July 31st – The Secret Life of Logistics

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Hello! My name is Jake and I am a member of the Logistics Team this summer. The Logistics team at Merrowvista is the group of staff members who handle the logistics of camp trips. In the bike shop they are constantly repairing and testing bikes, in order to make sure that every piece of equipment is road ready. Our staff member in Out Camping Food is always at her station, filling food orders, double and triple checking that everything meal is ready to nourish campers on trail. Down in Basecamp we have Out Camping Equipment where our staff repair and organize camping equipment for hiking trips. Basecamp is also home to our drivers who bring campers to and from their various adventures.

Members of the logistics team do not get to spend as much time with campers as leaders do. Their focus is on the logistical parts of the camp and so opportunities to interact with campers are limited. However, logistics gets to see campers in a completely unique way. Those of us who work in logistics are the last people campers see before they go on their trips and the first people they get to see when they return. We get to see their nervous, excited smiles as they wonder what is to come, and we get to see the explosive, exuberant energy that fills their laughter and stories when they return home. My favorite part of working in Basecamp is to hear the campers chat with one another about what they think their trip is going to be like.

Today I was able to be a driver that was sent to pick up Madison and Little Haystack villages after they had done an overnight canoe trip. The pickup was just over an hour away in Wellington State Park. We arrived at the park to find both villages excitedly waiting for us.

When it came time to leave, without being asked, the campers all swarmed over the canoes and gear, loading them back onto the trailers much faster than I would have expected. They all worked together, occasionally arguing, but never more than a few moments before they worked it out and returned to loading the trailer.

During our ride home the campers would yell out songs that they wanted to hear and their leaders would play them over the radio. Madison’s choices ranged from Taylor Swift to Johnny Cash. During each song they would sing and dance along, often exclaiming that they should choose that song for candlelight sing at the end of the session. Just before we returned to camp we stopped at Skelly’s for ice cream. As we sat on the grass, eating our just reward for an adventure successfully completed, campers doing cartwheels and playing tag around us, it was clear how much even a single overnight canoeing trip can mean to a camper. It makes living the secret life of a logistics staff member that much more worth it.