[Editor's Note: This is my first attempt at Totally Awkward Tuesdays, brought to you by Tova Darling. Please head over to her site to see who else is awkward. And make sure to check out the hover text on the pictures.]
The time: July 1987.
The place: The St. Louis Zoo
The event: Gifted Camp Field Trip
The summer of 1987, the summer before my senior year of college, I was a counselor at a camp for gifted kids at my college. There were 4, 13 day sessions sessions that summer. (We got off the 24 hours from the Saturday noon when the camp ended to the Sunday noon when the next one started.) If memory serves me correctly, this was either the second or third session (I'm leaning toward third, not that it matters). The camp was mostly kids going into 5th, 6th, 7, or 8th grade.
The weekend that we had the kids, we went on a field trip. With this batch, we went to the St. Louis Zoo, which was about a 1.5 – 2 hour drive. So we loaded the kids up, for a day of fun at the zoo.
(Unfortunately, I had to wear my camp t-stirt, not this beauty. -->)
The day went just fine. Beautiful July day in St. Louis. So about 97° and 95% humidity with not a breezy to be found. After a couple of hours, it was time to start rounding the little hooligans up for the return trip. Just as we were getting them on the buses and trying to do head counts, etc., it started to rain. Not a little drizzle.
That's not the awkward part.
So, at the entry of the park, as it's pouring rain, one of the girls drops like a stone, curled up in pain. We got the other kids on the bus, and
just left her to die and be fed to the wolves, followed the ambulance as best as we could to the hospital.
And there we sat. For an hour and a half. The other kids were wet, getting hungry, and somewhat freaked out.
Kids – Is she dead? Me – No, she's not dead..
Kids – How do you know? Me – If she was dead, they would have sent us home by now.
Kids (every 4 minutes) – How is she? Have you heard anything?
Me – We're all locked on this bus together. You'll know when I know something. (Remember kiddos, this was before cell phones existed in their modern form, and while the buses did have CB's in them, the Rubber Duck hadn't sent us a Breaker 1-9 to let us know the situation.)
Finally, word came out that she was fine. Everything was fine. We were to head back, and the head counselor and her counselor were going to stay back with her, and follow us later. (Still not sure the logistics of how the got back to Jacksonville, but oh well.)
When the three of them came back later, the head counselor filled us in on the situation.
Was it food poisoning? No.
Was it appendicitis? No.
Right there, on the field trip with 80 other kids, she had her first cramp. Welcome to womanhood!
And when discussing awkward 80's looks, those of you who went to school with me, or are my friends on Facebook may recognize Scott from his days as Max Headroom.