Our google alert setup prompted us to find this testimony on another blog. All rights goes to the original author known as Patchespal
I was there in 84. It was hell. I was determined to survive and keep my sense of self intact. I was called a freak and was treated with disrespect and disdain. And here’s a funny thing I have yet to read about SUWS Idaho anywhere: My counselors were all Mormons, and from what little I can remember about them I remember having their religion and politics pushed on me. Luckily for me I decided early on that they were of limited intelligence and insignificant, which benefited me as they had no influence on me personally. After arguing and rebelling initially, I was told they could keep me there as long as they wanted and what do you know- by morning I was a whole new girl. Angelic, loved Jesus, feminine, etc. So fortunate I happened to be blessed with natural acting ability.
They wrote gushing letters home to my parents about my big turnaround. I was a whole new child! I would no longer be the embarrassment. All my cool clothes were thrown out. All my old punk rock flyers (collector’s items now, I’m sure) were tossed. They couldn’t wait to meet their new daughter. Unfortunately for them I came back with a stronger sense of self, yet even more determination to stand my ground, and angry resentment that they were willing to trade me in for a less eccentric model.
In the meantime, we were given no water, hiked up to 17 miles in a single day due lack of suitable water which we weren’t’ allowed to carry – I threw up blood from my throat drying out, we drank water green and chunky with cow feces (with an iodine tablet mixed in,) had to strain water through filthy bandanas to avoid tiny poisonous leeches, etc. I remember sitting in a stream for hours after witnessing one of my co-hikers innocently napping while clusters of horse-flies congregated in her buttcrack. I remember our last stretch- a 3 day solo – being so weak I could only lay by a stream wrapped in a blanket, hearing one of my co-hikers screaming “We’re all gonna die!!!” in the far distance. Poor kid, he was the only one gung-ho in the beginning, but was a little meek and nerdly, and was scapegoated and ridiculed by everyone – even more so than myself. I still worry about that guy – he really cracked. His name was Greg and I didn’t realize that was the kid’s name that passed. I truly hope his parents didn’t send him back. :(