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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Last Week's Highlights: News and Views........

Hello Troops,
Yes, we are celebrating the little things. We survived another week of camps. Here are the highlights........

1. We finished our third EdVenture Camp Monday - Wednesday. Highlights?
A. No Vomit. Oh what a blessing!
B. Only one of the 67 left the camp because of illness BUT she came back the next day.
C. One boy was extremely homesick. On Monday night he sobbed for his mother. Bracken brought him to the phone on my desk. He sobbed and pleaded in what seemed to be a never ending cycle. Each cycle of sobs and pleads renewed when his mother would insist she wasn’t coming to pick him up. This torrent of tears started around 11:30 P.M. and had turned into a full scale flood around midnight. All the children were down for the night. I sleep in my office in front of my desk. I wanted to go to bed but couldn’t because this little boy’s world was crumbling around him. I tried to encourage him to give up the cause and admit defeat by turning off the lights and laying down on my pad. It didn’t work. He sobbed even louder. I wanted the mother to just hang up. If she wasn’t going to pick him up give him one more shot of encouragement and hang up.
“Hello, Mom?” I heard him say into the receiver around 12:15 A.M. “Mom, are you there?” His words were broken by gasps for air like a swimmer in a heated race. I saw him hang up and then pick up the receiver again. He was in the process of redialing when I saw my chance. I jumped up and hung up the phone.
“She isn’t coming,” I said as I put a hand on his shoulder and started leading him out of the office and toward the boy’s sleeping quarters. Bracken met me right outside the office. I took five minutes reassuring him that he could make it through the night. I told him how proud his mother would be if he could do it. The sobs simmered down, replaced with a few whimpers and
the occasional wipe of the nose with the back of the hand. We took him to his cot. I knew he needed a bit more than a goodnight. I moved his cot closer to the Bracken and the other male staff. That seemed to reassure him. He went to sleep.
That boy made it through the entire camp without another problem. He loved the camp. There is a lesson to be learned by this. You figure it out.
D. We exceeded our 100 people limit for swimming at PG pool. The lifeguards were nice about it. I wasn’t charged extra.
E. I celebrated my 50th birthday on Tuesday. I want to thank the staff and campers for their rousing and somewhat heart felt rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”. Spending my 50th birthday at camp was kind of weird. Being at home would have been preferred but the schedule of the camps wouldn’t allow it. No one will ever say I didn’t give my best to the Center. There
is another lesson in that but I don’t want to figure it out.
F. Lorraine made a fantastic German Chocolate Cake for me. I missed four of the candles. What does that mean? Do I want to know?
G. We all went home Wednesday night exhausted. I fell asleep in front of the TV. There was a time when I could watch hours of TV. Now I’m asleep after 30 minutes. Am I turning into an old person? I fall asleep early in the night and awake well before dawn. I have the money to go places and do things but I don’t want to. Sitting home quietly seems to be more appealing.
This is frightening! I think Victor needs to get his Groove back! I’m going to get right on that - as soon as I remember what “Get a Life” means.
H. Our main projector in the Voyager went out. I bought a replacement. The replacement won’t display the image coming from our older iMacs. There is a word one would use in a situation like this but this blog is G rated.
I. The electricity in the Odyssey kept going out - right in the middle of a mission. One of the Odyssey’s electrical breakers kept popping. I thought this would the major catastrophe to bring us all down. Christine G. told me the electrical outlet near the 1st Officer’s Station was hanging out of the wall and every time the camper kicked it with his feet the power would trip off.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me!” I wanted to shout but didn’t . I think I said something sarcastic instead. I called the District Maintenance Yard. Thankfully they sent someone right out. He fixed the plug and all was well. I like repairs that go that easily. A thank you to Christine for keeping the campers assigned to the Odyssey busy during that ordeal.

Well, that was the camp. On Thursday we had our one night Overnight Camp. They are a breeze compared to the longer EdVenture Camps. The highlight of the Overnighter was Emily’s score for running the Magellan. Emily scored a perfect One in all categories. Do you have any idea how rare that is? There is a better chance that my Lincoln Town Car (the Battlestar) would get 30 miles to the $4.09 gallon of gas than for the Magellan to get a perfect One. There is a better chance Kyle would get all of his projects done on time than for the Magellan to get a perfect One. There is a better chance of the entire staff coming to work with their shirts tucked in than for the Magellan to get perfect One. Great Job Emily and her staff! We several private missions for the rest of the week. Here are other smaller bits of news:

1. The Voyager’s Captain’s Quarters finally has its bunks back. After one month they are in. That means I have sleeping quarters for 2 more in the Voyager. Kyle and Spencer R. had to damage the newly finished walls to get the beds in but at least they are in.
2 Alex A. got his Phoenix Pass from Megan. Alex is now a Phoenix Flight Director.
3. Matt P. finished the Odyssey Junior Controls. They are installed and undergoing debugging. They are looking good.
4. The carpet on the Voyager’s stairs is wearing out. Did I every tell you that I hate carpet?

Some other bits of News:

1. Bracken Funk received his mission call. He is going to the Houston East Mission! He will be in the same area as Casey Vokes (although different missions).
2. We’ve stared the staff Reward Card. All staff and volunteers should pick up their Reward Card from me the next time they come in. I’ll explain more in a later post.
3. I posted the July Working Schedule and forgot to include the EdVenture Camp we’re running on Monday. That is one of the stupidest things I’ve done all summer. I want to thank Emily for calling me Saturday night and reminding me. In her own nice way she called my memory a rusty, leaky old bucket.

I went to see WALL E. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in years. Way to go Pixar. We all stand in your shadow. If you plan on seeing it - Great. If you aren’t planing on see it then you’re fired if you work for me.

Well troops, Its back to the trenches for Monday’s battles. Helmet’s on and bayonets fastened. It’s going to be another rough ride.

Mr. Williamson
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