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2020204hourstogo63 karma

I'm working for an animal rescue organization on the east coast.

2020204hourstogo37 karma

I think a lot of things contributed to it. I was the youngest of 5 kids and my oldest two brothers were really easy for my parents to handle. My next two brothers were pretty rebellious and the one closest in age to me was schizophrenic, depressed. He killed himself when I was 12 and that was really hard. That sent the family into a tailspin of sorts. My mom always drank a lot, but it got worse after my brother's suicide. I just started acting out. I didn't know how to handle the situation. I didn't care about school or obligations. It was easier for me to cut class, drink, do drugs, basically just run wild. My mom would get really aggressive when drunk and would pick fits and throw things, so there were a few times I ran away and got picked up by the cops and sent to juvie. I fought a lot in school. Kids would make fun of my brother for killing himself and that made me really angry, so I'd fight them.

Depression runs in my family and my parents had me seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist and I had to go to court-mandated counseling from the times I ran away. None of it really worked, but what worked well for me (at the time) was cutting so that just added to the problem.

A lot of things kind of culminated together and I think my parents just got fed up.

2020204hourstogo31 karma

Some days were a bit different, but here's a general timeline.

8AM- Wake up call from staff. You have five minutes to get dressed and ready and take down your shelter if you're moving camp that day.

8:05ish- Go to main portion of camp (about 150 yards away from shelters) and make breakfast, morning chores (digging a sump for food waste), brush teeth, eat.

845ish (and I say ish because we were not allowed to have watches and most of the time, field staff wouldn't tell us what time it was)- break down camp. Bury latrine and sump, break down ashes and coals from fire and scatter them. It was a "leave no trace" kind of thing so we had to make it look like we weren't there. Collect water jugs and place in pick up location along with trash.

10AM- start hiking if it was a hike day. We would generally stop for 2-5 minute breaks every 1.5 hours.

1ish- 20-30 minutes for lunch and rest.

130PM- start hiking again. Hike until we reached our destination. Some days we only hiked maybe 5-6 miles, other days, we'd be hiking well into the night if we'd been slow on chores and gotten a late start or if someone refused to move.

If it was a shorter hike, we'd get to our camp site and set up camp and do work in work books, school work, meet with therapists (once a week usually).

5-6 depending on the day- dinner. During dinner and after field staff usually held group discussions about stuff and depending on where you were in your stay, you'd have certain assignments that had to be shared with the group and that would be done at this time and after dinner.

7ish-bed- In winter, generally just worked on our assignments in our shelters, but in summer when there was light, we'd do some group, team building activity.

10-11- bed. Sometimes we'd get woken up in the middle of the night to break camp and do a night hike.

This is just a very basic outline. Things changed all the time but that's sort of the basic parameter.

2020204hourstogo30 karma

I made attempts at running away on two occasions. However, there are a lot of things they do to make it hard for you. At night, they take away your shoes and the field staff keep them in their shelter area so you can't steal them back. The shirts they have you wear are also flourescent colors to make it easier to see you in the surrounding terrain. You're so far from the nearest town or road (probably 50-70 miles, depending on your group's location), by the time you're even part way there, they've found you. When you go to the bathroom or leave the sight of field staff during the day, you have to call out constantly, saying your name so they know if you're running away or not. Or, if you have threatened to run, they stand there and watch you.

There were rumors that a kid in another group had made it to the town and had tried to get a ride with a truck driver, but everyone in the area knows what the camp is and the kid got turned in. There's also a surprising amount of law enforcement in the area and they always come out and look for the kids too.

2020204hourstogo21 karma

The worst thing I think for me was bug season. Right about the end of June, early July, the bugs were terrible. There were mosquitoes everywhere. In your sleeping bag even. You could wear all the DEET in the world and long sleeves and pants and they'd still get you. When you went to the bathroom, the longer you went, the longer they'd bite. And I mean bite the butt, anus, vagina, anything available. I started to have trouble breathing and my heart rate went up really high so I was sent back to base camp to have the nurse look at me. I had something like 350 mosquito bites. It fucking sucked.