Camp Odyssey Mud Madness is Friday

Remembering the childhood joy of playing in muck, directors at Camp Odyssey will build a big, sloppy pit Friday for the 24th Annual Mud Madness.

About 150 campers will slosh in the mud, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Wicomico Day School, then rinse off in what Director Joe Hastings called “a big rooster tail of water” from a fire department tanker.

“It’s a chance for kids to be themselves. They might have heard, ‘Don’t get dirty’ but this is a chance for them to get dirty all they want, and to play in the mud,” a jovial Hastings said.

Campers in first to eighth grades will participate, wallowing into the 18-inch pit one group at a time, then frolicking, jumping, sitting, sliding.

“We have music on and it’s a big, fun  environment where kids can be kids,” Hastings said, adding the yearly event is usually closer to the end of camp, in late July. It’s earlier this year because he and his wife are expecting a baby, a daughter, at that time.

Although some youngsters prefer to stay dry and clean, most enthusiastically romp in the mud, said Hastings, whose camp name is Sloppy Joe.

The next day, Camp Odyssey will have a fund-raiser to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Called the Queen Nerd Ball, it’s named for another camp director’s nickname and will be a dance and time of socialization, open to the public, with hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine. Tickets cost $25.

The ball will be at 6:30 Poplar Hill. Proceeds will be used to start a fund to help cover travel and other expenses families incur when an ill child has to travel for medical care.

It will also pay for scholarships to pay for summer camp. Once $10,000 is raised, an endowment will be started, Hastings explained.

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