Camping Adventures!

On Sunday, at 7:30PM, my fianc√© and I made a last minute decision to go on the camping trip we planned one month ago. Earlier in the morning on Sunday we decided we were not going to be going because the weather forecast showed nothing but rain, but then it got to be later in the day and the rain had disappeared. I didn’t want $26 dollars and our smores supplies to go to waste, so we drove up to Red top Mountain and spent the night.

We pitched the tent in the dark, my flashlight died, we roasted weenies, burned marshmallows (okay, that was just me), and we woke up to a beautiful autumn view on Lake Altoona. I forgot how much I enjoy camping and we will definitely be doing this again, but maybe with friends! Camping is such a cheap and rewarding leisure activity; it is also a nice way to unwind if you feel you’ve been spending too much time around technology, work, and the general stressors in life.

Rain, Rain, Rain

It has been raining for one week straight. Bleh.


This past week was our first week on the job. The team took turns rotating the different jobs (greeter, screener, preparer, and quality reviewer). I screened individuals when they walked in for the first hour or so on day one, and then actually prepared taxes the rest of the time.

We worked at 2 malls, 3 libraries, and then one CM and I worked for 4 hours at the local Deaf Connect ¬†location. Taxes are not as difficult as they are made out to be. It all looks and sounds very intimidating, but once you get used to all the forms and the system you’re using, it’s quite simple.

One frustrating thing that we are running into, however, is that each site screens differently and keeps different things at the end of the preparation process. For example, most all places keep the intake sheet, but there is one place that requires us to give it back to the taxpayer. Two locations require us to keep the W-2 forms (people normally come with 2-4 copies of them anyway) and the other 2 locations said to give them back. So, you see, it’s confusing as we mentally shift to whatever the certain site we happen to be at wants.

United Way as an organization and as our sponsor has been fantastic. They constantly ask for our feedback and how things are going; this hasn’t always been the case in previous projects. Additionally, all but one site treated us like adults, so that was nice. Oftentimes, NCCC teams are seen as high school students [when the reality is that many have already graduated college]. This hinders the amount of work we are allowed to do sometimes and generally makes the work less fun for us.

Anyway, today is groceries and laundry day for me. I say “for me” because I prefer to do it solo. I take this time as “me time” and it’s nice to just get out and only have to worry about me. My team leaves their laundry outside of their rooms and I throw it in the van. While the laundry dries for an hour, I go to Walmart. When I return from my journey, they grab their laundry and help with the groceries. We generally throw the laundry on the big ping pong table and have a sorting/folding party.