14 Mar

Five chinchillas
Short-haired chinchillas
Chillin’ with the lights out
Chillin’ with the lights out
Chillin’ with the lights out
Chillin’ with the lights out

We were at campfire Wednesday night and the kids were singing their hearts out. Just as we made it to 2 chinchillas, the phone in my back pocket rang.

Who would call me here, now? I wondered as I fumbled to retrieve it and turn off the ringer. When I saw the caller was my principal, I knew I had to take the call.

“Hey, Adrienne. Are there kids around?” she asked.

“We are at campfire,” I replied. “Can you hear them? Give me a moment to walk away.”

And that’s when she broke the bad news. They were sending buses to pick us up the next morning. Outdoor School (ODS) was being cancelled because Oregon was limiting extra-curricular activities  to protect people from COVID-19. And ODS was on that list.

Her final admonition to me was tough. “Don’t tell the other teachers until you get a text from me.”

So, I had to sit through the rest of campfire, holding this sad news in my mind and heart. As soon as it was over and we were walking back to our cabin, I turned to my two teaching partners and blurted, “Veronica called. I have to tell you something.”

There was no way I couldn’t tell them. Back in our cabin we ranted and vented. Maybe we ate more snacks than we should have. We all wished we had some adult beverages. After talking it out we went to to bed, only to be awakened an hour later by camp staff knocking on our door. They had just found out.

The next morning, after breakfast, we told the kids. Their gasp was audible. We spent the remainder of the morning giving the kids the best last few hours of Outdoor School ever.


14 Responses to “Disappointment”

  1. Amy Boyden March 14, 2020 at 6:07 am #

    Aw… there have been so many disappointments, and I recall similar cancellations as a child, but I like the way you wrote about this bringing in some dialogue and details of the moment.

    • cvarsalona March 14, 2020 at 6:18 am #

      So glad that you were able to talk about your upsetting news. Not only was this cancellation a disappointment to you but to the children in a way that they will remember the positives of the event, not the negative.

  2. Jill Bless March 14, 2020 at 6:26 am #

    The start of your slice really drew me in. I can picture you at the campfire holding that sad news in your mind and heart. I’m sorry for the disappointment you all are feeling.

  3. Diane Anderson (newtreemom) March 14, 2020 at 6:32 am #

    What a contrast of happy and sad.

  4. Betsy Hubbard March 14, 2020 at 8:02 am #

    It must have been so hard to hold that in even if it wasn’t for too long. Glad you got to spend a few hours of fun in the outdoors. I’m sure it will be memorable for all, for so many reasons.

  5. Lisa Corbett March 14, 2020 at 9:25 am #

    I hate having news like this that I can’t share! I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but it is so hard. I worry that people will be mad that I knew and didn’t tell them. I’m glad you students at least at part of a week at Outdoor School.

  6. arjeha March 14, 2020 at 10:24 am #

    What an unfair burden paced on you to keep that news to yourself. I can imagine the disappointment of the kids as well as the teachers. This is an experience everyone looks forward to and now it is being curtailed. I am sure that there were still some good memories made.

  7. jumpofffindwings March 14, 2020 at 12:48 pm #

    I wondered what would happen to your OS when the schools here on the Oregon Coast were closed. I guess that means no #BattleoftheBooks either. So sorry, Adrienne—and for your kids, too.

    • Adrienne March 14, 2020 at 12:50 pm #

      OBOB was canceled on Thursday. Our regional was supposed to be today. No State tournament this year.

      • jumpofffindwings March 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm #

        I get safety first, but it’s no less easy to take.

  8. terierrol March 14, 2020 at 1:35 pm #

    So sorry your trip was ended early. It is hard to stay positive with so many changes happening so fast. Stay safe.

  9. Brian Rozinsky March 14, 2020 at 2:58 pm #

    Your slice succinctly recreates the emotional roller coaster for you and your camp group. Hope, by now, all have gotten where they needed to go.

  10. loudenclearblog March 14, 2020 at 3:15 pm #

    First of all, outdoor school sounds super cool. Second, I hate that you and your kids and colleagues had to leave early. This is all so crazy and uncertain and…just weird.

  11. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write March 15, 2020 at 4:38 am #

    It’s all so hard for so many. At least these kids had some time around the fire at Outdoor School (which does sound pretty amazing).

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