Feral! Report — Day 5

All too soon we reached the last full day of Feral, and I was determined to make the most of it. There were still things I wanted to do that had not been done (kayaking), and that, at least, was on my to-do list for the day. Otherwise, who knew when I would get the chance to go kayaking on that lake again? As much as I’d like to go back, the next one’s a year away, and who knows what can happen in one year, much less two or more?

That was also the day the weather decided it would be a good time to rain. The camp staff referred to it as “silver sunshine”… they might need to be reacquainted with sunshine because I do not quite have the same opinion of it that they do. Fortunately I enjoy the rain, so it was not a negative by any means.

Sometime after breakfast was the writing workshop with Rikoshi. A few weeks before Feral, there had been an announcement sent out (it was well-hidden, and many did not hear about it) that anyone who wanted to submit a story for the workshop could do so. Wolfin and I decided to do so, and as it turns out, we were the only ones. That meant Rikoshi had to suffer through our stories and did not have any others to read and recover from what we put him through.

It turned out all right, though.

Since there were only two people who submitted stories and only three who had read the stories, that was not quite enough for a not-awkward workshop, and Rikoshi had managed to draft about four other people into the workshop. So we all sat around the table and read each other’s story, and the audience was able to provide feedback. Now, we did not read our own, and we did not read the whole thing. I read about a page of Wolfin’s story, and he read a page of mine. He did not quite get the accents right, but that’s okay. I never told him that I was mimicking a select few of the South Carolina dialects.

Now that I think of it, that’s probably for the best. He hasn’t quite mastered the generic Southern accent, much less the more specific regional dialects. Maybe in time that will change.

We both got good feedback from it, I think. Also, since there were not very many stories to talk about, that just meant both of us got a more in-depth look at our own stories. We talked as a group until something like thirty minutes before lunch, so we hung out and then grabbed something to eat. I can’t remember what we had for meals on what day, anymore. That knowledge left me within two days of returning home. Sorry if you were waiting to hear it.

After lunch was staff vs camper dodgeball. The staff lined up on one side of the court, and the campers on the other, and we proceeded to pelt each other with mostly-inflated rubber balls. (There were two types: blue ones that were effective, and a yellow one that no one wanted to use.) To add to the fun, the court was wet from the rain. Not only wet, but also slippery. Now, I do not have a strong throwing arm. For that matter, I have next to no upper body strength as it is. I prefer the “dodge” part of dodgeball. Wolfin was much more enthusiastic about getting up to the front and getting as many people out as possible, before becoming a casualty himself, and I was content to lurk in the back and use the rest of them as human shields. This generally meant I was one of the last out, and also one of the most useless.

Did you know that getting hit by a dodgeball in the neck is not fun? I tried to catch it, and that did not succeed.

Afterward was the campwide game. I had not participated in a weekend-long game where people went around and got answers to trivia questions or be recorded as having participated in various activities, so I wasn’t able to play. You will have to wait for the ‘fin to tell you about it. He should in the next few days, otherwise poke him until you get your report.

Instead of the game, I went kayaking with Kuprin and Pathfinder. It took a few minutes to learn how to go in a straight line, and also to convince myself that the plastic banana I had squeezed myself in was not going to flip over. We had two options: we could go over to where a beaver dam possibly was, or we could paddle to and around an island. We chose the island. That was probably the better choice, too. On the far side of the island from camp, we came across a few loons, one of which came surprisingly close to our kayaks. Once again, I have no pictures to prove it, but we drifted for a few minutes and watched until they got tired of us and moved on to something else.

After that was a very long hike with Pathfinder to a creek something like two kilometers from camp. (I could be very wrong on the distance, but the hike was longer than expected and the sign I saw did say it was 2200-something meters to the lake. Maybe my distance estimation is off.) This trail was also narrow, and that was the only time of the trip that any insects were annoying. A couple black flies decided they wanted to sample coyote. They must not have been very interested because by and large they left me alone.

Cabin skits were that night. Our cabin had not done much of anything in the way of preparing and letting me know about it, so I found out sometime around supper time what we were going to do. Most of the cabin did not have any speaking parts, we just had to annoy the person who did, and then Wotan finished up with a song. Apparently he is known for that?

Cabin skits are best when short. The shorter ones can usually be witty. Too long and they get kind of dumb.

After that, it was time to go back to the cabin and start packing, and accept the fact that Feral was more or less over. It was fun, but it had to come to an end I guess. Then it was off to bed, and sleep. Tomorrow was the trip back to Toronto.

Bark at me