Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A to Z

I drove a van full of kids in part of the convoy to the beautiful seaside town of Camden, Maine. It's an hour long drive and I was a little sleepy so I suggested we play the alphabet game to keep us all wide awake. If you're not familiar with it, the alphabet games requires finding a word that starts with each subsequent letter of the alphabet. So you start by looking for a sign for Air Conditioning Repair or Road Work Ahead, and then a sign for the town of Bedford or Blind Drive, and so on. It essentially boiled down to me and my co-counselor, each with a team of campers competing in a vicious game of alphabet while I tried to keep my 15 passenger van on the road. (Just kidding, I was very safe and let the kids do most of the hunting).

Alphabet game in rural Maine is not easy. We got stuck on Q until we found a Quality Roofing Company and a Quilt Store. And then we hit X. It was all over. There are simply no X signs on Coastal Route 1 in Maine.

We put the game on hold while we climbed the Maiden Cliffs at Camden.

We climbed and climbed on the slippery rocks until we reached the peak. The kids were exhausted and sweaty but the view was spectacular. We were content. Until we heard that we'd taken a wrong turn partway up the mountain and we were not at the right ledge. Whoops. Time to climb back down and find the right ledge, the one with the giant cross so that we could do chapel under its shadow.

From the mountain, we went into the town of Camden for ice cream shopping and boat observing and souvenir hunting.

I was lounging on the grass by the waterfront with several campers and counselors when it started to rain. We groaned, dreading the thought of having to go pretend to browse souvenirs in order to stay dry. "Maybe we can go sit in that bush," I joked and peeked inside. To our great surprise and pleasure, the bush had a mini-door and opened up into a perfect little hideout! We sat inside, talking, and avoided the rain altogether.

We got back into the van and picked our alphabet game back up at X. It was hopeless. Ten minutes from home, we stopped for gas and I glanced at the convenience store wall. I started screaming. There was an X!! Miracles do happen! We found a Y very easily and finally found a Z on a license plate (partial cheating) just before we reached home. All in all, it was a very satisfying and memorable day.

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