When it comes to camp shirts, shit gets serious. I can’t even tell you how many camp shirts I’ve acquired over the years, but currently the camp-shirt-count rests somewhere between 15 and 25 and only two are tie-dyed.
Yes I know…you’re probably thinking “how can she have done so may camps and only have two tie-dyed shirts?!“I’d be thinking the same thing if I were you. And yeah, I’m bummed by it too, but I have a very good reason for this!
Have you ever tie-dyed anything? If so, you know exactly how messy it can get. If not… you my friend, have not lived fully (but also you’ve been spared the multi coloured hands).
At our camp, the Sunday in the middle of each two-week session is the day when campers’ parents come to visit their precious little babies. Bringing them clean laundry only to leave then a few hours later in tears. And as a counselor, this is both the best and worst day of camp.
It’s the best because as an overworked counselor, you get a break from your crazy campers and can relax at The Oasis. Worst, because as soon as you get back to the camp it’ll be the cry-fest. You can almost hear the hyperventilation of eighty-five campers as they watch their parent’s station wagons drive off into the distance.
When it comes to over-night camp, things can be hard for some campers especially if they’ve never been away from home for very long. Nights will be filled with hugs and tears and the sounds of counselors singing campers to sleep (or if you’re like me, you’ll play music off your phone). As camp gets on its way, this issue fades away – kind of. It’ll just move from nighttime to morning tears and nothings worse than waking up to a crying kid at 6:30 in the morning.
But if you just so happen to be the camp nurse, I’m sorry but this ends up being your problem, not because we don’t want to deal with crying kids, but because over the years homesick has become plain, old, regular sick. But as a counselor it’s important to be able to spot the real sick from the homesick-sick, and here’s how.
Ah, crossover. The most glorious way to end or start your weeks at camp. The glorious weekend where is what you’ve been waiting for since April. For those of you who have never heard of or lived through a crossover weekend, let me lay it all out for you;
Crossover is that magnificent time during the summer camp season where the first round of camp ends and the second begins. This buffer weekend does everything but buff. It is a time when the session counselors blow off steam before leaving and the counselors for the second session mentally prepare for the two weeks to come.
If you enjoy a spur of the moment plunge into the darkened un-lit pool as much as i do, then crossover is the place for you! However, let me warn you – this is the true time that the saying “what happens at stays at ” was made for (probably not, but it totally works). Crossover is a lot like Fightclub – you just don’t talk about it…so im gonna talk about it. Shhh!
You know that saying “kids say the darndest things”? Not sure if you know this, but is almost too true to even explain.When you spend two weeks at an over-nigh camp with a bunch of nosy curious kids that you have to be with 24 hours a day – that’s 336 HOURS! When you spend that much time with someone you get to know them quite well, now imagine getting to know 11 people quite well.
Plus, you all know how kids are, full of questions. When they come running up to you as fast as they can with this look of intense wonder and craze in their eyes, you know it’s about to happen. At this point you start mentally preparing for what the hell they’re about to blurt at you, because that’s what happens, they blurt and stand there staring at you expecting a life changing answer even when the question is about what we’re eating for lunch that day. Life. Changing.
It was the hottest day of July, the day before the trip and the day the plague hit.
When I say plague I sure as hell mean full on PLAGUE.
It all started Wednesday night, when we noticed someone was missing – the parent volunteer. Locked away in her cabin with a garbage can and water bottle she sat, blowing chunks. All afternoon.
No biggie, we’d be fine without her on the trip tomorrow. Wrong. We still had twenty-one of us – we can handle these kids at a provincial park. The kids are gonna have fun on this trip. WRONG.