Monday 4 July 2011

A Cedarwood Storm Story....

As I sat in my living room joyfully watching the coming thunderstorm (which unfortunately didn't amount to very much), I couldn't help but think of my friends at Cedarwood. You see, Cedarwood and storms go hand in hand. I have experienced the most epic storms at that place, from sitting on the dock watching a wall of lightning filling the eastern sky, to giant windstorms appearing out of nowhere, to even having my brand new 2007 Kia Spectra broken with $4000 damage by two trees being knocked on to it. There is one storm memory however that stands above all the others, and I believe that the year was 2002. 

A storm had moved in near the middle of cabin kickback, the time of day when cabin groups are off doing an activity together. As it was starting to lightning and thunder, all the campers and staff had been pulled off the waterfront and were heading in to the lodge. Suddenly we saw a white wall of water approaching from across the lake, and as it came towards the lodge everyone began to gather on the deck. I'm not exaggerating when I say that there were 60-80 campers and staff gathered on our back deck watching as the entire waterfront and yard seemed to disappear into this white squall of rain. A couple of our younger staff began taking turns running out on to the patio, becoming instantly drenched, but as soon as the thunder and lightning intensified we told them to come back on the deck.  Suddenly it happened- a wall of wind like nothing I've ever experienced slammed into us- slamming us all against the wall of the lodge. It was almost pure panic as I tried to pull open the door to let the screaming campers inside, but the air pressure wasn't allowing it.

With a few of us pulling on the dining room door we suddenly got it, and as the door opened it appeared as if a giant hand of wind and rain just reached into the room. The first 2 rows of tables had everything blown off - paper plates, cups, utensils...  yes it's easy to blow over paper and plastic, but a little harder to blow over 8 tables worth through one small door! The campers all actually ended up going in through another door which was opened at the same time, and there I stood in the dining room, surveying the mess around me. As quick as the storm had hit, it was over, leaving around 15 trees down on the site. 

No one was hurt, and for that I am thankful, but the story isn't complete without sharing what happened directly afterwards. As we looked out the window and tried to figure out what had just happened, the camp director's wife stormed in and began yelling at me in front of everyone for letting the campers go crazy and mess up the dining room.  Yup... gotta love storms. :) 

1 comment:

Lish said...

I remember that day Ben! That was my first summer. Someone did get hurt though-Melissa Vik(then Hiebert)'s finger was slammed in the dining room door when it blew shut!