My Exciting Two Night “Who Needs a Tent” Camping Stint

21 08 2008

I am a Residential Life Intern (RA to most other colleges) at Hampshire College. This means I have a great deal of responsibility and as such, my fellow Interns and I go through a great deal of training. I arrived ready for training on Monday so I am officially back at college for the year – huzzah! On Tuesday we left for a camping/bonding trip to a nearby Girl Scout Camp.

While other people were claiming cabins and bunks – Fearless Leader, three other Interns and I were claiming ground. (Fearless Leader has taken survival classes at Tom Brown Jr’s Tracking School and was quite knowledgeable in all things outdoors, I hope to learn as much as possible from him.)

Despite the fact that it is still August, nights are becoming increasingly more chilly here in Massachusetts. After an exciting evening marathon of fire and s’mores, it was time to turn in… to the grass. The first night was an attempt to sleep outside without blankets or pillows. One of our fellow Interns gave up and went to a cabin. 3:00am rolled around and I woke up (after a surprisingly decent two hour nap) and put my blanket over me (too cold for me!) Another Intern appreciated my blanket and joined me under it. Fearless Leader and the third intern were left outside without warmth.

The four of us made it to dawn, but we all agreed it had been incredibly cold.

Wednesday night we planned ahead. Fearless Leader showed me and one other intern how to make a Debris Hut. It took us three hours mostly in the dark to set up our three new homes. The construction is simple and satisfying to do, I really enjoyed making my hut. Unfortunately, by 1:00am we had lost our construction steam and we skimped a bit on the debris part of the hut. After another round of fire and s’mores, we turned into our new spider filled homes. (The other two Interns of the previous night joined us on the ground in sleeping bags. The three of us debris-hut folks used no blankets or pillows.)

Lesson: Do not skimp on the debris part of a debris hut. I was freezing. By 5:30am after trying to cover the entrance to my hut in an attempt to make it more tolerable – I decided I needed at least an hour of sleep undisturbed by the tumultuous shivering of my cold little body. I crawled under my blanket.

Debris hut attempt #2 should happen soon – I will let you know if I can finally find a way to sleep comfortably outside without a blanket.

Spiders crawling all over your face is really adorable.

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