Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NYLT - Ben's Version

I just got back from National Youth Leader Training camp, and I am very glad to be back in my own home...

Camp Pupukea is a pretty cool campsite, but it was a kind of miserable week. We arrived and they set us up into our patrols; they put us with random people, so I didn't know anyone. They organized the patrols by color; we were the Lime Patrol. We had to think of a name that matched lime, so we became the Irish Whooping Llamas (yes, that was my idea). Our patrol and the Gold Patrol were unlucky enough to get stuck in the camp site that was half a mile away from everything... down hill... those wimps in the other patrols were right next to everything. And I had to drag a 100 pound cart up that hill about 4 times a day, because the rest of my patrol were a bunch of lazy butt holes. I literally did K.P. for all but one meal, because if someone else had to do it, it wouldn't get done and then we would get in trouble. The classes were OK, they were just talking about different leadership skills. We had MRE's (Meals Rejected by Everyone) for most of our meals and yet the patrol still found a way make there be dirty dishes. We didn't even need dishes! The way we got food was cool, they had a pickup time for food at every meal. If you didn't get there on time, your patrol couldn't eat. And because pickup for breakfast was 6:00 to 6:30, we missed our breakfast most days because we wouldn't wake up on time. I am a lot stronger now from dragging that cart all over the place, so it's not all bad. My tent partner was sick, so I got sick too... not fun at all.

I was one of the only Caucasians there, and being in an all Asian patrol was awkward at times. The others in my group quickly nicknamed us "The Asians plus One White Guy". One of my patrol members promised that he would help me unleash my inner-Asian, but when I chose mashed potatoes instead of rice, he gave up on me.

It says in the rules that there is no wrestling allowed, but every year the staff secretly organizes a grappling match. They had a sentry who would blow a whistle whenever an adult or other staff member was coming. One whistle meant staff, 2 meant false alarm, 3 meant adult, 50 meant Mr. Mac (our scout master who also owns the camp). I beat everyone I faced, until the whistle blew... We all scattered back to our camps, but I was barefoot and, while running, ripped a good chunk of meat out of my toe when I hit a rock. After I got back from the medic's cabin, I decided not to grapple anymore.

At one point, they needed to test how we would react during an emergency, but of course, they didn't tell us it wasn't real. We were sitting in the building where they taught our classes at 10:00 one night when our SPL for the whole camp ran in and yelled, "Everyone get down under the tables! The police department just called, there's a drunk man that has been sighted coming this way, and he's armed!" We got under the tables and they turned out the lights. Suddenly we heard the SPL scream from the other room, "All staff get in here! We have a wounded person!" All the staff ran into the other room with the medic (who is a navy seal by the way), and we could hear "Oh God! It's Ricky!" "Check his pulse!" "Blood is getting on everything!"... Then the door slammed open, there was a gunshot, then the light came on and the SPL told us to sit back down. He explained that it wasn't real and it just a test, and that we did really well. I don't give a crap that we did well! We were P.O.d!

One other interesting thing happened. Another troop that was going on a biking course was a little way down the hill. Suddenly we saw Ranger Mac and a fire truck fly by! The idiots in the other troop had been exploding deodorant cans and had set fire to the entire hillside! We could only guess what Ranger Mac did to the fools. Well, not much else of interest happened so I'll end it here.

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