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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Valiant Staff and Volunteers End a Hard Week.

Many of the Leadership Camp and Super Overnight's staff and volunteers Saturday morning. Emily kept them locked in the Discovery Room until they were needed. Any attempt at escape was punishable by being tied down for one hour on the girls sleeping room floor with jam spread on your face. The room is notorious for its billions of little ants that appear out of nowhere when something eatable appears.

Appearing in the photo: Emilie, Matt R., Jackie, Nate (on the floor), Hayley, Ben (white shirt), Miranda, Megan, Tregan, Devin and Jon. Missing from the photo are Adam, Aleta and Alex. Aleta escaped earlier. Emily dispatched Alex to hunt her down. Adam was in the Girls Sleeping Room entertaining the ants. He left the Discovery Room to use the toilet without permission.

Hello Troops,
What a week! We started with a Galaxy Camp on Monday, followed by another much larger Galaxy Camp on Tuesday, followed by a three day Leadership Camp (for the 15 to 17 year olds) followed by a Super Overnight Mission. Sandwiched between every camp were a bucketful of private missions. Many of these camps were staffed by the same people! Shocking as it may seem, many were still coherent Saturday afternoon. Some were able to walk unaided to their cars while others required the school's only wheelchair for assistance.

I'm rightfully proud of these folks. They had a job to do and they did it. Under Bracken Funk's direction they pulled off a very successful Leadership Camp. Under Emily's fearless guidance they delivered another amazing Super Overnight Camp. Kudos also go to Aleta Clegg for a month's worth of cooking crammed into this one week. Everyone worked ridiculous hours and never lost their "can do" attitude. They even seemed to be enjoying themselves. Applause and accolades are therefore ordered from all The Troubadour's readers. Take a moment right now, stand and clap for the Space Center's Rough Riders, our CAN DO, GO TO staff of exceptional volunteers and employees.

Some might say that Mr. Williamson had an easy week, leaving all the work to Bracken, Emily and our other Set and Flight Directors. I'll have you know that rumor is completely and total, almost and without question, somewhat and very nearly true! Anyone saying otherwise will be taken outside and phaser whipped. I did have an easier week - I put in more hours last week than any other of the summer but I wasn't in charge of the Leadership Camp or the Super Overnight. My job was to sit back and deliver copious amounts of not always sought after advice support and correction.

There was one highlight of the week that will stay burned in our memories. We were at the swimming pool Thursday evening with the campers, staff and volunteers. Bracken and others were showing off their diving skills. I was sitting on the opposite end of the pool watching. I enjoy watching the diving because, as everyone knows, if you watch long enough you'll eventually see those precious and beautifully executed belly flops.

Jon Parker was next in line. Bracken had gone just before. His dive was unremarkable. I knew Jon wanted to show the Big Guy how the littler guys do it. Jon stopped for a moment at the top of the three step aluminum ladder. I can't say for sure, but I believe the height of the platform was making him dizzy. He looked down at the cement, then at the water, then at us. He took a deep breath, stared straight ahead into destiny's eyes, and ran down the fiberglass plank into history.

At the end of the board Jon's basic, human instinct for survival overruled his desire to bend forward into a perfect headfirst dive. In a cartoonish manner, Jon kept running forward with no board below him to support his weight. Only at that point did desire override instinct. In mid air Jon attempted to maneuver from running mode to diving mode. Jon met the water face and belly first in jogging position. It was the splash heard all the way to Pleasant Grove's city limits. It is reported and verified by video tape, that customers in the Macy's and WalMart's parking lots heard the sound and stopped to look under their shopping carts looking for split open bottles of 2 liter soda.

Jon's unintended stunt put Bracken to the ground laughing. Jon pulled himself from the water sporting two toned skin - a white back and red chest and face. He bowed then made a bee line to the hot tub to lick his wounds in the company of a more sympathetic crowd.

And Now, the Latest from the Imaginarium.

I give you the quote of the week from Brent Anderson to go along with this snapshot of modern times

Mr. Williamson is at his desk working. There is the usual controlled confusion of Space Center activity. Natalie is waiting for her ride home. Brent arrives to pick her up. He enters the office looking for Natalie and something he has orders to fetch and bring home. Mr. Williamson notices he is wearing earphone and thinks it odd a 21 year old returned missionary and former chief programmer at the Space Center would come to the Center with earphones attached and pretending not to know anyone.
Mr. Williamson:
"You too Brent? You're just like these teenagers. You can't go anywere without music blasting into your head 24 / 7. What's wrong with the world?
Brent's Quote of the Week:
"I'm not listening to music. I'm wearing them to keep people from talking to me,"

Couldn't we all use one of these in our bedrooms? We will call it the Spike and Stick. Not good for younger boys. One good wrestling match or karate kick and Junior discovers the unpleasantness of being impaled.

Rule 1 in life: Discover who you really are and what you stand for.

We all have voices whispering in our head. Each is heard but not each acted upon. Reason helps us decide.

Steam punked R2D2
Wouldn't it be the coolest thing to have a steam punked simulator!?

Click to enlarge.

OK Troops,

I'm off to Cloverdale to interview Lily Beth Locket for an "Our Cloverdale" post. If you've got a few minutes join me this afternoon for a sparkling lemonade and cucumber sandwich at the Kicking Donkey Pub. Then its off to the station to catch the 5:15 P.M. to Bumblewood for the Bumblewood Song Festival featuring musical ensembles from all over the Shire.

A word of caution - bring ear plugs. A lesson I learned last year after 30 long minutes of old English ballads sung by Bumblewood's very own Patience Puckle.

Mr. W.
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