Field Camp (liquor and GPS)
Two years in the Annapolis Valley studying geography culminated into one final hooraw that was my Marine Geomatics field camp. Mandatory for completing the program is a weeklong field camp that takes place at CFB Cornwallis, an abandoned military base located in Deep Brook Nova Scotia. If ever there was a setting for the “Sleepaway Camp” reboot, Cornwallis Park is it. Decommissioned in 1995 the place is now just barely held together by rusty nails and broken glass. It’s mostly now composed of eerie shadows, faded paint and invasive spiders.
The field camp itself consists of 7 days of terrestrial and hydrographic (ocean) surveying and all the fixings that go along with completing a geotechnical survey. Of course when you take 30 students that have been grinding their brains out for the last 8 months and put them in a military barrack for a week in May, you’re bound to get some liquor-induced shenanigans. In fact the only part of field camp that I really remember is the shenanigans.
Getting drunk and piling a whole room worth of furniture onto a passed out colleague, or setting their alarm clocks to 4:20am, with the volume cranked. All apart of graduating from COGS (the Centre of Geographic Sciences).
The one thing that field camp did teach me, besides how to collect GPS data while wading up to my balls in icy Bay of Fundy water, was the power of self-immersion. What I mean is that for seven days, all you do is eat sleep and dream about the work you are doing, because if you don’t get it done, and get it done well, you ain’t graduating. But even while you are intensely focused, working 12 or 14 hours a day to get an insane amount of data collected, you can still find time to kick back, watch some NHL playoffs and get dummied on the liquor. The duality of work and play, regardless of the conditions, is inevitable. Don’t fight it. Don’t feel bad for enjoying yourself when you think you should be working. It’s the moments of leisure that teach you how to work hard.