Once upon a time, there was a group of approximately 20 teenagers in a program called ParKids. They were split into Group A and Group B for the ParKids summer camp that took place from June 25 to 29. The focus of this tale will be Group A, as a genius in the making known as Nevillegirl was in that group.
On Monday the 25th, the members of Group A met at a campsite near a lake to practice their kayaking skills and spend the night. The girls, naturally, had no trouble putting up their tents, while the boys were completely clueless and had to get help from the park rangers. Then the girls ‘stole’ the boys’ tent because their previous tent was for 3 people and there were 4 girls. The kids got to know one another better by hanging out for a bit and talking. One of the girls, Sereen, had a weird and nerdy sense of humor, so you can imagine how well she got along with Nevillegirl.
The teens had some kayaking practice next, which consisted of splashing each other and occasionally kayaking, mostly to race one another. Later on, they went down a waterway and into several small creeks. There were some logs just under the water’s surface, which caused them to run aground every so often.
Dinner was yummy shish kabobs and other things. Later on, the rangers started a fire that was so hot that it was impossible to stand closer than 3 feet away from it. The teenagers roasted blue marshmallow Peeps, adding chocolate and marshmallows to make strange-looking s’mores. The girls had made elaborate plans earlier in the day to stay up all night playing Truth Or Dare, but that never happened because everyone was so worn out from kayaking.
The next morning, everyone was slow to get up. The rangers had said that breakfast would be at 7, but no one, including them, even got up before 7:45. The teenagers had breakfast and then went kayaking some more in the waterway, this time in the opposite direction. They soon arrived at Lake Michigan, where the rangers determined that the waves were too choppy to risk kayaking directly on the lake, which had been the original plan. So they hung out at the beach.
The next day, Wednesday, the teenagers showed up at the ranger station and were given two video cameras. The adults did not know that when teenagers are not busy kayaking and therefore bored, things get silly very quickly. The teenagers quickly created all sorts of inside jokes that caused them to laugh hysterically, confusing the adults. And remember those video cameras? As anyone can tell you, teenagers with video cameras are not serious.
The teenagers took a bus to Mount Baldy, where they first hiked up to the top, and then ran down all the way to the bottom. And then they hung out at the beach. Later, they filmed their entire lunch, which included a narration of what they were eating and a video of one of them accidentally falling backwards off the bench of the picnic table. Nevillegirl developed her Effie Trinket voice and proceeded to talk like that for the rest of the day, causing her to be very hoarse by the time she got home.
Thursday morning, they hiked a little ways to an archaeological dig near the Bailly Homestead. They were accompanied by a plant specialist who looked exactly like Haymitch if Haymitch wore glasses. Naturally, the teenagers found this hilarious, although the adults did not understand why. Haymitch the plant specialist stopped many times on the trail to say, “Hey! This is [fill in with name of obscure plant]! Amazing! You can eat this, you know!” They got to look around the archaeology site, where the leader of the dig cheerfully informed them that what they’d found that day was evidence of the previous excavation.
However, because it was so hot out, the teenagers had to go back to the air-conditioned ranger station for the rest of the afternoon, where they played games. On Friday, they met at a visitor center for a picnic and to work on the ParKids blog, which Nevillegirl is not going to link to, due to real names being used there and the apparent inability of most of her fellow ParKids to use proper spelling and punctuation. And so ended the ParKids day camp, with the teenagers living happily ever after, albeit sunburned and tired.