That evening, I drove to visit former National Physical Education Director Marian Wesolowski. She has a lovely trailer at a campground near the Angola camp we used to use for Falcons. It was Druhna’s birthday! On Sunday, we visited St. Vincent DePaul for their fundraiser to celebrate! It was great to see a sunset over Lake Erie again, I hadn’t done that for a couple years. There have been many improvements made to the camp; I wish we could get back there!
Elaine Sieczkarek, Mother of Outstanding Gorecki recipient Stephanie Sieczkarek, stopped by for a visit. It was nice to chat and hear about happenings at the Nest.
On June 30 with two grandchildren, Dakota and Mikayla, I arrived at Camp Hawthorne Ridge for a week of fun at Falcon Camp. This camp is located off the Edinboro exit on interstate 79 and very close to Erie. Once again, I requested to be in the cabin with the older teenage girls. I had 11 wonderful girls in my cabin, a junior counselor, Michelle Wolniakowski from Nest 725, and two chaperones, Dorota Lewicki and Aneta Matyszczyk. Our cabin was actually a house. The majority of the girls slept on the floor in the living room, with a group of girls in a bedroom, the two chaperones in another bedroom and Michelle and I in the dining room. The cabin had one bathroom so the girls had to fix hair in the kitchen; quick showers were a must. These girls got along very well. The girls from the bedroom would go to the living and vice versa. There weren’t any issues with nastiness! The camp started off as a typical camp week, everyone checking in, happy to see one another, meeting new folks and getting into the camp routine.
Well, this was not your typical week of camp! First of all Mother Nature had other ideas as it rained and rained. The driveway to our cabin was a swamp, and mud was everywhere! On Monday morning, I led the kids in pierogi making. It was fun but ended up being quite the task. We made way too many. Most of us enjoyed eating them. I had to be on midnight watch, which was actually fun because it was a perfect summer night. Upon my return to my cabin, Michelle and I sat up for quite a while talking about the future of the PFA and her desire to be involved. It was encouraging to hear of a young person who is serious about her commitment to the PFA (fortunately for us, we have quite a few!).
The theme for the week was holidays! Tuesday was Halloween and it proved to be a very frightening day and night! Most of the activities were the planned ones but we had to make a few modifications. One of our campers seemed to be dehydrated and spent most of the day trying to recuperate. Following dinner, his sister came up to me to tell me that he (her brother) had chills and was vomiting. This of course, had us spring into action. Druh Joe Choromanski (who just happened to be dressed as a doctor for Halloween) and I drove Tim and Olivia up to Erie to visit the hospital. After several tests and a few hours, it was determined that Tim needed to have his appendix removed. Now, his Mom is sitting in New Jersey hearing of this. And, Tim made it clear that he wanted to return to camp, not go back home. We sat with Olivia while Tim was in surgery, all went very well. We left the hospital at 3:30 a.m. to head back to camp. Needless to say, I was hungry. We stopped at Eat ‘n Park (local restaurant chain) for breakfast. While drinking our coffee and tea and eating our fruit cups, the lights went out. Our waitress brought over tea lights and told us that we probably weren’t getting our food. We decided to leave. Well, there was an entire grid of power out! It was pitch black! Now, if you are familiar with Peach Street, you realize how freaky that is! Tim had to stay in the hospital until Thursday around lunch time. When we arrived back at camp, everyone was standing around the green cheering him back.
The rain continued and so did the fun, camaraderie and all the good stuff that goes on at camp. Cultural Commissioner Larry Kozlowski brought much to the camp this year with so many things especially teaching the kids how to make the oplatek and the meaning of sharing the wafer. This was done around the campfire on Friday night. Even those kids who are not Polish really enjoyed this special tradition! My grandkids would like to have this at our Christmas celebration from now on.
One of the things that was not a hit this year was the food. So one night, I decided to get my girls pizza (since they were so wonderful!). Guess where we had to go to get the pizza? Erie, of course! The girls were thrilled to have this treat (of course, they shared this story with the other campers who were not happy to hear about it).
Saturday was New Year’s Eve and we ended camp with a dance (in the rain). Even though, it was a very soggy week and we had to make a hospital run, it is still another great Falcon memory. Congratulations to Druhna Puskar for the great week! There had to be a lot of modifying of scheduling but we pulled together and made the best of it!
In early August, I go the National Golf Tournament in Erie! Check back for my next post.