Week 9 – Titling is Tiring

As was this week.

I worked with three different school groups this week and drove home and back for my 5 year high school reunion. No breaks.

On Monday, our first school group showed up, 103 sixth graders. Per usual, we had them through Wednesday morning. I was in a cabin with them Monday and Tuesday nights, ran ropes course most of the time, and took one group on a drop off hike. Hikes are a lot more fun now that the plants are popping up out of the ground because there are wild flowers everywhere. Working with kids on the ropes course is about the same that it has been since I started doing it, as is over night supervision in cabins. However, I am getting much better at telling long, drawn out bed time stories, so they fall asleep during them.

On Wednesday, our second school group (89 kids) showed up while the first school was still there. Don’t worry, we knew it was happening, but it was still hectic. Plus, I went with Turtle to another camp nearby to supervise 36 high schoolers leading 146 middle schoolers in team building initiatives. That was a crazy day. We drove over to this other camp around 1700h to set up the initiatives for the high schoolers, because we have the materials. They ran for a little over an hour doing trust falls (from a table!), Nuclear waste (dump a tennis ball from a 5 gallon bucket into a coffee can only holding onto ropes attached to the bucket), holy tarp (roll a tennis ball around on a tarp avoiding the holes), and a variety of games with pool noodles. It was great fun hardly having to do anything – the middle schoolers and high schoolers all appeared to be having a great time. Then, once they all ran off to their next activity and Turtle and I started cleaning up, we were informed that we were also leading the campfire at 2115. Surprise! This small factoid had apparently been lost in translation somewhere along the line… Thankfully, there was a place to get food just down the road AND we have a ton of practice running campfires. All we had to do was go through our mental list of songs, stories, and skits, and pick which ones we were going to do. We were still a little bothered when the kids started showing up to the campfire, but then the high school counselors just erupted in some ridiculous enthusiasm which required us, as Turtle so elegantly put it, to “get on their level right now.” Which we did. It was an awesome, fun, hilarious campfire, too, thank goodness. One of the teachers requested that we make a rainstorm, so I got to do that, and it came out really well with everyone sitting on metal bleachers. After the fire, we got to go back to our camp and crash asleep. The next morning I learned that the yelling in my sleep was not a one time thing. Apparently, when there are kids on camp and I’m not in a cabin taking care of them, my mind goes crazy about things that could go wrong so I have something to worry about. How sweet of it. I woke up my roommate by yelling, in my sleep, “What are you playing?! What are you playing?! What are you playing?! You’ll put holes in the walls!” So there’s that.

Then, on Thursday, I got to work on the ropes course again and take a tribe for a four hour hike. All of it is just so much fun! The group I took for a hike was really great. No one really lagged behind much, which is definitely not common, and most of them were very enthusiastic. Although the girls still do not want to pee outside. Plus, I had a new counselor hike with me, which was great. She knows a lot about the local flora, so she definitely taught me a few things, and it is always awesome to have an extra set of eyes. The most successful thing they did as a group, I think, was the human knot, which they managed to complete on their second try. That night we had another campfire, so I got to do three of those this week – lots of singing and making a fool of myself. One of my favorite skits we do is a play gone wrong. The lead says he has written a play and given the script to someone else who says they got it and know it, but it quickly becomes apparent that they have not. It is good fun. I was in a cabin that night, too, and it went very well.

Friday morning we wrapped up our last classes with the second school, fed them lunch, and cleaned up camp by 1400h. Long week. Then, I put what little I needed in my car and drove home for my 5 year high school reunion on Saturday! A long drive, but after getting to see a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in a while, it was definitely worth it. For the reunion, I went to some “Back in the Classroom” sessions, where we learned about some of the cooler classes they’re teaching, including a film making class in the middle school. Then, for lunch, they had a cook out with lots of grilled stuff, followed by a campus tour, so we could see how much has changed, even in the little time we’ve been gone, but more so for those who were back for their 25th, 50th, or even 60th reunion! It was cool to talk to the lady who graduated in 1953. Then, I had a little time to chill without socializing before the cocktail party at 1700h. There were a lot of people there. Almost a third of our class showed up! Which is apparently crazy for a five year reunion. So that was fun. It was great to hear what my classmates are off doing, because they’ve been doing some pretty cool stuff since ’08. Then, Sunday morning, I drove back to Ohio. My favorite things I saw on my drives were gosslings and signs for dogs/puppies for sale/free. As a warning to my parents, I do believe the time period between when I have the opportunity to get my own dog and when I get one is getting shorter.

We have another busy week ahead of us at Camp and I can’t wait to get started!

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