Boondocks, New England, is, as you may remember if you were reading around her last year, what I call the town where our Church Camp is. Today began our two-week run and, barring a few minor injuries, I’d say everything has gone quite well so far. Which is saying something, because this year we officially have more teenagers than “primaries,” which has necessitated a massive overhaul in the schedule and the mechanics of the programme. Fortunately, although today was mildly disorganised (which the first Monday of Camp always is anyway), everyone pretty much rose to the challenge and I’m feeling quite chuffed and proud of everybody.
Doesn’t mean I’m ditching my traditional day’s-end two-hour escape, though. The teens stay overnight, but the youngers ride home on a bus and I make my exit for a bit, which is really nice of the other staff, who don’t even get paid to do this. (Hypothetically we could all leave, in shifts, but usually nobody else does.)
Boondocks, New England, is, as its pseudonym suggests, in the boondocks of New England. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere. It’s part of one county but feels more like part of another. It’s a fair distance from any major city, which is nice if you’re trying to get away from it all, but if you’re looking for an internet connexion, you might have to wait five years to realise that that shopfront you thought all along was some sort of pharmacy or hardware store is really a bookstore with coffee (this coffee, even) and free wifi. The shopfronts “downtown” are old and picturesque and some of them still have shop backs, but others are empty–and still others, I’m not sure why they’re still open–or if they’re museums. For example “Liesl–The Bridge to Beauty.” Liesl reminds me of The Sound of Music, and I’m pretty sure the only change that shopfront has undergone since it was put up in maybe the 1950’s is that it’s gotten dingier. I’ve walked past it, but I sort of feel like it might crumble (or I might) if I went inside.
The town is populated with hippies and rednecks (kind of like my house) and I imagine that most of the residents of both persuasions smoke, deal or grow marijuana, but I could be mistaken. There are places to hike and organic farms and antique shops–all spread out–and a Completely Useless Walmart (well they did have one bag of flour today, which was all I needed, I guess), and the town has a common which boasts a small farmer’s market on Saturdays in the summer. Camp is on a tiny man-made pond (smaller even than my Paul’s and my manmade pond), which is so shallow you can still see the trunks of trees that used to live in the hollow sticking out of the middle of it.
And now? My break’s up, so I’d better head back. But now you know why I get quiet this time. If I do.