What to do with the money?
- Send more kids to camp? Yeah, look how well that turned out.
- Go on a hiking trip halfway up Mt. Rainier? (story for another time. Trust me, you'll love it. It features my mother).
- Let's go on a snow trip. There is nothing like a weekend in the mountains with a dozen or more (delinquents) teenager, some adults and car tire inner tubes.
Someone in their infinite wisdom thought that renting a closed business was a great idea. The building was just sitting there, empty, cheap to rent and large. It was perfect. Why not rent it for a long weekend.
We packed up the trucks and vans with food, clothes and inner tubes for sledding. The kids were excited, the adults were excited, the owner of the building was excited most of all. He was generating income on a business that had shut down for selling alcohol to minors (unbeknown to the adults or kids).
An hour and a half later trucks and vans disgorged a dozen teenagers, a half dozen adults and a mountain of luggage in front of a timbered building covered in snow. A large sign caught the teenager's eyes - BAR.
It was the holy grail.
It was mecca.
It was a full-fledged tavern with pool tables, a juke box, a dance floor, a music system and best of all A BAR!
The doors of the bar were unlocked and within moments, while the adults were, (yelling at the kids to help), unloading the vehicles, the teenagers had breached the unlocked liquor closet. No wimpy little cabinet this was a full-on walk-in closet. Bottles and jugs were squirreled away from adult eyes faster than one of the inner tubes would fly down the hill the next day.
Circumventing the juke box's need for coins took a little longer but was ultimately achieved. The locked cabinet with the pool cues and balls was child's play for this group of miscreants. Beer taps (this was before we had learned to tap our own kegs and we were savvy enough to know that it is a little hard to hide a keg.) were changed out to dispense soda before lunch was served.
Boys and girls rooms were assigned. What these rooms were used for in their previous life was not fully explained, let's just say they came complete with beds and dressers. Had we known there would have been a huge Ewwwww factor going. As it was we threw down our sleeping bags and called it good.
Because this was a church youth there just had to be some goody-two shoes that just had to tell the adults of the contraband. It was only by shear stealth that 6 bottles of Annie Greensprings hidden away. These were consumed after the adults went to bed.
All I can say is that morning came early for a few of the youths but with the alcohol in (our) their system they didn't feel the cold or the pain when their inner tubes hit giant snow banks.
Thank you for sharing another of my mis-spent youth stories.