Week 4 – the hump

If you are not a fan of Wednesdays, perhaps you would not be a fan of Week 4 at a cadet camp.

This week I have realized that it does not matter where you go, Penhold, Gimli, Cold Lake or Regina Fly Schol- the island unto its own. Week 4 is tough. Here is a list of reasons why Week 4 is always the most painful to take:

1. It is always the non-payday week. After you have spent your entire   catching up on things you “were going to take care of with your camp money” it usually means there is only little left for a few drinks at the mess, or in my case starbucks, you are feeling the heat of needing the second paycheque to come quickly. Not to mention Christmas in July, which if you are a sucker, always seems to cost you some ridiculous candy money.

2. You have sorted yourself out socially, and the drama begins! People start dating, or in my case of all girls, hating, and people get catty. It is when the drama begins, and inevitably someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with them from home or your grandma’s, uncles, brother’s mom’s boyfriend’s best friend’s cat died and this causes you to convulse into a heaping mess of emotion on your bed.

3. You are tired. Too many nights at the mess, or in our case too much studying, have caused you to become exhausted. You are no longer interested in doing your shoes/boots and skirts take a bust out of the closet if you are in blues.

4. Homesickness. This is the affliction that I am feeling the most right now. I chose to go away from Calgary a week early, and don’t regret that, but I am 5 weeks away from home and I miss my comfy bed, my BFFEL and food that is not laced with salt, deep fried, or end in -otatoes.

While all of these things feel like they are terrible about week 4 they are a cycle. Week 5 will come and so will strep throat (oh the fevers have begun on our floor already! ). My hope is that we do not get an illness that invovles throwing up. At least I wont have lice to deal with!!!

But there are interesting things about week 4 that feel comfortable in a sense.

1. Friendships are strong. You have found your friend that will not stop talking to you until Christmas holidays. This friend will stay up talking to you about things you only talk about at cadet camp. If you are as lucky as I am you might even get to go out to the Tarmac and midnight running and then watch the stars with a friend you will never forget about. Lee Anne and I still talk about that night we giggled ourselves to death as our friendship grew! Relationships also begin. I am almost positive I met most of my previous boyfriends when I was in cadets in week 4. *When on floor duty in week 4 avoid the tree at JJ’s in Penhold in order to avoid dealing with RTU paperwork…** just a tip.

2. You are stretching. You are tired, sick, missing Crave cupcakes (ok, maybe just me), missing your BFFEL and by now you have gone through your 4th bottle of pink Dippity Doo and your 15th hairnet that gets inevitably snagged on a bobby pin daily. But you are doing things you never expected you could. I watch my girls push through every hour of this week with extreme pain, and I am so excited to see the beautiful successes that will emerge on Friday.

3. The giggles! My girls are a heap of giggles. You trust one another enough to laugh your butt off at the most ridiculous of things. Today’s giggle fiesta started with this conversation..

Zoe: I always share my ice cream cone with my Dog

Hannah: You know that when you share your ice cream cone with your dog you are making out with its…ass.

it was unleashed after that!

4. The weather feels the same no matter what. This is actually what inspired me to write about week 4. Last night as I went for a run, I noticed that it was cool. The light was shining in this way that I specifically remember from my days of Penhold. It is the mix of that cool, clammy night, with the sunshine shining perfectly on the road and the smell of summer that had all of these memories of week 4’s gone by. I still remember that feeling as we would shower and walk down the road yelling at kids as we did, to the Staff lounge or the mess when I was in Penhold. You always need a long sleeve shirt and the sun will set before you have to be home. When you wake up in the morning you will need your sweater most days until 8:30am and then you boil at 9:00am.

Week 4 will always be a cycle. A cycle that starts with the freshness of week 3 and hits you like a Wednesday morning. Only to find you in Week 5 asking how this happened so fast and feeling a little bit worried that in a week and a half your summer is over, your BFFEL or your new love, or your feeling of saftey at camp where you belong and feel like you are loved will be done. You will go home to your comfy bed, Crave cupcakes and your BFFEL and miss it all.


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