(Not) Born on the 4th of July

Trip Start May 24, 2009
Trip End Nov 05, 2009

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Flag of United States  , West Virginia
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wishing you all a happy, if belated 4Th of July, although due to the actual 4Th being a closing Saturday our festivities were actually on the 3rd!

We woke up early to the sounds of the camp's traditional 'horsey wake up', which is basically the camp's re-enaction of the British invasion.  The American riding staff (led by the Equestrian Director Caroline....who's English) ride around camp shouting "The British are coming, the British are coming", closely followed by the British riding staff.  This happens all over the camp at each unit and was a really good laugh and a proper sight to see. 

Later in the day everyone got dressed up in red, white and blue, predominantly in the form of the tie dyed t-shirts that they'd made at arts and crafts earlier in the week.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I think I need to let you know that the American's are OBSESSED with tie dye!  It seems that pretty much everyone here brought at least one item of tie dyed clothing (other than the 4Th of July shirts) and unlike the UK it's perfectly acceptable to wear in public and not just at Glastonbury.  So after getting dressed up we headed to the sports field for a carnival, luckily my unit didn't pick the pie/dunk the counselor stalls so I managed to avoid getting filthy or wet, though I did have a go at the donut eating contest, which involved eating a donut tied to a string, whilst not using your hands.  I think all the training at Bonfire nights over the years must have paid off, because I'd managed to wolf down half of it in about 20 seconds!    

Later in the day we had a parade with each unit dressing up as an essential 4Th of July item, including stars and the Boston Tea Party!  This was followed up by fireworks in the evening, although it being my day off I decided to give these a miss and have some time to myself in the staff house.  So, that was Independence Day in a nutshell!

On a general note, things here are still going really well.  I've actually moved units (age groups) now, as they asked me to take charge of the youngest unit, Shawnee.  My official title is now Unit Head!  Hopefully that might mean a bit more money in my pocket at the end of the Summer but I haven't actually got around to asking.  I've been in that role for going on for two weeks now and it's been ok.  There's a bit more organization and paperwork involved but not really anything I haven't done before.  The kids are really cute, though living with 10 seven to eight year olds is definitely a full time job.  This session we have a little girl from France, Gaia.  It's been interesting, seeing how much my French has come back to me after little to no use over the last 8 years.  Her English is pretty good and obviously she's not here to practice her French so we try to talk to her in English the majority of the time, but there have been occasions when I had to explain things to her in French as everyone else in the cabin only knows a few words.

People are starting to thing about travel after camp now and getting around to booking things, which makes me thing that I should too, though I'm not in too much of a rush.  It looks like I'll be heading to Washington for a few days with one of the girls from my new Unit, Meagan.  She's from New Zealand and we chatted a lot before camp which is cool.  I've also been invited to spend a weekend in Chicago to visit one of the American staff so that's pretty cool!
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