There’s mud. And then there’s mud.
I went to visit a friend of mine working at Camp Tecumseh last weekend. She asked me if I wanted to go on a mud hike. I thought, why not?
Famous last words.
It was my first visit to Camp Tecumseh, over in southern White County near Brookston. If you’ve never been there, picture winding country roads through thick forests with random cabins popping up here and there. Then add in about 100 college students and a dash of the Energizer bunny. Stir and let sit overnight.
Camps like that usually have bonding exercises for their staff at the very beginning of summer – it helps build unity, fraternity, maybe even egalité if you’re French.
Those exercises are way more fun than team-building exercises at your regular workplace, by the way. Because at Camp Tecumseh, at least one of them involves mud.
First came a rousing chorus of miscellaneous pop songs sung with clapping and jumping – and even a brief war of the songs, with the guys singing “God Bless the U.S.A.” against the gals’ song, which was probably Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
Then the staffers split into three or four groups of about 25 each. Each group in turn headed toward what I realized was a mud pit. Their mission? Well, it wasn’t hiking.
Ostensibly, it was to pick out stray rocks from the pit.
That required getting down and dirty. I stood and watched the group as they buried their hands up to their elbows in mud, feeling around for pebbles, stones and big rocks that would put your fist to shame.
But they didn’t stop there. Next, they full on rolled in the mud. And danced. And built a giant mound of mud that looked like poo.