Book - 2011
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campie noun 1 a sober, celibate, bankrupt vegetarian who mops floors, cleans toilets, burns garbage, does laundry, makes beds and picks up after rig workers. 2 nickname for the camp attendant in an oil-rig camp. 3 the loneliest person in the oil fields.

When it all goes south, you can always go north

Bankrupt, homeless and with only an old Toyota Tercel to her name, Barbara Stewart has taken a job as a camp attendant at Trinidad 11, an oil-rig camp in the wilderness of northwestern Alberta. She was told it's a "dry" camp--good news for a person hoping to stay sober--but she soon finds out this isn't true. During the day, she mops floors, scrubs bathrooms, changes smelly beds and picks up empties. At night, as she burns garbage in the incinerator, she finds solace alone under the stars and tries to reconcile her past with an uncertain future. When she discovers that a campie who "doesn't play doesn't stay," Barbara is forced to make a decision.

Campie is an entertaining, compelling account of how an ordinary person survives when things fall apart and there's no "eat pray love" holiday to put them back together.

Publisher: Surrey, B.C. : Heritage House Pub., 2011
ISBN: 9781926613925
Branch Call Number: 331.4 STE NVD


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Feb 17, 2018

Loved this book! It was one of the few that I couldn't put down. Barb packs a lot of story and emotion into less than 200 pages and it flows beautifully!

Mar 06, 2013

Describes the life and culture accurately and vividly, from the perspective of a person with exactly the kind of complicated history you find people working through on the rigs.

Mar 04, 2013

A surprisingly personal account of a short-term cleaning job in an oil-rig camp up north. Barbara's seeming simple chores provoke deep thoughts of problems she is currently working on -- and some she thought she solved years ago. Colourful characters she meets along the way slowly open her eyes to different lifestyles and opinions. The character that made the biggest improssion on me, Marguerite, exists only as a significant influence in Barbara's memory. This is an important personal journey, and I am grateful that Barbara shared it with her readers.

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