Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Not your typical weekend

I had it all planned out for the weekend. I had an Air BNB rental arriving on Friday, I was going to give a camp tour Saturday morning, and I was going to drive to Watkins Glen, NY to be a part of the Carnival at Hidden Valley 4-H Camp.

I got my start in camping at Hidden Valley many years ago, and I wanted to give back to a place that means a lot to me and created some of the founding principles of the program I run now. I was suppose to be a celebrity chef and cook chili, and I had everything here to cook it up and bring it for the event.

And then the storm blew through camp.

We lost power late Friday. I reached out to the Berrios family who were driving up from the Bronx to let them know about the storm. At that time the estimates for the power to come back on seemed really good, so I wasn't concerned. Mr. Berrios' response? "Sounds exciting. Were still about an hour away. Thank you for letting us know. See you soon."

When they arrived it was very dark, but I had set out battery lamps and gave them a tour of the Annex. Since they arrived after 10 pm, they pretty much settled in for the night. It's a good thing that the Annex has propane heaters that don't need electricity to run. 

I went to bed with every expectation that the power would be back on in the morning...I was wrong.

When I woke up, the power was still out, so I got out the coleman stove and got the coffee going. I also heated up water for hot cocoa. Berrios were up, I cooked bacon and pancakes (with everyone's help!) We then took a walk around camp and I gave the family a tour. I kept trying to check the weather and look for updates as to when the power would return. 

 As I saw posts on facebook and got more information, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to go to the carnival at Hidden Valley. The family on camp took precedent, and I couldn't see leaving them here without power. Also when power is restored, I have to go around camp to make sure everything comes back on and that there are no issues.

The family decided to take a trip to look around at the mountains and do a few other things. I worked fixing the tin on the roof of one of the cabins that got bent in the wind. When the family got back, they played catch and relaxed in the sun.

half way through the day, cell service went out. Apparently the cell tower had a battery back up- but it doesn't last that long. But it wasn't an issue. We survived without our phones, and I got a chance to relax without looking at my phone every 5 minutes to see if there was a power update.

That evening we had a great meal of steaks and chili (yup, I made chili on the coleman stove, since I had the ingredients ). And I got the campfire set up for Stories and Smores. We even had Jiffy Pop popcorn!

It was a wonderful way to spend the night. There is nothing like telling stories around the fire! Even the children had a story or two to share! I want to thank Judi and Chris Jakubowski for being here and helping with the food and the campfire. 

I especially want to thank the Berrios family for being such troopers! Most families would have gone home after the first night. But their sense of adventure and awesome outlook made it a great weekend. They are a great family and are raising two amazing children.
I know that they came as Air BnB guests, but they are now a part of the Camp Sacandaga family. I hope they get the chance to come up again. And we may even see the the young ones here during the summer camp program!

I can't wait to see them up north again. And I hope there is power the next time they visit. 

But even if there isn't power when they visit, we still will have a great time!

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