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6th Grade Camp
Okay, sixth grade camp. The snow is coming down consistently. It’s falling on all of us as we are following the guide through an unseen path—he must’ve done this a million times because there’s no panic in his features or his voice.
“Okay, so if you look over there,” our guide is pointing down a slope that creates a type of ditch with the other slope that runs into it on the other side, “that’s where all the snow runoff will melt and create a strong ravine during this spring. This fresh water will not only provide needed water for our animals up here in the mountains, but it will also. . .”
Our guide continues to talk and talk, but most of us, around twenty of us, are so fascinated with the falling snow and each other. I’ve never seen falling snow before. It’s amazing. It falls all over and you expect it to be noisy like rain, but it’s not. It’s gentle. Not only that, but the flakes land on your body and just stay there, and if you don’t brush off the collection of flakes, it just builds and builds creating small pyramids on flat surfaces like your shoulders or the top of your head if you’re coat has a hood to it.
“Here, let me get that for you.” I wiped off the shoulders of a petite girl standing next to me.
“Um, thanks.” Some of her friends giggled behind her. What was I doing? It didn’t matter. I had a major crush on Kim and a few giggles weren’t going to ruin the moment. Boy, she was knock out. Dark hair and dark eyes. The white puffy jacket and the white snow falling around her was a perfect background.
“Okay everybody!” We all turned to look at Caleb our guide. “Let’s get moving. We’ve got more hiking to do and I’m not sure if this snow is going to stop.” Caleb led us through the open field we were standing in while snow began to build and pile on our heads and shoulders into an army of trees. I let Kim and her friends go in front of us. As she passed by I cleaned her shoulders again. Her friends giggled again.
I’m not sure what Kim thought of me or of my romantic gestures, but it didn't matter; unfortunately, this story doesn’t end with the culmination of my one brave moment of asking her out. In fact, nothing ever came to fruition of my rapt attention to her every needs. But I’m getting off track.
All twenty of us continued to walk through the woods, but then we stopped. What was that sound? A car? Was there a road in front of us? All I could think of was how odd it is to feel so isolated and almost lost in the middle of the woods, and then all of a sudden discover that a road is only a stone’s throw away.
We continued to walk through the trees, and yes, we finally came to it—a small two lane road.
“Okay class,” Caleb stopped the group of sixth graders. “We need to cross this road. Now, I don’t want anyone wandering off so we’re going to cross in one line. This means all of us are going to hold hands as we walk across.”
Oh wow! I couldn’t believe it! I was going to hold Kim’s hand. This was going to be an answer to every prayer I had that whole afternoon. Sure we all had thick gloves on, but I was still going to hold her hand. I grabbed on firmly. She held onto mine.
“Okay everyone, I’m going to go on the road first and stand in the middle as you walk across. Now be careful, with this snow there’s possibility of some black ice—that’s snow that has melted into water and then frozen over like an ice rink. So no running.”
I waited while holding onto Kim’s hand. It was awesome. We waited as the beginning of the line began to move. Finally after a minute our part of the line began to move. As we slowly walked across the road, Kim and I were about to approach the middle when all of a sudden I noticed a head of another six grader a couple heads in front of me all of a sudden just go down. Apparently, someone slipped on the warned black ice.
Well, this wouldn’t have been too awful, and I’m sure most of us would’ve gotten a good laugh out of it, but remember all of us were holding hands, and, well, you get the idea. Once that poor soul dropped like a dead weight onto the asphalt, his reflexes didn’t tell him to let go of the other two hands he was holding onto, instead his grip held on more tightly, hoping those two pillars would keep him up. Well, since the slip was so unexpected, and since a sixth grader is not the most coordinated creature on the earth, as he fell to the ground with a thud, the two on either side of him came down as well and so on, until all of us that were on the road were like beetles on our backs, slipping and sliding trying our hardest to regain ground.
Now, this scene would of been amusing to all of us at the moment, and I’m sure we would’ve settled down, lie on our backs and laugh, but I remember someone yelling out, “We’re going to get hit by a car! I think a car is coming!”
Well, if we weren’t already freaked out this really put all of us into a panic as most of us began to scream and fight our way up on our legs.
“Guys, calm down! Calm down! There aren’t any cars and no one is going to get hit. Just get up slowly and stop panicking.” That did actually help. It became quiet for a moment and most of us began to lift ourselves up, that is until someone came tumbling down again and pulled two others with them. That’s when we all just stopped and laughed.
I’m not sure how we got off that road, but somehow we did. What’s even more amusing is I don’t remember much about the week of camp after that. That one event was burned into my mind and stole the other events away.