Innermost Secrets 23 – 27

DSC00863And so we wend our way down the back alley of my past, baseball bat at the ready should something jump out from one of the darker shadows. If you are just joining us, you may want to start at the beginning (Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, & 22).

23rd Innermost Secret:

  • I don’t know how to read (or write).

Or blog.

24th Innermost Secret:

  • Sometimes I feel hungry. Otherwise, I’ve no feelings at all.

This is true of all men, not just me. Next time you see a man emoting, congratulate him on his acting ability. Either that, or call him some medical attention. Or both.

DSC0095425th Innermost Secret:

  • Every girl in camp is on my Top 5.

I don’t remember who started the Top 5 thing, but it went like this: Male staff would rate the female staff and come up with the five they would most like to be with romantically. The girls rated the male staff in the same way. It was mostly a good-natured thing where everyone wanted to be on everyone else’s Top 5 list. Of course, anytime you aren’t on someone’s list, it hurts. In truth, I wasn’t really ready to be a good boyfriend while I was at camp anyway, so I should have avoided the game altogether. I’m at least glad that I was all-inclusive.

DSC0095526th Innermost Secret:

  • I wear a toupee.

Technically, it is two toupees.

27th Innermost Secret:

  • I’m really the Arts & Crafts Director.

Not really. I really was the Visiting Groups and Weekends Director. But it has always been my dream to be an Arts & Crafts Director. No, that’s a lie. It has always been my dream to be ten feet tall and have a backpack that dispenses frozen Coke whenever I want it. But neither of those dreams is coming true any time soon.

Innermost Secrets 1 – 8

I was cleaning part of my basement the other day when I happened across a relic from my time as Visiting Groups Director at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. What I found was a little notebook filled with all of my innermost secrets. I filled this little notebook with my innermost secrets because that is what the cover told me to do. And though there is a picture of a lock on the cover, it isn’t all that safe of a notebook.

You see, I used to leave this little notebook around the camp for people to enjoy before they returned it to my desk. I liked to see if people would read the secrets or whether they would respect my privacy. In most cases, curiousity triumphed over privacy (which shouldn’t that surprising to anyone who has worked at a camp). Anyway, I thought I would share these secrets with you too.

Today, I’ll cover the first two pages of the notebook. More pages will follow in future weeks.

1st Innermost Secret:

  • My name is Josh Mosey.

I wanted people to be able to identify the owner right away. That way they could easily return my secrets to my desk. Also, I liked the idea of using known facts as innermost secrets.

2nd Innermost Secret:

  • I’m the Visiting Groups Director.

Just in case anyone didn’t know who I was, they could find my office by my title.

3rd Innermost Secret:

  • I’m straight.

I don’t think there was a lot of question here, but in case there was, I wanted people know that I am a straight man whose secret inclinations are also straight.

4th Innermost Secret:

  • I really am 23.

This was actually a lie. At the time I wrote this, I was 21. I think I told people that I was 23 because that was the minimum age for certain camp restrictions, like administrating the ropes course.

5th Innermost Secret:

  • My favorite animal is a human woman.

I read this to my wife and she said, “So we’re just animals to you?” I didn’t know how to respond at the time, but I’ll try now. “Um,” I would say. “Nope, you aren’t animals at all. But if you were, you’d be my favorite.”

6th Innermost Secret:

  • I had scones once.

I know that scones are delicious pastries that go well with coffee and tea, but the word scones also kind of sounds like a horribly painful disease. Like shingles or boils. Scones.

7th Innermost Secret:

  • Norway rules!

This isn’t a secret so much as an opinion. Actually, no. This isn’t so much an opinion as a fact. Norway rules!

8th Innermost Secret:

  • My “gut” is really all muscle.

I like this one because it is quite obviously not true. And even if it were, how would that explain the extra chin that hides neath my beard?

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this series, because I have a total of 54 innermost secrets to share. Until next time, thanks for reading!

I am unsure where the boundries are when it comes to new people and practical jokes.

It was the summer after what should have been my final year at Western Michigan University. I had completed all but my internship for my the requirements of my major, and I just landed the perfect job at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin in Middleville, Michigan, my hometown.

I was to be the Visiting Groups and Weekends Director for the camp. This put me at third in line to inherit leadership of the camp behind the director and Assistant/Summer Camp Director. Like all great camp jobs, YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin would provide me with nice housing and free food, plus a small amount of money so I could buy things like clothes and Tom Hanks movies. But best of all, the job would count toward my internship requirements.

My job was to coordinate the visits of all outside groups to the camp during the summer. YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin is the official camp for all YMCAs in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, which at the time meant around five or six different youth centers. Each center would send a group of kids to the camp once or twice a week. And then there were the groups on the weekends: boy scouts, girl scouts, youth groups, future farmers of America, and so on. So, while the camp was already full with kids staying at summer camp, kids visiting for day camp, and kids attending horse camp, it was my job to squeeze in these outside groups, giving them varied experiences using the camp’s many resources.

But I digress. I was setting up my office when a package came in the mail for the Visiting Groups Director. I opened it to find an informational kit dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. There were brochures, there were diagrams, there was even a VHS tape for sufferers of IBS. I was confused.

I took the package to the Summer Camp Director who had just been promoted from the job which I now occupied. She instantly recognized it as part of some program associated with Women’s Health that a visiting group had signed up for. Why they sent it to the camp instead of to the group who had visited was a bit of a mystery, but that was the explanation for why we got it.

As I was in her office, getting this explanation, the Camp Director welcomed me to the camp. Outside of the initial interview, this was the first time we had spoken.

“Welcome to the team,” he said.

“Thanks,” I said.

“Hey,” he said. “Did you see the thing about the camp that was on the news the other night?”

I told him that I hadn’t. He handed me a VHS tape.

“You should watch it. I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard that it was a nice piece and it might help you know a little more about the camp. Just return it to me when you are done.”

“Sure thing,” I said.

I took the VHS from the Director and the IBS package back to my office to finish setting things up.

The next day, I took the VHS from the IBS packet and put it into the sleeve of the VHS that the Director gave me and gave it back to the Director. That night, he popped the tape into his VCR, ready to see the great news story that everyone had been telling him about. Instead, he watched about five minutes of a video for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, fast-forwarded it a bit, rewound it a bit, and finally popped the tape out to look at the label.

Sure enough, it was not the video he had lent me. Now, he was confused.

He found me the next day. I asked him how the news story was. He laughed.

“When I first saw what it was,” he said, “I was confused. I double-checked the sleeve, but it was the one that I let you borrow. Then I looked at the video itself and I thought ‘Did the new guy really just make me watch a video about IBS after meeting only once before?'”

“I did,” I said. “I did.”

“Well played,” he said. “That was a risk, you know. But you made me laugh. I’m glad you are here.”

I was glad to be there too.