In explaining our summertime world of 200 boys, certain questions are frequently asked. For example, “how do you keep them clean?” Answer: it’s all about the marketing.
At home, no matter how you nag or bribe, cleaning a bedroom is anything but enjoyable. But put a guy named Shep in a sparkly light-up hat, get him to blow a vuvuzela and shout, “GACU!!!!”, then it’s a whole lotta fun.
GACU stands for Great American Clean Up. Although we strive to keep clean every day, this is the day of the week that we definitely get it all done. It starts with laundry. Dirty clothes and bed linen go into magic laundry bags and then disappear. Next day, bags miraculously reappear with clean, folded clothes inside. Wow. We need these bags at home.
Step Two: On to showers. As you exit, answer trivia questions (which is really a way for Shep to record names). Get dressed and then it’s time for the Infirmary.
Step Three: Health checks. The world’s best nurses comb through your hair, while having a conversation about how you’re feeling. They’re so nice that it’s easy to tell them anything that’s bothersome.
Step Four: The Spa. That’s where the real superheros go above and beyond the call of duty to take care of you. Feet are soaked and nails are trimmed. It's a customer preference: Full-service or self-serve.
And finally: Straighten up the cabin. It has to be done before heading to THE SEADOGS! Ok, so there’s a little bit of pay-off involved.
Five buses filled with sparkling Skylemar men (as well as some beautiful ladies on staff) headed to Portland for a fantastic night of baseball. Hadlock Field is a really wonderful, family-oriented ball park. Our Seadogs played the Hartford Yard Goats. (really – that’s their name)
Skylemar spirit was spread around the entire stadium. We made it on the jumbo-tron, and several came home with balls and practice bats. Ari W caught a foul in his bare hands. Josh K was selected out of the audience to play a half time game in front of everyone, and won an LL Bean gift certificate. Former President George Bush was there, and Shep spoke to him. President Bush didn’t exactly answer, but Shep still spoke.
Plenty of delicious food and lots of laughs. After the game there was a spectacular display of fireworks. Home by 11, to a nice freshly made bed.
Wrapping it up and back to the GACU part: You might just say that getting it done was all about the pitch. Get it?