September 25, 2006

Campground Service

It was another fun-filled weekend camping with Cub Scouts, and now I can vent about just how much fun it was.

The kids were great, the fellow campers were great (most of them), but there is always something that will go wrong when camping.

The first problem arose at about 0500 on Saturday morning. Now this is typically a very quiet time on a campground, an hour before things begin to stir. Well, Jetty Park has a different idea about quiet time, to them it is an opportunity to clean up. What you might ask would they want to clean up at 5:00 in the morning??? Well, dumpsters of course! There were 6 large, steel dumpsters next to the group camping area, that probably take a week to fill. But 5 AM is the designated time to empty them. And I know that there are 6 because I was able to count each and every very loud bang, bam, and thud. And these dumpsters were largely filled with bottles, and the entire campground can verify this as the sound of glass falling into an empty garbage truck is very recognizable. BTW, it takes about 20 minutes to empty 6 dumpsters, 20 loud, noisey minutes.....Of course in between each lifting and dumping of a dumpster, the truck must go into reverse and reposition itself to access the next target. And whoever decided that large equipment needs to go "Beep! Beep! Beep!" everytime it is put into reverse, has never attempted to sleep near a reversing piece of heavy equipment.

After the truck left, the air was still and the campground calm. With a little less than an hour left before the sun would rise and campers would awaken, panic sets in as you think through the very busy and tiring day ahead.

Six o'clock comes quickly at the campground, and tents start rustling with the sound of young boys excitedly waking up to begin the day. As is the case with boys young and old around the world, the first activity is a quick stop at the bathroom. Alas, at Jetty Park this is the perfect opportunity to close the Men's Room for cleaning. Now picture 20 young boys and their fathers emploring a refined, compassionate old hag to open the bathroom during rush hour. Fat chance (and I do mean fat!). I was about to have the boys line-up and spell relief on the side of the janitor's truck, but a more reasonable Dad suggested that was not a good idea. After all there was another bathroom on the other side of the camp and if we hurried we could get there before another park maintenance genious closed that bathroom.

So we are rethinking our annual trek to Jetty Park in hopes that another campground might be more considerate of their customer's when scheduling clean up.

Check back tomorrow and I'll share with you the adventures that happened on the second night.