This past weekend…well friday and saturday, I went on a camping/whitewater rafting trip with our youth group. I am 1 of 6 youth group leaders and I will start my story by saying….when we met in May about our Fall YouthGroup Kick-Off weekend….I voted AGAINST whitewater rafting in October…..jus’ sayin’.
Our original itinerary was as follows…
4:30 -meet at church and leave promptly…BAH!
6 p.m.- arrive at destination and set up camp
7p.m.- eat dinner
7:30p.m.- play group game
8:30p.m.- S’mores and ghost story
11p.m.- Light’s Out (so to speak)
8 a.m.- everybody up for breakfast
8:30- break down camp
9a.m.- meet to go whitewater rafting
Details you should be aware of….
The heat wave broke on thursday.
The weather forecast was rain, rain and more rain…oh and cold temperatures….good times, people, good times.
Attending the trip were SIX chaperones (3 of which were men…need I say more?….KIDDING…kinda) and TWENTY TEENAGERS…TWENTY…TEENAGERS…..TWENTY!!!!
Here is how our itinerary ACTUALLY played out….
4:30- meet at church
4:50- pull out of parking lot
6:45-arrive at destination
7p.m.- adults realize what Lisa tried to explain in MAY….NOT A GOOD IDEA…it’s too COLD!!!
7:15p.m.- Set up 9 tents….6 were done before dark, three were completed in the dark, as I mentioned before… good times!
7:30p.m.- Feed the masses
8p.m.-all organized games are shot to hell…kids aren’t interested, HOWEVER we, evil adults that we are, MADE them do two…the egg, chicken, dinosaur, superhuman game and an impromtu talent show….both brought me GREAT PLEASURE…this is the way I see it…if I am taking TWENTY TEENAGERS…TWENTY on a trip I have no interest in participating in AND I am doing it with a damn SMILE on my face….THEN I get to see the TWENTY TEENAGERS act like morons for a few minutes!!! YAY ME!!!
11p.m.-ALL KIDS IN TENTS…yea right!
1a.m.- Adults to tents….oh did I mention the THREE men slept on cushy air mattresses and double-uped sleeping bags…IN THEIR WARM CARS…..WTH….BABIES!!! ( and what I mean by babies is actually another word starting with the letter P, but I will refrain from using it)
Between 1a.m. and 4a.m.– Adult women listening astutely to the numerous boys peeing on trees and girls tripping out of their tents and cracking up all the way to the facilities!
4a.m.- all is quiet and the ladies begin to doze….UNTIL we hear 4 giggling girls carrying out pranks on the boys….NOW IT’S A PARTY, people!
7:15a.m.- After a night of ZERO sleep, we listen as the troops begin to rise…HYSTERICAL…. eavesdropping on the boys who awoke to find their tent zippers tied together with their OWN shoelaces and random articles of their clothing strewn about in trees and such! Nice job girls!
Oh, I completely forgot to mention that somewhere around 5a.m. the winds picked up and it sounded like rain…..guess who had to pick up camp…..THE WOMEN!!!! Good times, people, good times!
7:17a.m.– we(the ladies) instructed TWENTY TEENAGERS (jus’ sayin’) to awaken the sleeping men to feed them their breakfast!!! MUAH!
As you are aware we were supposed to leave for our whitewater rafting trip around 9…..we were informed otherwise…..our trip was pushed back to 12:30…..FAN… FREAKIN…TASTIC!!!
TWENTY TEENAGERS and 3.5 EXTRA HOURS OF UNPLANNED FOR FUN…SUPER!!
Oh and this was especially lovely to be informed of….the water level AFTER a dam release is usually 1000csf…..due to a previous dam release combined with the unusual amounts of rain we would be whitewater rafting, RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LIVES AND SAFETY OF TWENTY TEENS, on the river which was now between 6500 csf and 7000 csf. WHAT!!?? Mind you, I have not a clue what the heck a csf even is, but it SOUNDS scary!!
Oh and did I tell you how the instructors STRONGLY ENCOURAGED ALL participants to rent and wear wetsuits, as the water was only …well, I don’t remember, BUT COLD…COLD WATER!! They also, informed us that a guide would now be accompanying us in each of our boats! On one hand this provided comfort, but on the other, I was all….wth…they are putting guides on our boats…this sounds suspiciously life-threatening….not to be dramatic or anything. Sheesh!
Upon completion of suiting up TWENTY TEENS and me coming to grips with the DISGUSTING FACT that I was fermenting in a suit that had MOST DEFINATELY been PEED in AND finding a coping mechanism for the realization that I couldn’t breathe, as a result of the CONSTRAINING wetsuit coupled with the life-vest that was pulled TIGHT…very very TIGHT!! Have I ever mentioned to you guys that I can be slightly CLAUSTROPHOBIC….YIKES!!
Off we go, like a bunch of herded cattle onto a school bus...SCHOOL BUS…truly I am having a NIGHTMARE…right??!!
We spent the next 15 minutes being SCARED SENSELESS about the imperativeness of STAYING IN THE BOAT…..THIS WAS NOT THE DAY FOR FOOLISH BEHAVIOR…..STAY IN THE BOAT….but DON’T WORRY GANG…..THIS IS GONNA BE FUN!!! As you can imagine, my heart was palpitating, my throat felt tight, I was experiencing BOTH extreme dizziness and nausea…..GET ME THE F!@# OUT OF HERE!!!
Into the boat we go, of course there was A LOT more fun discussions on how NONE of our guides had ever been on THIS river when the water was so HIGH….UGH!!! Really people, really?? Shut the heck up before I club you with our paddles!!
Into the water we go….of course Josh (youth group leader) and I were put in the front of the boat, WHERE there is NO place to LOCK IN YOUR FEET!!
We hit our first rapid and I guess I will admit, it was fun…fun in a life-flash-before-your-eyes kind of way!
The trip would take about 2 hours covering 12 miles.
The last rapid was a DOOZY and we would need to be present and astute!! I knew the last rapid was a DOOZY BECAUSE I repeatedly heard this from our guide the ENTIRE trip, which is not comforting when you have just been through a life-flash-before-your-eyes rapid and she keeps announcing that it was NOTHING COMPARED TO THE LAST ONE and oh…STAY IN THE BOAT…AMOUNG ANYTHING ELSE STAY IN THE BOAT!!!
We are now informed that the next rapids were long….ONE MILE LONG, to be exact, however they were not INTENSE, just mildly vehement!
Half way through said rapid I glance back to make sure all of the kiddies are safe and ON THE BOAT to discover and witness, to my HORROR, our guide falling FROM THE BOAT!!! NO LIE!!!
The one thing I can say about myself is this….I AM the person you want with you in an emergency situation!! I am one of those people programmed to jump to action and remain calm! So…. as our boat was careening in the mile-long rapid, as we drug our guide through the treacherous waters and the TEENS all sat with their mouths aghast, I sprang like a lemur from my front position of the boat to the back of the boat, fighting the momentum of the rapids and manipulating myself through eight horrified kids…all the while planning my next move and wondering how in the hell I was going to lift this women….the very women who repeatedly reminded us that above all else we should STAY IN THE DAMN BOAT….back into our boat!! Josh single-handedly kept our boat from crashng into the embankment, which was decorated with stone walls and trees…thanks Josh!! The wonderful thing about adrenalin is that it affords you a superhuman strength not accessible to us in ordinary situations. I hauled that lady back into our boat…one because I truly didn’t want her to meet a deadly demise, but MOSTLY because….LIKE HELL WAS I GOING TO DO THAT LAST HORRIFYING RAPID WITHOUT SOMEONE WHO HAD THE EXPERTISE AND KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO PADDLE THROUGH THE DAMN THING!!! NO WAY, NO HOW LADY…get your fat ass back on this BOAT!! She didn’t REALLY have a fat ass. Returning to my post at the front of the boat with my saviour Josh, we both fell into a fit of uncontrollable belly laughter…I have no clue why, but our options were laugh or cry and sream, which clearly wasn’t an option when you have 8 kids ping-ponging between pure fright and bliss. Janet, our guide, was barking out oders and Josh and I were consumed with laughter and mental-telepathied each other….SHUT THE HECK UP JANET….WE JUST SAVED YOUR DUMB ASS….GIVE US A SECOND!!!
We made it through! And finished out the whole adventure with a FORTY minute school bus ride back to camp…wtf!! But that’s not all, as luck would have it, when we finally arrived back at the campsite, changed into our dry clothes…it started to RAIN, oh and TWO of our vehicles needed to be jump-started!!
Good times, people, GOOD TIMES!!
Now whitewater rafting was never OFFICIALLY on my bucket list, nevertheless, I have added it and CROSSED IT OFF!!
Enjoy your day!
And never go whitewater rafting in OCTOBER….leave it for the MIDDLE OF JULY DURING THE BIGGEST HEAT-WAVE EVER….jus’ sayin’! 😉