Thursday, June 24, 2021

The RFL Sunbeamers Camp for 2021

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Relay Weekend is now history, and the 93 team camps on the 35 sims (not counting the American Cancer Society sim) have now been cleared. Among them was that of Team Sunbeamers.

The "Sunnies" as they're sometimes called have had a camp every year since the team was formed in 2013, following the folding of the Passionate Redheads: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 which won an award, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020

This year's campsite and build at RFL Celebrate marks the ninth camp. Shockwave Yareach and Cynthia Farshore were the main builders (each will say the other did more work). But some was done by team captain Rita Mariner, and Snowbuns (Skylark Lefavre) did some work on the garden area.

 With our team flag prominently showing.

What sets this year's exhibit apart is "The Prince and the Spot Game." The game in question is based on a single episode of Monty Python's "And Now For Something Completely Different," with some other elements of Monty Python worked in.

To play the game, one had to touch a giver, receive an armband, then step into the staring square of the game. There you would be told, "You are an enchanted prince, who rules beyond the Wobbles!  One day, you find a spot on your face.  Do you see the Doctor, or ignore it?"

Assuming you decide to see the doc, you move to the next part, "You'd think a Prince wouldn't have to wait for a bus.  But here we are.  Do you have a way to get to the doctor?"

The American Cancer society can be of assistance to those who can't afford a cancer checkup, but surely you as a Prince can at least get a bus. Then comes the next part, the waiting room, "You must have means of paying to pass the ravenous receptionist of ARGH!  Do you have insurance?"

Yes, the American Cancer Society can help the uninsured. But surely you as a prince have that. And the next part is the doctor, "The doctor will see you now.  And you.  And you.  And you.  Don't be put off by him licking his lips. Do you let him examine you, with or without BBQ sauce?"

Proceeding with the examination, the doctor makes a discovery, "Oh dear.  A giant black mole is a sign of cancer.  Fortunately that can be removed fairly easily.  You need surgery.  Go to the Hospital?"

Assuming you overcome your fears, you're set to get to the hospital. But there's always a complication, "What, this again???  Can't a prince grab a taxi?  Do you need help getting to the Hospital?"

Yes, the American Cancer Society can help the less fortunate get to a hospital. But surely you as a prince can afford the taxi. But then comes another problem, "The Hospital receptionist is even meaner looking than the doctors!  Do you have insurance or a way to pay for this?"

Once again, the American Cancer Society can help the less fortunate. But surely you as a prince have no trouble with the payment. But what you may have a problem with is the hospital gown, "You are given a silly gown to wear that shows off your backside.  Um, doctor, the spot is on my face?"

But, you brave it, and go through with the gown, and the operation, "You are getting sleepy.  Sleepy.  Woops!!  All done.  That was fast!"

"You return back to your princely palace again and wait for the results of the Biopsy.  We shall hope it's good news."

Panning around, I saw the place one would have gone if they made a wrong decision, "Here Lies Prince Foolish. By his word, it's just a spot. Now he lies, in a plot." 

Nearby was some information on where to get help if one has cancer.

One of Nance Clowes team bears, personalized for the Sunbeamers.

A little further away from the road was the Hope Lodge.

Inside was more information about learning about and getting support for cancer.

And this camp being Monty Python inspired, a reference to the "Dead Parrot" skit.

Behind the Hope Lodge were the Memorial Garden and other parts of the campsite less visible from the front. 

Since the first campsite, there's always been a pink fox statue in honor of the late Artistic Fimicloud, a noted Sunweaver whom died of cancer. 

"We Relay for Fimi" has been a phrase long used by the Sunbeamers, and the Passionate Redheads, the team Fimi was part of.

There were other people in the Memorial Garden, mostly celebrities most Relayers are familiar with such as Dr. Seuss and Fred Rodgers whom passed away from cancer.

This year, radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh whom died in December from lung cancer joins the list.

So does the late CEO Ebbe Altberg of Linden Lab, whom passed less than a month ago. Although the official cause of death hasn't been given, it isn't a secret it was cancer that he died from.

 Behind the Garden, there was more to see.

 A fountain and statue.

Not far away were first responders.

And for fun, a cannon to launch people from.

To the side, there was also a barbecue grill.

Team Captain Rita Mariner taking it easy on a lounge chair, or is it?

Another feature of the camp that's appeared every year for the past few years: the prayer tower.

Mention the name of someone, and the name will float up into the air into the heavens.

The back of the camp had a small castle.

And the Monty Python references continued.

Including inside the castle.

And what's a castle without a dragon.

Every team in the Relay has it's stories, and more often than not many stories. For this one of the 2021 Sunbeamer camp, special thanks to the other members of the Sunweaver team, notably those whom helped design and build it.

Bixyl Shuftan