The Disciples say they were praising, like to explain the sweatiness, but we're not even Charismatics.
What I suspect, and Pastor Ron concurred after I explained it, is that they were wrestling, adult wrestling.
"This is truly beyond me," Pastor Ron says. Then, he asks if I mind calling their parents?
Which, goodness, that was an awkward pair of conversations. Blake's mom implied that she wouldn't be informing Blake's father as, her words not mine, he would kick the living Jesus out of Blake if he ever found out that his son is, which he isn't. And, would I mind keeping this confidential?
Which, yes, of course. Because for me, it's not about Sodom and Gomorrah, or Adam and Steve jokes. There's a guy at the office in Payroll who is, or at least we all suspect he is, and I don't mind.
But then, the rest of the afternoon and later at Dinner too, I can't help but think: what if that were me? What if I were the one getting a phone call about my Tyler’s adult wrestling with another boy? I don't know. Tyler's a Fisher of Men, the youngest group at Camp. This is his first year, and Deb was right: he’s a little anxious about being away from home. That night, after Worship, Pastor Ron has me announce that the Prayer Meadow is closed due to a wild animal sighting. A wolf, actually, is what I say. A wolf that had attacked two Disciples in the Meadow.
I noticed a lot of the other Dads exchanging knowing glances, since, by then, most everyone knew how the Meadow had been defiled, and that the wolf reasoning was more metaphorical, if anything.
Next day at Swimming, Tyler keeps trying to wade out to the diving pontoon where the other Fishers of Men are.
"No, no, Sport. Stay near the shore," I tell him.
Because for one: he's not the greatest swimmer. And two: I can't stop thinking about how those Disciple boys literally discipled the Fishers of Men. They were basically pseudo-counselors for the younger Campers. So who knows what kind of residual influence there might be?
Tyler gets bored of swimming. So I say: what about some catch with your old man? And I grab the mitts.
Then, Mr. Garret pulls me aside and puts his ball-cap over his mouth, like to whisper, and asks me: "Are you, or are you not, seeing what I'm seeing?" And he points out two Fishers of Men, both of them Campers from Tyler's cabin, who are holding each other spooning-style and jumping off the pontoon and then sinking down to the lake floor.
We watch them do this a couple times.
"Could be a game," I say.
"Could be," Mr. Garret says. "Could be foreplay."
And, I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.
But then, they do it again. Only, this time they stay underwater, frankly, just way too long.
Mr. Garret Mississippi-counts them to almost 30 seconds. He shoots me a look, like saying: See, see that?
I tell Tyler to head up to the Cabins and that we’ll play catch later.
Mr. Garret blows his whistle and all the Fishers of Men get out of the water. We tell them there's a big storm on the Doppler, and to head over to the Gym for some dodge-ball.
We meet with Pastor Ron and determine to kick out the two Fishers of Men. Pastor Ron wonders if there isn't some way of prevention? "What about the account-a-buddy system?" he says.
Which, Mr. Garret explains, would be a major blunder as it would encourage further incidents via the pairing off. Then, Mr. Garret proposes that we form a committee to handle these special cases.
Pastor Ron agrees, and at Dinner each cabin elects a Dad to represent them.
That night, we have our first committee meeting while the others are at Chapel.
A group of Apostles is brought before us. They went hiking up the Mount without permission, and no one saw them for almost two hours. Now, they're playing dumb to the fact that they completely missed Quiet Time.
"We were just hiking," says one of the Apostles.
"Hiking for what reason?" Mr. Drake asks.
"Because, we like hiking," the Apostle says. "What's the big deal? It's not like we did anything wrong."
"Like what exactly?" Mr. Garret asks, like, implying.
"Like, I don't know, drugs?" the Apostle says.
And that just took the cake, him mocking us. Obviously, the Apostles are hiding something. When we search their packs we find several lewd comic books, a Zippo, an iPod loaded with secular music, and a deck of playing cards, which Mr. Drake pointed out, are used in games that encourage fornication.
We vote, unanimously, to send them home.
And I try to think: Had Tyler ever gone hiking with any of those Apostles? Just the thought of it.
As we're walking back to the Cabins, Mr. Garret suggests, for the sake of believability, we do some howling. So, we do some howling, and really get into it, each of us throwing in different howl-pitches and barks. Before we know it, we’ve been out there an hour, and are all parched and sort of panting by the time we get back to the Cabins.
The next morning at Breakfast I announce that Hiking has been closed due to another wolf sighting.
"A whole pack of wolves, actually," Mr. Garret adds. "Looks like they’re on the hunt," he says, and holds up a shovel with a ravaged-looking raccoon on the spade. Which, where did he even get that?
Later, that afternoon, Mr. Garret gets on the PA and calls an emergency meeting.
I hustle over to the Camp Fire Area, our designated emergency meeting spot. When I arrive I find the other Dads all looking with stricken faces at a tall sculpture.
"What is it?" I ask.
"What do you think?" Mr. Garret says.
I say, "It looks like a skyscraper."
"Ho boy, ho boy. No," Mr. Drake says, like laughing. Then he explains that one of the Disciples whittled the sculpture during Old Testament Arts & Crafts and that it's supposedly the Tower of Babel. "But obviously," Mr. Drake says, "there's a certain resemblance to—"
"To the male organ," Mr. Garret says and points out the bulbous head.
Which, yes, it was true, the bulbous head was a bit odd, especially since no one really knows what the actual Tower of Babel looked like.
They call in Lawrence, the Disciple who whittled the sculpture. We have him swear on a King James, but he insists that it’s the Tower of Babel.
"Still," Mr. Garret says, "that's idolatry."
"Please, don't send me back," Lawrence says. Lawrence is an urban youth here at Camp on church scholarship. "Grandma will kill me," Lawrence says.
Mr. Drake suggests that maybe Lawrence could avoid Grandma's wrath if he'll act as our inside man in the cabins. Which, that would be helpful since then we could confirm some of our suspicions about a couple of Campers (we have a short list going).
"You mean like a snitch?" Lawrence asks.
"What I mean is: how would you like it if we faxed Grandma a photo of your sculpture?" Mr. Garret says.
Lawrence tells us that Grandma doesn't even have a fax, or a phone, and that he'd rather be back in the ghetto than snitching for us at Camp.
To which Mr. Garret says: "Then back to the dust from whence you came, my friend."
Then he tosses the sculpture into the fire, and we all stand around and watch it turn to ash.
Later that night, a couple of us Dads spend some time jostling up the Old Testament Arts & Crafts Area. We scatter the contents of the fire pit, knock over supplies, and use a carpenter’s hammer to carve teeth marks on the windowsills and doorway.
At intervals, we howl, spiritedly, into the dark.
Tyler, this whole time, is being such a Sport, even though (and this was our little secret) he'd been wetting the bed, not something he normally does at home.
Each morning, I check him, and if there's pee I find him some clean shorts, and take his clothes and bedding down to the laundry before anyone notices.
One morning, after I clean him up, I ask him what he thinks is causing it: "Is there something going on?"
After a while he confides: "It's the wolves."
"Well," I say, "They can't hurt you. They're outside."
"I know," he says, "But, sometimes, it feels like they're inside."