6th Grade Vacation Destination: Mount Misery Doesn’t that sound fun?! Part 1

PART I:  Before

In Our Town, every sixth grader in the public school has the opportunity to go on a

We don't give a rat's a$$ what it costs! We NEED Mt Misery!!

school environmental education trip for four days and three nights one small group at a time to the enticingly named Mount Misery. This trip is an institution in these parts, and the kids have been going for 150 years (I may be exaggerating).  Like the rest of the country, New Jersey is having this wicked budget crisis and took away 750% of Our Town’s state funding.  Therefore Our Town is having an even wickeder budget crisis and, in order to save a hundred-odd thousand dollars, (Note: Each family has to pay $230.00 themselves for the trip, but that includes the commemorative t-shirt.) added the Mt. Misery trip to the chopping block.

Ho ho hold the phone…  people showed up at school board meetings in DROVES!  Old people, young people, parents,  students, family pets, deer ticks, stakeholders (what a douchebag term) of every size and shape came out to support this program.  It was INSANE.  Spanish?  Who needs it!  Instrumental music?  Whatever.  Screw the Gifted program, Eff class size, WE NEED MT. MISERY!!! There is a “Save Mt Misery” Facebook page with 2,604 members!  People who went as kids are rabid about their kids going on this trip.  Absolutely RABID.

I am surrounded by these rabid Mt. Misery enthusiasts.  Even parents I know who were unsure at first, were total converts after their kid went.  They are like pod people and

OMG!! I can't believe you are not rabid for Mt. Misery!! What's wrong with you?!?!?!

they frighten me.  As someone who grew up outside of Our Town and even outside of the lovely Garden State, I was astonished by this phenomenon.  First of all, why is everyone so jazzed up about this?  There has to be some special Kool-Aid involved.  Second, I was not thrilled with the idea of my 6th grader being away from home for that long with no contact.  My usual tactic would be to volunteer to chaperone, but parents do not go on this trip.  Nope.  Only teachers (Lucky them, right?!)  No parents, no updates, no nothing.  Did I mention that the sixth grader in question, Sweet Pea, is my oldest and that in my mind he is, like four years old?  Who in their right mind would send a four year-old on a three night trip with just teachers even if he is in 6th grade?  I could keep him home while every other kid in his class goes on the trip.  But, I guess I am not that parent.  I thought I might be, but it turns out I’m not.  Don’t get me wrong.  If for some reason Sweet Pea didn’t want to go on this trip, I would totally take the heat and say it was me.  But, of course he wanted to go.  Duh.

So…  I am going shopping for a disposable camera, a disposable cheap rain poncho, disposable cheap socks and a potentially disposable cheap sleeping bag.  Don’t even get me started with what I have to do for his medication.  It involves multiple doctors, pharmacies and flaming hoops to jump through.  Then, armed with my trusty Sharpee, I will label all his crap, cram it into a duffel bag and send him on his merry way. (Note:  Sweet Pea asked my NOT to label his underwear because he didn’t want anyone coming up to him with a pair and asking:  Is this your underwear? I totally see his point).  I’ll let you know how it goes.

As always, I would appreciate any and all comments, wisdom or rants on the subject.  And like the end of your favorite Happy Days episode, this is… To be continued here and here.

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About Adventures From Cloud 8

I am a stay at home mom who now and again sneaks away to be an in-home family therapist. My husband and I have 3 boys: Sweet Pea (12), Pickles (9) and Pumpkin Pie (4). Oh yeah. We have Doodle Dog, too. You guessed it! He’s a boy. At least he pees outside.
This entry was posted in Funny Parenting Blog, Middle School, Mt. Misery, Parenting Boys and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 6th Grade Vacation Destination: Mount Misery Doesn’t that sound fun?! Part 1

  1. Shannon Magee says:

    Living in the cave I do, I thought Mt Misery was a one-day trip… until I read this! Teachers only? This is proof that teachers don’t get paid enough.

  2. Faith says:

    You know, if Sweet Pea is ‘four’ in kid years while in sixth grade, this means that he’ll be only ‘six’ when he goes off to college? (if kid years are 1/3 of actual years).

    I’m sorry. Go ahead and go lie down now.

    Oh, and he’ll be totally fine.

  3. Faith- could you come and wave a fan in front of my face after I faint?

  4. Linda Smith Abbaszadeh says:

    I am a Mt. Misery grad….which explains my total obsession with all things sanitary. Although a wildly fun and fascinating (yes, I still remember testing water samples and reading “My Side of the Mountain” and building “lean to’s”), I never did recover from the dirty showers, creepy crawlies everywhere and of course, “bug juice.” One small tidbit: the year I went was one of the years that the Flyers were in the Stanley Cup finals. I still remember sitting in the dining hall with my classmates LISTENING to the Flyer’s game over the speakers and going crazy when Gene Hart announced: THE FLYERS HAVE WON THE STANLEY CUP! THE FLYERS HAVE WON THE STANLEY CUP!”

    • Your review of the trip is similar to others I’ve heard. I have YET to hear someone who thought the trip was a bust.
      Bug juice… That’s kind of like kool-aid, isn’t it. And you all drank it, didn’t you… That explains a few things.

  5. Pingback: Mt Misery Part 2: Electric Bugaloo | Adventures From Cloud 8

  6. Nannette says:

    It is not unusual for people in our town to want to send there children away without contact for long periods of time. With a 16 and 14 year old now I am finally started to understand their thinking.

  7. N– That was really the up-side to the whole thing.

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