The day began at 5 AM, but not even this early hour could quell the excitement sweeping our dorms. After completing morning hygiene rituals at a record-breaking speed, the entire DRA student population was divided and packed onto several buses in order to embark on the journey of a lifetime -- or more specifically, a summertime. By 7 o’clock, the entire ranch (therapists, teachers, and administrators included) had convened at the entrance of Stadium 10 in Washington City where sack breakfasts were distributed on the sidewalk. Much to the delight of the students, bananas (a notoriously popular snack on the ranch) and assorted muffins (a delicacy) were among that morning’s delectable offerings. But the best was yet to come.
At 8 AM, the stadium’s doors opened. The lobby was flooded as our masses pushed their way through the entrance and each individual was greeted by their own portion of gummy bears, popcorn, and a small soft drink. We settled in the theatre and proceeded to be astounded, continually for the next two hours, by the exhilarating special effects and mind-bending plot twists of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
We were still starry-eyed as we filtered out of the theater and onto our respective ranch-bound buses. The ride back was filled with lively chatter among students praising the film and a silent air of anticipation for the day’s next big event: Lunch.
Scorched hot dogs, sizzling patties, and a myriad of chef specials courtesy of Derek comprised our noon meal. Any attempt at describing the sheer joy that overtook the student body throughout their midday gorge would be an exercise in futility, so I will say no more on the subject.
The remainder of our day revolved around various aqueous festivities, including such novelties as pond-diving, a slip’n’slide, and -- perhaps most notably -- our very own dunk tank. As participants sufficiently drenched themselves, they could be seen splayed out across the grass, talking and laughing among themselves in small groups. The day bore a general atmosphere of easy enjoyment and bonding between students, teachers, and staff, and I think I speak for us all when I say we concluded our ultimate summertime experience satiated, soaked, and smiling.