I’m not dead! Sooooooo…
I guess I don’t really have an excuse this time. I was at camp last week (more about that later) and the weeks leading up to it were kind of hectic, but I’m here again! Ta da! And I know this is kinda late too, but it’s pretty long, so does that make up for the weeks that I’ve been absent?
I have like a million stories and pictures from camp, I don’t even know where to begin. (I’m probably gonna start sobbing all over again.)
I guess the beginning is usually a good place to start. So Junior Counselor meetings started in June I think. I didn’t really know anyone there, but we always had fun. Planning and learning overtook the few weeks before camp and finally it was upon us.
The JCs arrived early Sunday morning to get everything set up. My co-counselor, Jellybean (yes, all the staff had camp names), and I decided on the theme Under The Sea for our cabin, so we were setting up all the decorations that we’d made: tissue paper jellyfish and turtles, streamer seaweed, pipe cleaner coral, the works. It looked really cool, but I couldn’t find any pictures of it so, oh well.
I was kinda nervous, because I had been told that I’d have a sixteen-year-old in my cabin. She hadn’t ben able to make JC training in time, so she was going to be a camper instead. What sixteen-year-old wants to take orders from a fourteen-year-old? Not many that I know.
But as it turned out, she was amazing! She was compliant and helpful and never once questioned me. She was honestly great.
As all the campers arrived the JCs proceeded to sing songs and play games, trying to make the kids really excited about camp and not too sad about their parents leaving.
The beginning of that day was mostly filled with rules and tours and questions and getting to know each other. We decorated t-shirts that evening.
But that night I had my first big task: I had signed up to do campfire every day that week. We all gathered at the amphitheater to sing songs and do skits and the nightly melodrama that I had written.
The melodrama is basically a play with a narrator. The narrator reads the story aloud and the characters have to improvise as their part gets read. It didn’t go quite as planned the first night. Apparently that whole improv thing was waaaaay more difficult than we had expected. Click the link below to watch.
It worked…sort of, but we needed some improvement.
After amphitheater, we all went to campfire and played some games and sang some songs and then it was off to bed for the campers. We JCs still had work to do.
We had our nightly JC meeting where we all made sure we were on the same page and whatnot and then we decided that my melodrama maybe needed a little practice.
So after JC meeting we stayed up and practiced a little bit before heading to bed (night two’s melodrama was soooooo much better).
The second day’s theme (yes every day had a theme, day one was neon) was sports.
I was caffeinated and ready to start the day. My coffee became like a huge joke. While everyone had to dilute theirs with a million packets of cream and sugar (most people switched to hot chocolate by day three), I drank mine black with barely any sugar at all.
That day I lead Team Building which was pretty uneventful unless you count Amelia the Duck falling on the ground multiple times (she was a stuffed duck, no ducks were harmed in the making of this camp). And then I helped Buttons with Hair and Nails because, ironically, she had no idea how to do hair.
Then that night, we did our all camp challenge. Every day we had an all camp challenge where the Junior Counselors and campers got split up into teams (I was the Blue Team) and had to compete in a challenge. That night was a scavenger hunt; it was less of a competition and more of a silly way to get to know your team and the camp a little better. You had to go around to different locations and take pictures of activities there. Our teams pictures were great.
We did our nightly melodrama, campfire, and then went to bed in the same fashion as the night before. (Link below for melodrama.)
The next morning (Crazy Day)I was leading dreamcatchers. And can I just say I’ve never made a dreamcatcher in my life? So that was interesting. It went fairly smoothly though, so I can’t complain.
That afternoon I had water games with all of the boys since they hadn’t gotten to do it the day before. I was sort of nervous that they would be too rowdy, but they followed my instructions to the letter and were extremely helpful and cognizant. I even ended up participating a bit (but didn’t get that wet much to the boys’ dismay).
Then our all camp challenge was a lip dub. Sadly I was unable to obtain this video. But I do have the third night’s melodrama. It was a little less rehearsed than the second night’s because all the JCs were tired after JC meeting, but it was better than no rehearsal.
That night during JC meeting, something hilarious happened. So a little context on this story: every night at dinner we had the same cook, Caleb. He was hilarious. When we sang he was dancing in the background, he participated in all our games, and always had a funny little quip.
During our JC meeting, we were all sitting around the table and we had kind finished up and were joking around and all of a sudden, Bubbles, a JC, asked if anyone wanted a treat. We were all sort of confused until she unzipped her backpack and pulled out a bag of all the leftover desserts from dinner. Food is sort of prohibited at camp, so there was this moment of silence and Bubbles was sort of covering her mouth, hoping not to get in trouble. And then, breaking through the silence there was a snort. And who did it come from? Data, one of our adult directors. And then we just all cracked up. The one snort did us in and I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face. Of course the more we laughed, the more Data snorted and it was a vicious, ongoing cycle. (I think we were all kinda loopy from being so tired.)
Apparently Caleb had snuck the extra desserts into Bubble’s bag during evening roll call.
After we had practiced our Melodrama for the last time, Jellybean and I crept back to our cabin. Only to find it had been boobytrapped by our campers! They had put streamers across the door, across the whole room, and around our bunks. I somehow managed to make it to my bed quietly, without hitting any of the streamers, even in my tired stupor.
The next day was the last full day at camp; character day. Being super lazy, I wore a superman t-shirt with a red cape and called it a day. I didn’t really have an eventful day that day, but later on in the afternoon, we had pest control come out and show us some bugs. There were hissing cockroaches (yes, they really do hiss) and tarantulas.
Since our cabin was one of the first to go up to the cockroaches, I was one the first to hold them. The boys, seeing this, instantly made me promise to hold the tarantula too. I think they thought I would be scared of it, but bugs just aren’t my fear. So I went over and waited my turn, and…
Then our all camp challenge was pool games lead by mwah and Bubbles and Buttons. It was pretty easy, just your standard pool games. Then, as it was the last night, we had a talent show. I, however, was not in it because I was one of the judges.
Then, we had our very last melodrama.
It wasn’t as good because we had kinda been so tired the night before that we really didn’t feel like practicing, so a lot of people went to bed.
After that we went to campfire and then to bed. The JCs stayed up for JC meeting which has another funny story. I had been drinking some tea for my hoarse voice when I got up to throw my cup away. As I was standing at the trashcan, throwing my cup into the garbage, Bubbles, who had been eating a banana, shouted, “Heads up,” and just threw her peal at me. Without even looking up and not even quite registering what was happening yet, my hand flew up, caught the banana, and threw it away. When I looked up, all the JCs were staring at me in awe and only then did I quite realize what had happened. After a week of tripping, dropping things, accidentally throwing my food off of my plate, spilling water, and just being an overall klutz…I had been a ninja. I had finally proved what I had been saying all along: I’m really not as clumsy as I seem.
The next morning was the last day, pajama day. The tears started very early for me. These people that had become my family were leaving, this camp that had become my home was over. During roll call my campers went up and made a surprise announcement which had me balling. I somehow managed to compose myself all the way through my last session, but then it was time for the slideshow and camper appreciation. Let’s just say that I made Niagara Falls look dry. (I went through an entire pack of tissues.)
Then it was time for all the campers to leave and I broke down again. Sobbing was like my middle name. All the boys came up to me and informed me that they too had cried during the slideshow, but wouldn’t let anyone see. Which was the cutest…and made me cry. And then one of the younger boys walked up to me and said, “Will you please cry?” like I was a faucet that could be turned on and off. And it was so adorable…that it made me cry. I was an emotional wreck. But slowly all the campers left and it was just JCs left to clean. All my energy was drained, and I was so ready for a nap. So we packed up camp and were on our ways home.
I feel like I should sign off in my camp name; it’s like one final send off. Plus I don’t think I used it throughout the entire article, so here’s to camp!
Thanks for Reading!