The next day, hair a rat's nest and make-up washed clean off, I forced a smile and greeted our little campers.
Everyone seemed in pretty sorry shape. Some where injured and most were frightened. I kept glancing at Sarah, half expecting her to whip out another miracle. But I knew I couldn't rely on that. I was the counselor. I was these kids' source of security. Now if only I could find some for myself.
"Good morning," Kevin yawned, joining us on the shore--late, as usual.
"Well," I painted an enthusiastic grin on my face, "Seeing how small that tent was, I was thinking today we could work together and make a shelter. Afterall, that's what was on the schedule back at camp."
The reference to camp only made some frowns deepen. Bree looked ready to cry and I had to fight back my own panicky tears.
"Sounds great," Kevin grinned, "C'mon guys. I think I know where some perfect trees are. Who knows? We might even find a spot for a hammock."
I watched as Jim caught up to him and the others began to follow. How did he do that?! Here I was trying not to burst into a fountain of tears and he's off thinking about hammocks. Didn't he understand the gravity of our circumstances?
With a sigh, I followed as well. Kevin eventually found a glade of young trees and brought out the survival-kit's hatchet. He began chopping down ideal branches, telling the campers to strip them of the branches. He even made it a contest, telling them that whoever did the most branches would win a prize. I smirked, wondering just how many little games and things he kept up that t-shirt sleeve. What could we possibly use for a prize?
Once we had all the construction material, we brought it all back to where the tent was and spent the rest of the day erecting four huts. Counting the tent, we had two campers to a shelter. Jim and James would stay in one and the girl's could choose their roomates. Kevin and I created two single-person ones for ourselves on either side of the camp in order to keep gaurd. I could only pray that we wouldn't need this arrangement for long.
By the end of the day, everyone had begun to calm down, even if it was slightly. Kevin built a fire and I cooked some of the food from the kit. Then, once the campers were beginning to talk amongst themselves, I took Kevin aside.
"What are we going to do?" I asked.
"I don't know," he shrugged, "The boat sunk. I guess we could try buildling our own."
"Maybe," I replied, "But we won't know what we're doing. What if it starts sinking while we're way out there?"
He sighed, "Why are you asking me all the questions?"
"Because you act so confident!" I shot back, "You act like nothing has even happened! Do you have any idea that these campers' lives are in our hands?"
"Of course I do, it's just--"
"We could die out here, Kevin, " I continued to vent the feelings I'd kept pent up all day, "They could die. And yet you act like its...its nothing!"
"We have a limited supply of food and your worried about a hammock. Honestly, Kevin, what--"
"Karrisa!" he gripped my shoulders firmly, making me look up at him, "Get a grip. As soon as we lose it, they'll lose it," he sighed and his grip loosened, "And do you really think you're the only one who's been pretending? I love adventure but, I'll admit, this is a little more than I bargained for. I've had to force a few smiles of my own today. We're hardly older than these guys and yet we're supposed act like these pillars of strength."
"I know," I hung my head, ashamed at jumping to such harsh conclusions.
He smiled a true smile and pulled me into a hug, "But we can do it. We'll just take one day at a time."
My emotions immediatly rested and, for the first time all week, I was glad he was here. After a moment I pulled back,"So what's your prize?"
He chuckled and dug a hand in his pocket. I watched in amazement as he pulled out two Snickers bars, "Boy-Scout motto: Be Prepared."
I laughed, "You'd best split them up between everyone or the winner's going to be tommorrow's dinner."
"I will," he smiled, "Now how about we have ourselves some prepackaged grub?"
I smiled in return, "Sounds great."