After the Apocalypse
Chapter 7: Natural Resource Conference

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

Winter Camp's brain trust had centered in the Winter Camp Future Society since 1986, when the Society was founded in the celebrations surrounding Winter Camp X. The WCFS had planned its "not-really-annual-but-as-close-to-it-as-possible" meeting for the evening of the banquet so that part-time campers in the Society could attend and lay the foundation for the celebrations at Winter Camp XXX five years later. As they were joined by several outsiders who gathered in the dining hall's meeting room around a fire which provided critically needed heat and light, a grim seriousness filled the air.

"I suppose the first question is 'Where do we put everybody?'" said John Howey. "I mean, we've obviously got the whole camp. But is it better to move everything up here so we can stick together or spread out back in BC or somewhere?"

"If this is really a nuclear apocalypse, we've got big problems trying to keep everyone here for what could be a long time," said Jeff. "How in the world can we feed, house, and clothe-especially clothe-this many people for as long as we might need to be here?"

"Food may not be too hypercritical just now," said Steve Donohue. "The camp's dining halls are decently stocked-we happened to notice that while we were preparing dinner. And I can't see anyone objecting to our tapping into that, given the circumstances."

"Utilities might be the trickiest part," said Doug Wilson. "I mean, we've got no electrical power, which also means no running water. All those wells rely on electric pumps to work."

No one argued with Doug-the engineer was readily acknowledged as Winter Camp's best handyman, and his practical assessment of the situation seemed airtight.

"On the other hand, with all those tanks at the cabins, we've probably got a fair amount of natural gas for cooking-too bad the heating systems in the cabins are all electrical," said Steve. "That's still something to go on. It also means we can heat water when we need to."

"What about Old Faceful?" asked Mark, citing the camp's most famous natural spring and the inspiration for Clearwater cabin's name. "It may not be the tastiest water in the world, but it flows freely without electricity."

"And if we can boil it, that should drive off most of the worst of the flavor," added Steve.

"Good point. I think that's something we should consider-it probably means we should base our operations in Beaver Creek rather than up here," continued Mark.

That impasse broken, other plans quickly fell into place. It was decided to move the group down to what Ron called "metro Beaver Creek" the next morning, where there were several cabins and a new dining hall within easy walking distance of each other. The cold weather guaranteed that refrigeration would, for the immediate future, pose no problem. Winter Camp had, for years, taken to storing perishable food outside as an adjunct to cabin refrigerators. This convenience would now become a necessity.

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