July 31, 2012
As you read this, Iím in a strange place just outside of Lawson that is the beloved temporary home to a number of people with bleeding disorders.
I might be sitting on a bunk trying to get a few last minutes of peace and quiet. I might be standing near the registration booth with my traditional tie-dye shirt, ready to help the campers with their bags. Whatever I might be doing, you can sure bet that I am sweating profusely.
And, of course, that moisture occasionally needs to be replaced.
Hydration is an excessively important aspect of Camp Wilderness. Each year, at least one lucky pharmaceutical company gets to provide the children with branded water bottles. One of our main pursuits as counselors is to stress the importance of not only carrying these bottles, but actually occasionally drinking the water out of them
They drill this into our heads so that we can drill it into theirs.
ďWhere is your water bottle?Ē is one of the most common questions heard around camp.
Of course, the kids are occasionally resistant: Youth comes with various confidences in oneís own health. ĎIíll never be the one who dehydrates, Iíve got so much water! Too much water, in fact! Iíll be fine! I donít want to carry this water bottle!í
And this state of mind, this assumed resistance to that yellow thing in the sky is also occasionally prevalent in the demographics that donít get dropped off at summer camp by their parents.
You need to drink water, lots of water. You might die if you donít drink enough of it. I know most of the time you can get away with drinking less than the recommended amount, but right now itís different. Weíre sitting in a prolonged natural disaster ó a tornado does itís damage and we feel the repercussions for a while but a drought is ongoing and itíll dry you out in seconds.
Just a few days ago Missouri Governor Jay Nixon officially signed an executive order putting Missouri into a state of emergency:
ďNow, therefore, I, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, governor of the State of Missouri, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, including Sections 44.100 and 44.110, RSMo, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists in the State of Missouri and direct that the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan be activated.Ē
You better watch out, drought, the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan is coming for you and thereís nothing you can do about it.
And seemingly, this plan comes together in the newly activated home of all things that have to do with Missouri and emergencies: The Missouri State Emergency Operations Center. And while that does sound more like the operations base of a group of costumed super heroes than a government institution (It doesnít even make a good acronym), both center and plan are important.
An executive order like this basically allows various state agencies and associations to expand their scope in an attempt to help deal with some of the more local problems. It allows various levels of government to work together more effectively.
So, be careful and hydrated out there. And stop wasting water trying to revive that long-dead lawn. Your precious green grass will be back eventually. I promise.
And soon weíll not only have to deal with our own well being, but the well being of people from all over the Midwest. Nobody wants to see the heat overtake anyone, especially at the happiest place in Missouri.
Is it too late to build a pool at the Missouri State Fairgrounds? I think the tourists would like that. In fact, letís make the whole thing a water park.
Every state has a fair, but not many of them have a water state fair. Maybe we just need some strategic water gunners placed around the grounds.