Molly Week through the eyes of a volunteer
Jun. 02, 2016
This is Dan's first submission for the Aikens Newsletter. He first came to Aikens in his early teens (mid-80's) when he was friends with the Lavergne family that owned the lodge at the time. He then rediscovered Aikens (or maybe it rediscovered him) after Pit and Julie met in 1999, as Dan is married to Julie's sister Danielle. He has been to the lodge at least once per season in each year since.
Dan "Doc" Tetrault
I had the privilege of spending several days last week at Aikens during their "Mollys & Dollys week". For those of you that don't know about this, let me try to explain it to the best of my abilities as I have been able to attend the past 7 or 8 years.
When my wife Danielle (who also happens to be Julie's sister) and I first heard about Molly week (which has been going on since 1989), we gladly offered to come up to help in whatever capacity we could. They kindly responded "Sounds good. We will put you on our waiting list". To say their response surprised me would be an understatement. After all, here I was, an experienced office worker offering my vast skills and knowledge to do various tasks…surely I could help them with photocopying, faxing things or engage in watercooler chat about the previous night’s game? To my chagrin that wasn't what they were looking for.
After a couple of summers, we finally got the call!!! Although we had the benefit of being at Aikens several times before, this would give us a great reason to head out a 2nd time each year!
Although I like to tinker with small home projects, to say my handyman skills are lacking is like saying Dolly Parton probably sleeps on her back. So what were we going to do? The group of people joining the Aikens family to make the Molly week trek range from skilled tradesman to office workers, and from former Aikens staff to retired folks. The duties can vary from cleaning the lodge and cottages, to expanding a building such as Orion last year, or to enclose the deck of Master Angler Row this year, to stocking the souvenir shop or prepping boats for the upcoming season. I’ve stained walls, unloaded countless planes, dug trenches, and worked on a saw mill. I'm sure I am missing several tasks, but by now I think you get the picture. This is a big place, and LOTS needs to get done to get things up and running. And I’ve had the pleasure to do it all with some great people.
What we all have in common is that we want to help Aikens be the best that it can be and (selfishly), we are looking for a reason to go back to this beautiful place. At the end of the day, we all get together to share some laughs, enjoy some great meals and have an awesome time. Some go for two days, some go for up to a week. Some people fish every waking moment outside of work schedule, while others barely touch a rod and just relax. The people that make it to Molly week not only enjoy being outside with Mother Nature, but work hard and like to play hard. And that's a big part of why there is a waiting list for people to head to Aikens during Molly week.
So for any of you out there waiting for me to drop out so you can move up the waiting list, you better be patient or hope some others drop out before me because it's going to be a long time before I miss Molly week.