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My Weather Experience

by DB of Nicolet High School, Glendale, Wisconsin

It was the summer of 1999 and I was at camp for four weeks. The day started out like any other day at camp except that by dinnertime the sky was a peach color and there was a hefty breeze. Before dinner started, I told my counselor that I was not feeling well and she agreed to go back to the cabin with me so I could rest. Meanwhile, the rest of the camp was in the dinning room getting ready for dinner. I was lying in my bed when I heard the fans in our cabin go off. At first I thought nothing of it, but then the windows blew in and I could see the trees outside were swaying as I had never seen them before. I jumped out of bed, scared, and ran to my counselor, who was almost asleep in the counselor room. I told her that I thought there was a tornado outside, and she got up, grabbed a flashlight, and threw a raincoat at me. She grabbed my hand and told me we were going to go to the washhouse. While we were outside, I could see the trees bending and rain was coming down hard.

Once we got to the washhouse, she told me to sit down because we were going to be there for a while. After she closed the door, she was trying to calm me down and told me that we were in the safest place in camp because the washhouse was made of concrete. When the tornado passed, she left me alone to go to the dinning hall where everyone remained. I sat for a while, then someone came in with a walky-talky and said, " We found her; she is o.k." About ten minutes later, the director moved all the girls into the washhouse as a safety precaution. By then I was already calm and I was comforting my friends who were scared. We sat in the washhouse for a couple more hours and then they let us go back to our cabins.

The next morning we could not leave our cabin. I looked outside and all I saw were branches and clothes that had fallen off the clotheslines. When they did let us go outside we all had to hold hands, and though there was no major damage to any of the cabins, the dinning room was hit hard. In addition, the tents where the older kids slept were gone and there was debris everywhere. The next day the camp sent everyone out for a "fun day" to take everyone's minds off the storm while they cleaned up the camp and restored the power. From then on, camp resumed as normal and at the end of the session we even got shirts that said, " We Survived the Storm of the Millennium."

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