The Reality of It All...

Trip Start Jun 13, 2007
Trip End Aug 30, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I know I've been rubbish and haven't updated since the kids got here,
but I've been ridiculously busy and any time I've had to myself I've
either been doing lesson plans or trying to find ways to get off
campus!! The girls arrived on Thursday, it was all very manic, lots of
screaming, hugging and waving...soooo not my thing! Anne and I got our
bunk together, we have nine 10 year old girls whose parents are some of
the richest people in Manhattan...a lot of responsibility! Most of them
are good kids but some just whinge constantly, I've had to curb my
tongue and stretch my patience to boundaries I didn't know I was
capable of! My first teaching lesson was Friday morning, I had the 12
year olds, we call them the Evergreens, and it was a nightmare. Their
first lesson of their Pinecliffe summer they're bound to be excited,
but they were just plain rude. I had to speak to my Head of Department
about it, I was so low, I was thinking of ways to get out of camp and
how far it would take me to walk into Harrison town! I've got a good
group of people around me though who have been helping me, and after
the disaster of Friday I woke up on Saturday with more
determination....this is me...I'm not gonna be beaten by 12 year olds!
They're all so grown up for their ages, so confident, and the older
ones can be quite intimidating. I guess they're all just testing the
water for the first few days, seeing how far they can push everyone,
especially the new counsellors. On the Saturday I had lessons all day
and they all went really well, and apart from a couple of hiccups,
they've been going well ever since.

The one problem I've got is with organisation, some bunks I've seen
twice now, while others from the same age group I haven't seen at all,
so my lesson plans have gone completely out of the window!! Hopefully
the schedule should settle down soon and I'll be able to be more
consistent with what I'm teaching each group. I still have my off
moments where I just wanna pack it in, I haven't even been here two
weeks yet and it already feels like a lifetime.

On Sunday half the staff were given the evening off, from 6pm til
1am....and I was allowed to go!! We found out like half an hour before
our night off began so we quickly organised a bus to take us into
Wyndam, about an hour away...hell knows why though because we passed
through 3 towns to get there! There were about 15 of us so we all went
to Applebees and pigged out on munch, shakes and icecream, it was
awesome, we ate loooooads! It's not that we were all particularly
starved, it's just that it was a novelty getting to decide what we
wanted to eat, we didn't have to have the same thing! We all met the
guys then and went to a pool hall which was pretty awesome, it was like
a stereotypical teen hangout, a lot of the counsellors were drinking
but I was quite hyper from the excessive amounts of icecream so Charity
and I stuck Meatloaf on the jukebox and had a dance around the pool
tables, it was so much fun, we almost felt normal!

My bunk have been trying to test me the last couple of days, one
especially is being very argumentative, I'm concerned because Anne has
her night off tonight and I don't want them playing up. Last night she
went to a meeting and I did bedtime duty...what a nightmare that was!
Charity had to come in to shut them up because they were keeping her
bunk up and I'd already told them 3 times and given them a lecture
about respecting other people. Gotta make sure I stay calm tonight and
hope that they're not too hyped up. Last night was the welcome
campfire...where old campers and counsellors welcome in the new ones to
Pinecliffe. We all had to wear white long sleeved tops and follow Mo,
one of the counsellors, through the woods in twos, up a path to a
campfire with the rest of the 200ish campers and counsellors standing
around it singing. I was walking with Keri and we just looked at
eachother...I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd tried to convert
us to a was like a cult ritual!! I couldn't look any of
the other new counsellors in the eye cos I would've just laughed, it
was very very strange, there was lots of singing, some story telling
and throwing sand into the fire....all very traditional....but very odd!

I know I'm a good counsellor now, I know I can do it and live with kids
and am able to manage and teach them. Yesterday whilst the returning
cousellors and campers were voting for leaders, I managed to arrange
activities for the rest of the kids. I wasn't in charge but I felt that
someone needed to take charge and I organised a game of kickball, with
counsellors joining in too. It was quite a confidence boost to think I
could be of use to the rest of the landsports department in a role
thats not just as an archery instructor. I'm still in two minds as to
whether I'm enjoying it though. Everything is extreme here, either it's
going amazingly or everything is falling to pieces, either your really
happy and confident or really low and vulnerable. I'm not sure if I'll
last the next 6/7 weeks but I'm gonna have a good go at it, the days go
by quickly, I feel confident the kids are safe in my care, and I think
that's all that matters. Oh and if anyone wants to send me anything
this is my list so far:

A grey hoodie

Bathing suit

Tea bags

Cadburys Chocolate


Send me stuff, email me, I'm getting lonely out here!
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