The JIRP Truth

by Gillian Rooker

For those of you reading, I won’t be deceiving

Living on an icefield is hard.

It’s dirty yet white, the rain is a fright

Clouds hover over camp like a guard.


Once you arrive, you mutter, “how will I survive?”

That hike was like hell never ending.

And inside the camp, you notice “hmm, everything’s damp.”

Oh… Wow, that trench-foot could sure use some mending.


Day after day, we do the plan of the day

Learning ‘bout safety, science and skiing.

So when out in the white, we’ll know more how to fight

Against the hardships we’ll probably be seeing.


PITS! Dig till you’re weary, yours will also get hairy,

There’s no showering up here you see.

We smell but no one’s cried, since our olfactories have died

But air passengers, prepare once we’re free.


Blisters here and there, but mostly everywhere

It’s a struggle and a constant fight.

But these JIRPers you see, we stay happily

We know it will all be alright.


Fast friends we have made, these bonds we will save

It’s good that we all are so close

‘Cause out on a ski, when someone needs to pee

There’s nothing we can do but be close.


Camps 10 and 17, 26 and 18

We traverse unlike most of the masses.

It truly is far, a total of 70 miles (no car)

Writing this I think, “Damn, we’re badasses!”


JIRPers are strange, our hobbies they range

From furrows to pole dancing and more.

But it’s not what you think, although we all stink

Living here is anything but a chore.