A Day in the Life of a Camper, update from June 14, 2023

My Dear Friends and Family,

It’s been 4 weeks since I surrendered to federal prison camp. I am feeling homesick now more than ever. People are friendly here which is nice but I’ve come to see that most relationships are superficial. Constant joking and fake laughter fill most conversations. This makes it hard to make any meaningful connections. It’s not just conversations I am longing for. I am able to talk with my wife on the phone every day. I am able to send 2-5 Corrlinks messages to various people every day but I am always wanting more. Physical contact is discouraged in any group of men but in prison it is basically unheard of. I long to hug and hold my family more than anything else. Thankfully, Gwen will be visiting this weekend. I count the days to the next visit rather than my release date.

I have acquired a job assignment of Maintenance 1 but have not yet started it. This means I will repair the buildings around South Camp. We should be very busy because next week we start remodeling the bathrooms of Unit A where I live. There is a trailer which has a few bathroom stalls and showers we will use while the remodel happens. It will be unpleasant to a a much smaller space for the bathrooms, but I think it may be nice to be involved in the remodel so I can know why the project is delayed because, inevitably, it will be. Prison labor is a popular topic of discussion. Everyone is required to get a job and we are paid pennies per hour. It may seem like slave labor and it probably is at some prisons but here most of the guys appreciate having something to ds to pass the time. Some jobs only take 5-10 minutes per day and those that wish to have more free time seek out such jobs. Jobs at the farm take 7 hours per day and some people enjoy every minute of it. There are also perks such as breakrooms with microwaves, TVs, and special feed we can’t get anywhere else that come with certain work assignments. My plan is to work at maintenance until a position opens up tutoring GED and ESL students in about 2 months.

So far my daily routine has been:

  • Wake up 6 AM when the lights are turned on and blaring in my face on the top bunk
  • Get dressed and ready
  • Make tea
  • Ride bus at 6:15-6:30 to chow hall for breakfast
  • Eat bran flakes Tues/Thurs or Oatmeal Mon/Wed/Fri or grits on Sun
  • Ride bus back to housing unit
  • Go on prayer walk around the track. Stop to sip tea and pray in the dugout of the softball field
  • Grab some reading material from the unit and go to the library
  • Check message at the computer in the library and read or write
  • Chat with other campers in the library
  • At 10:15-10:30 ride bus to chow hall for lunch
  • Eat Chicken sandwiches on Tuesday, Hamburgers on Wednesday, Fried Chicken on Thursday and Fish on Friday. Saturday and Sunday is brunch with breakfast food such as French toast, biscuits and gravy or pancakes. Monday varies more this week we had tacos
  • Ride bus back to housing unit
  • Call Darling
  • The afternoon is more varied, I might see staff to take care of some business, read on my bunk, chat with any guys hanging out on the benches, do laundry or check messages again.
  • Around 2PM I go running every other day.
  • Stand for count at 4PM
  • Ride bus to chow for dinner immediately after count clears
  • Dinner food is more varied but mostly edible
  • Ride bus back
  • Check messages again
  • Go to chapel. Monday and Wednesday we have bible study and every night they show some movies. They play a lot of PureFlix films such as God’s not Dead, Overcomer, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Imagine. Last night was a I am not Ashamed which was the story of Racheal Scott;s life. They also play entertainment films such as Spiderman or the Green Book
  • Return to unit for shower
  • Read lectionary and other books
  • 10 PM count and lights out

That’s how my days have been going so far. I’ll probably have much less free time when the job starts, but there is always abundant free time on the weekends where not much is going on. Unless I get the joy of visiting my family which causes the day to go by too fast.

Thanks for your continued prayers for me and my family,
David Stone

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Kitty Wilson Peltzman

    Praying for you

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