This has always been one of Steve’s favorite stories. Over the years, it was replaced by newer stories, but it is the oldest story of us.
Steve was working as an Outdoor Education Coordinator at Calvin Crest an outdoor education camp for 6th graders. An Outdoor Education Coordinator is a person who basically runs the day-to-to program. Steve was in-between jobs and got hooked up with the camp through his parent’s church. He was almost 25 and really didn’t know what he was going to “do” with his life.
I had just turned 21 and was between jobs too. I had already promised my cousin that I would watch her younger children for a week while she took her 6th grader to camp. But there was a flu outbreak in their town, and several of the adults who were planning to attend as cabin leaders had to back out at the last minute. There was a big chance that they would have to cancel their 6th grade camp experience. She asked if I would instead go to the camp and chaperone. I agreed.
I remember Steve jumping on the school bus just after it stopped in the gravel parking lot of the camp. He ushered all of us “adults” off the bus, and then began to rev the children up with his bubbly personality. I received a list of girls and the name of a cabin, then I gathered them up with our luggage and headed to the cabin.
It was quite a walk downhill to the cabins. I found ours quickly and we all filed in, each girl plopping her bags on a bunk. But we were two beds too shy. So up the hill I trudged, back to the parking lot, looking for someone who could help me. One of the office staff then directed me back down the hill to talk with Steve, who could help me remedy the situation. I asked, “Who’s Steve?” She said, “He’s the guy from the bus.”
Finally, I found him. I said, “Are you Steve? We don’t enough beds in our cabin.” Steve replied, “You don’t have enough beds? But that’s how many students you should have in your cabin. I just started working here and don’t know where to find more beds.” He marched over to a crank phone that hung on a wall and rung the crank three times. There was a lot of “uh-huhs” and “okays” and then he hung up the phone.
“Well, I guess there’s some kind of closet on the outside of the cabin that has extra cots”, he said. And off he marched to the side of the cabin. Sure enough, there was a door and inside were two very flat, very hard, very heavy wooden cot bases; but no mattresses. We pulled them out and had a couple of the girls drag them into the cabin. Then, off we went to find another door on the opposite side of the cabin. But….no mattresses. Then, we checked several other doors on several other cabins. But, no mattresses. So back he went to the phone and cranked away.
After a few more “uh-huhs” he hung up the phone and said, “I guess we’re just gonna have to get you to bed.” Having a smart-mouth I came back with, “You’re gonna take me to bed?” He blushed. I blushed. We both laughed nervously and then off we went. After opening a few more doors to a few more buildings we finally came to a closet stacked from floor to ceiling with mattresses. PS—that room comes into play during another story!
I know it doesn’t seem like much of a story. But he loved telling people that the first thing we did after we met was go searching for a bed.