Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Polar Dip 2014

I participated in the Camp Sunshine Polar Dip this year at East End Beach in Portland.  I knew when I signed up for it that it would be cold...with a strong possibility of sub zero temperatures and/or snow.  But it was the best way for me to give back to this amazing place.

I used social media and email to drum up a lot of donations.  My friends Julie and Eliza joined the team.  I contacted local media outlets and community service organizations.  I spoke to the L/A Kiwanis and they generously donated $200.  The Realtor that sold us our house (shout out to Tim Dunham!) donated $250. The Bangor Daily News interviewed us and ran a huge article in the paper.
After boy loses eye to cancer, family finds solace in Camp
After the article, the donations started rolling in even faster.  Our goal was $2000, which is the estimated cost of sending a family to camp.  At the end, we raised over $3300, making us the top team of the event.

The day of the event was cold but not as cold as it had been previous weeks.  Snow was predicted later in the day.  The air temperature was a balmy 31 degrees and the ocean was 33 degrees.  Julie was there but Eliza could not make it.

I have to confess, I started to get a little nervous as the event grew close.  The spectators were bundled up and the wind started kicking up.  I started to think 'What did I get myself into?' 

And then I saw the Water Extrication Team.  And that put some serious doubt in my mind.

But we were there and we needed to get in. 

It was cold, stupid cold.  My feet felt like they couldn't move.  It hurt. I ditched poor Julie.  I just needed out.

Warming up was worse.  My feet were cold on cold sand.  Even with shoes on they were cold. I couldn't get them off fast enough and get my wool socks back on.

Our Ravelry friend Jenn (where I connected with Julie for the first time) brought a box of Joe from DD.  Man, that hot coffee was wonderful.  We got into the unheated changing room and she started pouring coffee for other participants.  I have to say, it is a little weird to have someone pouring coffee to people in various states of undress and redressing.  But we were all thankful.

My mom wants to do it with us next year.  I plan on doing even more advertising and community outreach.  

I found out when we attended Camp that the Wachussetts Dip became a Polar Roll.  They were supposed to jump into a swimming pool filled with snow and water but the pool broke. So the participants rolled in the snow again.  I don't know that I could have done that.

It took me a few hours to feel warm again.  My feet hurt until I went to bed that night.  But it was temporary pain for a long term gain.