The Best and Last Time at Wrestling Camp

By Alex Sorce –

Getting in trouble at wrestling camp is pretty much a tradition for us. Or if not trouble, pranking each other’s rooms, at least. It usually ends up with the team running sprints at 6 a.m. in the morning or staying after sessions to mop mats but every year it proves worth the while.

It was my senior year last summer and the season’s annual trouble was caused by a small, innocent, round orange. You know- the fruit.

As soon as the team arrives at camp we get about an hour to go buy food and snacks for the week. We always went to a quick mart store to get snacks: chips, Oreos, soda, and even a wiffle ball bat.

Photo of Alex Sorce

The camp has rules of course: no hazing, the curfew at 11 p.m., no girls in the dorms, keeps quiet at night, pretty self-explanatory.

Well…most of the rules we followed.

Night time was the time for fun and innocent tricks.  While kids left their room for a wrestling session or in the middle of the night, or sometimes if they would be dumb enough to let their door unlocked, which is pretty much asking for it to get messed with, was the best times to strike.

The usual attacks would be shaving cream beds, or people if they were in there sleeping, taking snacks from each other, spraying axe deodorant spray to the point where breathing is nearly impossible, or trapping people in the bathroom which is in the middle of two dorms, by locking each door behind them.

But we found “lights out at 11” was the easiest thing to avoid, the classic towel under the door to block the light from the hallway when night checks were going on, and shutting the window blinds so light couldn’t be seen from outside. Then absolute quiet for a couple minutes while the counselors patrolled the hallway for extra precaution. This was done every night; nobody actually went to sleep by curfew.

A few years ago I was there with the team and a couple of us had to run sprints around 6 a.m. for a prank we actually didn’t do.

It was after midnight and I admit I shaving-creamed a buddy of mine who fell asleep before everyone else. He was covered and it was hilarious. Right about the same time there was a knock on the door, of course it was a counselor.  I hid the shaving cream can under the bed. The counselor came in and took me to the hallway to find out who had covered it in shaving cream.

“It wasn’t me,” I told him innocently, because I was.  At that exact moment my friend decided to wake up and make an appearance in the hallway soaked in shaving cream. That did not help my cause.   Yes, we were framed and we had to run sprints in the morning for punishment but that was not the end of my troubles.

It was our last night, our last day actually since it was about 3 a.m. We had made the mature decision to stay up all night. At first it was a lot of fun, just playing cards and talking, but then we started to get tired. My friend was twirling a bat in his hands and I looked at the orange from the cafeteria sitting on the desk.  Who would not think it was a good idea to play baseball in a 12′ x 12′ dorm room.  Certainly not the 10 people who were there.  Suddenly no one was thinking about sleep.

The counselors already had to warn us to stay quiet for being too loud and with our reputation there, we weren’t the favorite team with them. Alright, so we thought it would be loud when the orange would be hit, but it ending up sounding like a cannon. The orange hitting the bat was loud, but when it hit the wall it exploded with a BANG that surely woke up everyone around us, which was the most satisfying thing that had happened at wrestling camp the whole week. There were orange shredded remains on the beds under where it hit and juice streaming down the wall.  It was amazing. Almost even louder than the explosion of the orange was the laughter coming and shrieks.

I knew that there would be a knock on the door. I was trying to calm everyone down.. Yeah right. I told one of the other kids to shut off the light so it wouldn’t be seen from the hallway. He shut it off successfully and people were finally starting to calm down. It was actually completely silent for a few seconds. Until the poor sucker who had turned off the lights ran into the huge metal trash can in the center of our room. The sound of the trash can hitting the hard floor was shattering. Again, the room filled with laughter. This time it was way too loud and not a chance of calming anyone down.

The dreaded knock on the door came less than a minute later.

“Why didn’t I didn’t just eat that orange?” I asked myself.

Of course, I was the one answering the door along with my one  true friend who didn’t leave me all alone.  It was was very hard to keep a straight face.

To say the counselor was mad that he was woken at 3:00 a.m. to pranks and destruction.  He must have thought we were just fooling around, laughing and joking.  The telltale sign was on the wall behind me but he didn’t make it that far.  My friend sweet-talked him down from his angry cloud while we promised were would get everyone quiet and back to their appropriate rooms.

He must have been in a good mood, or too tired to fight with us or even having a memory of his own high school wrestling camp experience but somehow we got out of major trouble.

I learned that even an innocent object like an orange can cause a lot of trouble.  I learned that my idea of fun and adult’s idea can be completely separate.  But most of all I learned that making memories with your friends can happen anywhere even inside the concrete walls of tiny, bare room.

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