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Friday, August 3, 2012

Workhouse Students Work to Expectation at Summer Camp

As per its usual practice, the Central Workhouse released its more promising incorrigibles to assist with the Space Education Center's Summer EdVenture Camps this year. The work release program was set up by the Space Center's Director, Victor Williamson.

The ones not chosen for Space Center work remain in the workhouse

 "Society has given up on these poor misfortunates and locked them in this institution.  For what purpose I ask, punishment or rehabilitation? If it be for rehabilitation, then what we do for them this summer will accomplish that goal.  We will give them a chance to prove they can function normally in proper society," Mr. Williamson said as the institution's gates opened and the half starved, light shy paupers emerged from the heavily sooted Victorian brick entrance.

The new 'volunteers' where taken to the Center, deloused, showered and given Space Center clothes.  Their workhouse rags were taken to the Center's incinerator and burned.

"You are proper ladies and gentlemen now," Mr. Williamson told them during their first briefing.  "We expect you to behave and follow the Center's rules.  We want our campers to enjoy their time at our summer camps."  He paused for a moment and looked them in the eye.  "Don't disappoint me."

The incorrigibles properly cleaned and ready to work

They stand and entertain themselves while they wait for the campers to finish eating.  Volunteers must wait and eat the leftovers.

The campers enjoying their lunch while the volunteers wait and watch.  The volunteers don't mind waiting.  The memory of eating in the workhouse is still fresh in their minds.


The campers are finished and outside on the playground.The time has come for the volunteers to eat. 

Matron Aleta calls them forward and reminds them to be grateful for what they are about to receive.   

 Two overseers, Braydn and Jon, pause for a photo with Morgan, a retuning volunteer. 

A special treat awaits the happy volunteers during the camper's class session. 

Making home made ice cream with liquid nitrogen is a favorite of the summer campers. A portion of the frozen delight is set aside for volunteers displaying a good attitude toward work and who are mindful of their language and reliable in their personal cleanliness.

Matron Remy conducts the class sessions and has a special place in her heart for the volunteers.  Some of them are in the workhouse because of her.  She is a high school science teacher in the Provo School District and has been known to refer many disruptive students to the workhouse for rehabilitation.   

Stacy is the Galileo's Set Director. She is seen here enjoying her supper.  She prefers to eat with the campers.

"You can't rely on their table manners," she was overhead saying to Mr. Williamson when asked why she never eats with the volunteers.

Jon Parker is shown demonstrating his skills as Overseer.  In addition to running the Voyager, Mr. Parker is a chaperon of both campers and volunteers.

"A good chaperon must be able to see in all directions," he explained just before the picture was taken.  "Watch and I'll show you how its done."  Jon glanced over his right shoulder and held the pose for the photograph.  "It takes skill to do this, and if not done properly, the new chaperon could strain his or her neck muscles.  I should know - I had to wear a neck brace for several months when I was a new chaperon." 

Jon prides himself in the fact that no one, and I mean no one, has ever escaped the Center on his watch.

The volunteers are allowed to accompany the campers to the swimming pool on the second night of camp.

Marissa, Rich, Jorden and Connor are shown with their Overseer Miranda at the pool.  Miranda is friendly with the volunteers and has been known to fraternize with them on many occasions. Mr. Parker finds her methods unorthodox, but acknowledges the fact that Miranda represents a new breed of Overseers who practice new methods of rehabilitation proven to work with incorrigibles (namely friendship, warmth and association).     

Miranda showing the workhouse volunteers that they shouldn't be frighten about getting wet. 

Michaela and Morgan accept Miranda's challenge and venture forth into the pool.
They are demonstrating a new dance they made up to celebrate their first full week outside the workhouse.  Miranda was visibly moved.

Mr. Williamson enjoying the night at the pool with Overseer Bradyn.  Bradyn was going to get into pool but changed his mind after seeing Michaela and Morgan
wade in.

"You don't want to get in there after they've been.  You don't know what you might catch," he said to Mr. Williamson.

"You need to spend some time with Miranda," Mr. Williamson suggested.  "A little Christian kindness wouldn't go unwelcomed with you."  

The volunteers working with Miranda in the Phoenix. Matt, Brandon and Logan.

Megan working with Devin in the Odyssey's Control Room.

"You don't win them all," Mr. Williamson was overhead saying into the phone. He called the workhouse telling them he was sending four of the volunteers back for having too much fun in the halls.

"Fun is for the campers," Mr. Williamson explained to them as they lined up at the door for the long walk back to the Workhouse.  "You may return once you understand your proper place in society and recognize your betters."  

Matt is one of the Center's true success stores.  Matt started as a volunteer and worked his way up the ladder and into a paid position as head tech of the Center. He also programs the Magellan and Odyssey's computers.

"I'll never forget where I came from," he tells the new volunteers.  "Work hard and you'll find the freedom you so honestly desire.  Look at me.  Is this not a collared shirt I proudly wear?  Are these not smooth hands which once where calloused like yours?  Be like me and all will be well with you."

"He talks weird," Connor whispered to Jorden.

 "No he don't," Jorden answered.   

Jon seen working in the Voyager's control room.

Overseer Bradyn dressed and ready to enter the Voyager as Dweeb,
a Paklid bodyguard to Prince Horace in the Voyager's 
new summer story Much Ado About Horace.
"Its all for the campers," Bradyn keeps reminding himself.

 A more sinister alien encountered by the Voyager campers
in their new summer mission

The volunteers, assisted by Matron Remy and Overseer Bradyn, attempted to show the campers what teamwork can accomplish. Their goal was to raise the stick by only using their fingertips.The staff and volunteers struggled and failed.  Bradyn blamed the volunteers.  The volunteers blamed Rich because he was the smallest. The campers laughed.  Rich shouted at the campers, "If you can do better, get on down here from your high horses and prove it." 

They did.

Zac running a Magellan mission with the assistance of the back of Marissa's head.

Overseer Tanner ready to go out and play his role in the Magellan's summer story.

Volunteer Marissa enjoying a snack  as the Magellan crew are lectured on several poor choices they made in the mission.

"I like sweets," she said as she slurped one end of the yogurt tube.  "This is so much better than what we get at the Workhouse." 

Overseer Ben directing the Galileo's summer mission.  He is assisted by two volunteers. 

Matron Aleta finishing off her bowl of cereal before settling down and doing the dishes.

It was a good summer season.  The campers were great, the staff were hard working and the volunteers were exceptional.

Now the Center must get ready for the school year.

Pictures courtesy of Lorraine Houston.
Next Post:  The Campers!
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