Campers at Camp Spalding were notified on Thursday that their camping trip would be cut short due to damage from Wednesday's windstorm. Camp Spalding itself suffered very little damage, but it is just one of many places in Pend Oreille County where falling trees brought down power lines, causing power outages.
“I'm having so much fun here with my friends, but I really, really miss my grandma,” said ten-year-old camper Tyler Fiorino.
Fiorino is one of 150 campers who counselors herded into a study hall as the storm approached.
“We heard that a storm was coming through, but we didn't think it was going to be as big as it was, but as soon as it started thundering and lightning we got the kids inside a building as soon as possible,” said Camp Spalding counselor Lydia Nokes.
Before the power went out, counselors had already cooked Wednesday's dinner, so a night without lights just became part of the camp experience.
But without running water for showers and bathrooms, the Spalding staff worried about keeping kids comfortable.
“Yeah, without power we're shut down, that controls our septic, of course, controls our refrigeration and so our food and water situation... It can't last very long without power,” said Camp Director Jamie Mann.
And so after a hot, baked potato lunch and one last afternoon of lakeside fun, counselors would end up giving kids the bad news.
“And they're going to just play and hang out and go crazy and do just a bunch of fun activities and we are going to tell them at 3 p.m. that they are going to have to pack up and go home,” said Nokes.
Despite the damage and not having electricity, the kids staying at Camp Spalding were never scared and never even knew they were in trouble. In fact, the kids were having fun until the very end, and that is the sign of some very dedicated camp counselors.
Camp Spalding officials say any campers whose trip was cut short can register for camp next year and receive a $75 discount.
Power is expected to be restored to the camp by Sunday, just in time for the next group of campers.