Back from the Elwha River and I do want to share the successes and challenges of the donor camping trip, for any of you crazy enough to try this.
1. Everyone had a great time.
2. The most challenging donors grew on me and it was worth it. Remember to take a day off afterward to relax. Try not to get pink eye like I did and end up out of work for a week…
3. Even if they do read everything you send them, they may just ignore it, since they donated and may feel entitled. Not everyone, but be ready.
So, basically, we had a donor show up really early and ask more than they should have of our host. I arrived just after they did to set up– and while everything was okaaaaay– it was not great manners on their part. They had lots of demands of the host who was letting us camp on his private property. I did ask they help with their requests. They did.
I brought extra everything. Only needed a few things. Most folks came prepared. On both mornings our guests did want breakfast earlier than what was on the schedule. Plus several donors stayed an extra night and then were at breakfast the next day. So, if you do multiple nights, expect some may stay longer than you expect. Just add to the breakfast headcount in advance.
I can say it was one of the BEST ways to make friends with donors and make long-lasting relationships. On both nights we were lucky enough to watch a film outside called Damnation. Then the next day we rafted the very river where the dams came out last year. It was magic.
If you want to raft the Elwha– here are the folks to contact. Olympic Raft & Kayak. They are terrific!
Oh– and best quote of the whole trip. I called home to talk to my three year old daughter and ask if she was being good for dad. Her response? “Well, Mom, Dad is drinking a lot.” Oh, boy.