TCODS - Tillamook County Outdoor School

October 5, 2012

The Final Flag Ceremony Before Staff Left Camp

We rent Camp Meriwether for two weeks in the fall in order to conduct Tillamook County Outdoor School. So not only do we try to make the last day of camp very special for the 2nd week people in camp in every detail, but we also have to clean up the entire camp and try to make sure we leave it in even better shape than we found it. That means that staff checks over every job that the students and counselors were assigned to make sure they were done well, staff checks every part of camp for lost and found and to make sure that everything is put back to original condition, the dining hall is swept and mopped as is the kitchen. Every utensil used in the kitchen must be put away, the cooler and freezer must be cleaned out and cleaned, and even the dishroom full of mats must be taken out and hosed off. Beyond that we load a U-Haul and many pickups with all of the belongings of TCODS to be hauled out of camp and stored for another year.

At some point in the evening . . . usually when we are all finished at about 9:00ish, all remaining staff go to the flagpole for the final flag ceremony taking down the flag and folding it neatly and respectfully to be packed away for another year. It's a very quiet, somber, reflective and somewhat sad time. You'll see that the photos taken this year of that final ceremony produced wonderful silhouettes. The bottom row of photos were somewhat staged. After the flag cermony was finished I asked the staff to stand facing north so I could take photos of their silhouettes. The photos turned out really, really cool! I love how I can pick out individual staff members. I'm just sorry that I didn't take even more time to make sure that some of the people who aren't silhouetted very well by standing witha background of light. Maybe next year . . .


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