An Ordinary Day in Appalachia
Once we arrive, everyone is to help get things unpacked and set up. After all the supplies are unloaded and general housekeeping is finished, you may claim your private sleeping area. Tent City will be segregated with guys on one side and girls on the other.
On Sunday, you get to sleep in until 7:00 a.m., have breakfast and then off to church we go for 9:00 a.m. mass. After mass, many of you will go off to work. After a short day of hard labor, it's time for dinner and to relax for the night. Each night we will meet for an hour to talk about our day's jobs, to share stories, and to learn from one another what each of the other groups are doing. The camp bell will ring at 11:00 p.m. signaling it is time for bed. Everyone is to be tucked into their own sleeping bag by midnight.
After a good night's rest, it is time to rise at 6:00 a.m., have a good breakfast prepared by our kitchen crew, pack your own lunch and Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go...to paint a house, build a porch, add a room, patch a roof, dig a ditch, or build a house. Whatever the job may be, you will have a good feeling about yourself because you've helped someone you don't even know and will probably never see again. Sometimes the days get hot, hot, hot, but you will not melt. Just keep drinking lots of water and keep on working. If you keep moving, you will feel better!
Finally, the crew leader calls for a lunch break. You will enjoy a wonderful lunch that you made that morning consisting of meat and bread or peanut butter and jelly and a snack. If you're really thinking, you'll make a cheese sandwich because, after it sits in the heat of the sun, you'll have a grilled cheese for lunch! You'll have all the comforts of a picnic lunch...you, the bugs, a dried up old sandwich, a cool refreshing drink of water, and the beautiful scenery for which restaurants would charge top dollar.
When you are done for the day, all tools and materials are picked up, the van is loaded, and back to the homestead we go! Once at camp, you take a shower. We limit showers to 3 minutes, but you'll find it takes that long just to peel your clothes off your sweaty body. You will be told several times to hurry up.
After a scrumptious home-cooked meal, you can chill out with your friends, sip a cold drink, play soccer, volleyball, ping pong, throw darts, play cards, or sit by the campfire. The crew leaders may sit and plan their strategy for the next day.
At some point in the evening, we will have a general meeting. At 11:00 p.m., the camp bell will signal it's time for persons under the age of 21 (youth) to head to the bunkhouse for bathroom, brushing teeth, etc. The bathroom will be closed to youth at 11:30 p.m. (except for "true need"). Lights go out at midnight.
If you're new to the work camp experience, around Monday or Tuesday you'll want to go home. Hang in there...by the time the last day of camp rolls around, you won't want to leave!