Oakwood Overnighter 2
4-6th August 2000
The return trip to Oakwood was eagerly anticipated, especially after the events of 1999. This time Susan accompanied me to Wales. This was her first time to Oakwood, and she was looking forward to Megafobia.
The morning ERS was an hour in the new Wacky Factory, a children’s play area (is there a theme developing here?) involving shooting foam balls out of guns across a room. Sounds a strange concept… but add loads of ECC members in the mix and imagine the hilarity!
The day followed a similar structure to 1999; buffet lunch, free time and a BBQ in the field. An optional Ten-Pin Bowling and Crystal Maze session was arranged for the afternoon in the Canaston Centre, adjacent to the park entrance. The evening ERSs were on The Bounce at 22.30 and Megafobia at 23.30. This year, the park offered a prize to the “most naked” person! They didn’t have to wait long.
Among those waiting in line for The Bounce was Clint Taylor! Justin snapped a classic photo of the queue line, everyone patiently waiting for their turn, totally oblivious to the fact that Clint had already removed his clothes and was standing in line totally naked! The Bounce was sent up with Clint riding on his own, hiding his embarrassment with a baseball cap. Paddy stopped the ride at the top, and told Clint he would stay up there unless he threw his baseball cap down! After a few minutes Clint reluctantly threw down his cap…
After his ride finished, I stripped off too. Clint and I spent the remaining 30 minutes of the ERS totally naked. Photos were taken! After the ERS, we moved to Megafobia, where the number of naked people increased. Several other Club members joined Clint and myself, including a couple (yes, the first naked female rider) with trip-related slogans written on their backsides! With the addition of seatbelts on Megafobia, naked-riding was slightly more uncomfortable than in 1999! Oakwood management was not really prepared for the amount of nakedness on this trip, although I suppose offering a prize was asking for trouble! Paddy was to need several months to recover from the trauma!
After the fireworks, it was ERS time. The Bounce seemed to be working at a faster speed than it had been during the day. Maybe it was an optical illusion due to the dark. At 11.30 it was over to Megafobia for the ERS. Excellent and exhilarating in the dark. Crystal was able to operate the controls. There were five naked riders this year. Then back to camp. The headmaster said ‘time for bed’ and after the Friday Night partying everyone was ready for bed and did as they were told.
Megafobia was superb, especially the naked flesh. Hey, if you’ve got it flaunt it! However, if you haven’t, flaunt it anyway! Good on you.
This was our second Oakwood Overnighter trip, which for this year only we called “Nachtfobia,” or “Scared of the Dark” for those who don’t read Dutch. The reasoning behind this was that during our earlier trip to Six Flags Holland, we were invited to come back later in the year, to ride in the dark. Well, we already did this on the Oakwood trip, so it made sense to put both trips under the same “umbrella.”
It was also the second and last time that naked riding was allowed – I am sure at some point we’ll do it again, but I think it was getting a little too much for Paddy to stomach! It provided me with one of my most memorable trip photographs, it shows Clint Taylor in the queue for Bounce, completely naked. The funny thing is, everyone around him seems totally unaware that he’s there. It’s almost as if I had digitally dropped a naked “Clint” into a picture of the queue.
This trip really started to see the Oakwood weekend take off, and start to resemble the event it is today. We learnt a lot the first time about building a campsite, so improvements could be made – something that still goes on to this day.
The trip itinerary had pretty much been locked down by this point as well – one that makes sure everyone has something to do, if they wish, throughout most of the day. So after the morning ERS we have the SkyCoaster session, lunch, bowling, BBQ and night time ERS, with free time in between. It all seems to work pretty well, and as they say, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”