Notes from the Director
July 11, 2017

Eat, Drink and Be Merry – A Dining Hall Adventure

Why Yes.  We do slow down a few times a day.  At least we sit down three times a day to meals in the dining hall.  Unfortunately for Miss Manners, we try to squeeze in some fun when we’re all together these three times.

For us, the Dining Hall gives us a chance to get some All Camp time in.  Every meal starts with, a prayer, a reminder for a dime sized dollop of hand sanitizer and the ever important decree of one full glass of water!  Routine, routine, routine.

Every meal is wrapped up with a cheer: “What do we want, meds.  When do we want ’em, NOW” (and absolutely no one would dare forget a mealtime medication).  There’s a table game to see who gets the bus tub for dirty dishes, and finally, the after meal announcements.  These range from camper recognition for accomplishment in classes, a joke of the day, updates on activity meeting spots and evening schedule wardrobe plans.  Finally, after about 30-40 minutes we are gone.  Three hundred and fifty in together.  Three hundred and fifty fed.  Three Hundred and fifty leave together.  Just like an NBA game.  The precision of swiss timing and the energy and smells of laughing campers!

In between is our chance as program directors and directors to watch the interactions, see all the kids flow by and catch all the staff we need for updates.  It’s a great time for the staff table to catch kids headed to fill an empty pitcher or to the salad bar and watch to their body language.  Are they happy?  Are they limping?  Are they sun-burned (never)?  It’s another time to watch our boys being boys.

You can only imagine (actually, you probably can’t begin to fathom) the inner workings of the dining hall at a meal.  (Again, sorry Miss Manners).  There are the helpers setting the tables.  There are the guys who drop the plastic cups just to hear them bounce.  There are the guys who bang plates with spoons because we’re all closet drummers.  There are the guys who pop wrags at the trash can.  There are guys who help their buddy with the dirty dishes.  There are guys who leap over the wet floor sign and guys who crash right into it.  There are guys who lick the empty pudding bowl on the way back to the kitchen and the guys who pretend to be interested in talking to Cheryl and I so they don’t have to clean at all (you think we’d figure it out after awhile).  We have all kinds.  An hour and a half each day in the dining hall is the best part of the day.  Please join us at closing, we’ll save you a pudding bowl.

And oh, yeah, we eat.  We drink at least one full glass of water.  We make too much noise.  (sorry Miss Manners).  We can’t have too much fun.

Life is Good.  So is Food.  Camp is Better.


Written by Blake Smith

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