Whitworth Commissions) team sets out for Camp Spalding, with the objective of building a team, planning an agenda, getting to know eachother, making arts and crafts bracelets, experiencing the ropes course, and hopefully, if somebody dares us for a dollar, totally swallowing a worm. I swallowed one at Camp Spalding in 6th grade, but now thanks to my years of experience and maturity I know that now, I should probably swallow without chewing.

12:55- A thunderstorm brews above us as we carpool to Camp Spalding, an ominous omen if I’ve ever seen one. The black cat, the broken mirror, and the audible “Dun! Dun! Dun!” add to my nervousness. The firey car crash that kills two ASWC senators on the way is also rather portentous.

1:20- We arrive at Camp Spalding, surrounded only by quite solitude, scenic vistas, ancient trees, and a sprawling vacant lot with the sign, “Future Home of the Camp Spalding Wal-Mart.”

1:59- President Jeff Hunter starts out the meeting of the ASWC (Algerian-Serbian Wicca Cabal), with a message about working together, striving for diversity, taking pride in each others differences, and working out conflict in a peaceful manner.

2:00- Financial Vice President Denise Hewett hits Jeff over the head with a two-by-four. As Jeff lays crumpled on the ground, Denise triumphantly places her foot on his neck proclaiming, “Now I am, ASWC President! Look upon my works, ye mighty, and Despair!”

2:10- We all go ‘round the circle and introduce ourselves. Surprisingly, there are three Turd Fergusons and only two I.P. Freelys

2:50- As a way to get to know eachother, we play the “I never game.” Basically, the person in the middle has to say something they’ve never done, like “I’ve never had a meaningful relationship with anyone.” And then everyone who HAD had a meaningful relationship would have to cross the middle and try to sit in a chair before somebody else got to it. Everyone plays very intensely has a fun time, except for the coordinator who has his eye put out by a chair. “I’ve never had my eye put out by a chair,” the person in the middle says, forcing the disappointed and half-blind coordinator to cross the middle and find another chair.

We find out many other interesting things about the students in leadership positions, specifically that most of the students should really not be in leadership positions. And while Evan Cate (Senator, Mac) may have “never killed more than three hobos with a bowie knife,” Brian Baumann (Senator, Arend) and Jackson Williams (Senior Class Coordinator) have.

3:40: Free time! Of course, as any economist will tell you, there’s no such thing as ‘free’ time.

3:50: The ASWC (Associated Studs and their Women Colleagues) decides to play on THE BLOB. The name is based on a 1958 horror movie, where an indescribable, indestructible mass of tofu tries to kill Steve McQueen.

THE BLOB, a massive inflatable floating mass set out in the lake, coyly invites a light girl to get on one end. Then, two heavy males jump from a fifteen foot platform onto the other end of the blob, catapulting the flailing screaming girl into the air. What could possibly go wrong!

4:07: Something goes wrong.

4:30: The paramedics are quite friendly and the Emergency helicopter pilot quite adept. The doctors say that everyone is going to be fine, although Natishi Editor-in-Chief Amanda Smith will be left with a scar the shape of Indonesia on her back for the rest of her life.

4:35: The ASWC receives its first challenge! Trying to explain to the Student Body why we have to pay three hundred dollars out of unallocated to replace the Camp Spalding Paddle Boat that we sunk.

4:50: The ASWC plays an impromptu game of pick-up volleyball, showing why they are involved in Student Government, and not in something involving more hand-eye- coordination, like being popular.

6:30: In another meeting, we start to tell our Life Stories. We find out many interesting details about the executive officers, such as that Denise Hewett’s favorite Neopolitan flavor is Strawberry, Colette Reid speaks seven languages, including Ewok and Klingon, and Jeff Hunter’s actual name is Jennifer.

7:20: We brainstorm values and ideas for the ASWC. While many good ideas are put forth, our policy of not rejecting any ideas leaves us with, among others, “Jerky flavored toothpaste,” “Change the name ‘Whitworth College’ to “McGrady’s House of Funtime Education”, “Kill all the Squirrels,” and “Get people more involved.” Ha! Get more people involved… The crazy things people come up with…

9:00: For the rest of the night, we play a game of no-hold-barred Pictionary. After a few hours, the drawings become crude, obscene, and almost completely indiscernible. The National Endowment of the Arts immediately gives us a 10,000 dollar grant. Somehow, Senator Jeff Brown mortally wounds himself with the Felt Tip Magic Marker. “Romeo and Juliet! Hamlet! Anthony and Cleopatra!” the teams guess.

12:30: Instead of sleeping in the cozy cabins on soft, comfy mattresses, we decide to sleep in the lodge on a thin layer of carpet that tops a floor made entirely out of diamond-hard concrete. Builds character.

3:00: We are woken up by an obnoxious jerk with a hockey mask and a chainsaw. “Go back to sleep, Jason!” Colin Storm groans, before turning over and going back to sleep. That was the last time we ever saw Jackson Williams or Chad Boyer alive and with all their limbs and organs attached to their bodies.

7:30: After waking up seventeen times in the middle of the night, I finally get out of my paper sleeping bag and off that stupid merciless rock hard floor. On the plus side, after lying on my back all night, my Scoliosis is completely cured. A few other ASWC members were not so lucky, however.

They woke up…


8:30: We begin to discuss the exact wording of the ASWC mission statement. Because, you know, without a buzzword-laden official-sounding, pretentious mission statement, we’d completely fail as an organization. I don’t know how many times when I’ve been in meetings and everyone has lost all hope and then suddenly somebody remembers. The mission statement! they say. And we all look at the mission statement and are completely revitalized and filled with purpose.

Despite the importance, the solemn gravity of our task, however, we agree to get it done quickly without petty squabbles or disagreements.

12:30: The first punch is thrown in the middle of a screaming match over the placement of a semi-colon in the Mission Statement.

12:35: We finally head home. “Well, that was a successful retreat,” Evan Cate, the driver of the car says, looking back at me. In retrospect, he should have been watching the road. Last thing I saw was the fender of a Mach Truck bashing Evan’s Pine-Scent Air Freshener to the back of the car…