Title: The National Parks Buff
Summary: Jed decides that a little team building is in order and that camping is the best way to achieve it.
Spoilers: Anything up to season 3
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.
Leo looked at Jed, wondering if he'd heard right. "Camping?" he asked. "As in tents and sleeping bags?"
"I think it'll do us all good. Team building, Leo, it's just what we need."
"Couldn't we team build in a nice comfortable hotel somewhere?"
"It wouldn't be the same."
"I know, that's my point." Leo shook his head in disbelief. "Have you spoken to the Secret Service?"
"They'll be fine."
"Mr President, you really want me to tell the staff that they're going camping?"
"Josh and Toby and CJ and Sam?"
"They'll love it."
"How long have you known these people, Sir? Admittedly Sam will love it, CJ too probably. But Josh and Toby? They think having lunch in the park is sampling the great outdoors, and I tend to agree with them."
"Then you all need educating," Jed smiled. "Charlie's coming too."
"Have you told him?"
"Told? This is voluntary, Leo."
"Of course it is, Sir." Leo sighed, "Who else is coming?"
"I thought we should ask Donna and Margaret."
"Why not ask Carol, Ginger and Bonny?" Leo asked sarcastically.
"I hadn't thought about them. You'd think they'd want to?"
"I wouldn't imagine so, no. Why are you punishing Donna and Margaret then?"
"Its not a punishment, Leo. Anyway, they always come along with the senior staff. I wouldn't want them to feel left out this time."
"You're not going to be talked out of this are you? Does it have to be tents?"
"Actually I spoke to Ron Butterfield earlier. He's happy about the camping, just so long as it's in cabins and not tents. So you see it won't be as bad as you imagine."
"You don't have to tell the staff," Leo muttered. "okay then, you tell Charlie and I suppose I'll tell the others. Where are we going?"
"Shenandoah. Josh and I once had a long chat about National Parks and I promised him then that we'd all go to Shenandoah someday." Jed looked at Leo and grinned, "Although I seem to remember him muttering something about it being a good place to bury my body."
"Let's hope he's got a spade then," Leo smiled.
"Toby and Josh, can you meet with Philips and his ninety staffers and see what he wants," Leo said. "Anything else? No? Good. Before you all go there is one more thing. The president, in his wisdom, has arranged a small vacation for us all. Next weekend we're going camping."
"What?" Toby sounded horrified.
"You are joking," Josh asked, echoing Toby's tone.
"Where we going?" CJ wanted to know.
"It'll be fun," Sam smiled.
"Fun?" Josh asked. "A night......."
"Two nights," Leo interrupted.
"Two nights," Josh continued, looking at Sam like he'd lost his mind, "in a tent with Jed Bartlet?"
"We're not staying in tents," Leo told them.
"Then it's not camping," Sam was starting to sound disappointed.
"What are we staying in?" CJ asked.
"Cabins," Leo replied.
"And we have to go?" Toby asked.
"Well he says it's voluntary, so basically yes, you have to go."
"You mean 'we'," Josh amended.
"Yes," Leo groaned.
"Who else is going?" Sam's excitement had returned.
"Charlie, Margaret and Donna are also being invited. And if you like you can bring Carol, Bonny and Ginger," Leo told them.
"They'll be thrilled," Toby replied.
"Do you have plans for the weekend?" Josh asked Donna.
"I work for you. I know better than to make plans more than five hours in advance," Donna sighed. "Why?"
"Because the President has arranged a little trip for us all."
"Really. Who's going?"
"Don't you want to know where?"
"Well yes, but who's more important."
"Me, you, Sam, CJ, Toby, Leo, Margaret, Charlie and the president are going on a camping trip. Oh and half the Secret Service will be joining us as well. And possibly Bonny, Carol and Ginger, unless they have any sense at all."
"I love camping. I haven't stayed in a tent since I was a kid."
"You're not going to stay in one now either. The Secret Service have asked that we stay in cabins, which is one very small blessing."
"You've got to be kidding?" said Bonny.
"Not in this lifetime," Ginger added.
Toby smiled, "It's funny, but that's what I thought you'd say."
"You're not going to order us or anything, are you?" Bonny asked.
"No. Seeing as I can't get a reprieve, I think it's only fair that I let you two have one instead."
"Thank you," Ginger smiled.
"I am so grateful that I'm not even going to mock you for having to go," Bonny grinned.
Carol stared at CJ, "Can't I have some mystery illness?" she asked.
"You don't have to go," CJ told her. "The only one's who have to go, besides senior staff, are Charlie, Margaret and Donna."
"You see, this is their punishment for always going on trips and to functions with the senior staff," Carol smiled.
CJ looked at her. "Does that bother you?"
"That Donna always seems to go along wherever the senior staff go?"
"No," Carol laughed. "She works for Josh, she deserves some perks. So I really don't have to go?"
"There is a God."
"Charlie, before you go. Have you ever been camping?" Jed asked.
"No, Sir," Charlie replied, picking up the papers that Jed had just signed.
"Would you like to?"
"With Whom," Jed automatically corrected. "The staff - Toby, CJ, Sam, Josh and Donna, Leo and Margaret."
"And you, Sir?" Charlie asked.
"This isn't optional is it?"
"Why do you say that?"
"Because Toby and Josh are going."
"Could be fun. Do we have to put our own tents up?"
"Nah, we're staying in cabins. But it's almost camping," Jed smiled.
Part 2 ......