Monday, 25 July 2011

Martingale, Main Camp, Week I

First week of camp and first week ever as a cabin leader!

Martingale is a nice little cabin (the smallest at Dallas Valley Main Camp), complete with its own bathroom and shower. All my kids were aged ten or eleven. There was actually a fair bit of craziness this first week. In my cabin, I personally had to deal with:

-One camper who flew into hysterics at loud noises or anything that moves in the dark
-One sleepwalker
-One camper so homesick she refused to participate in activities
-Two physically sick campers (three, if you count the final morning)
-Two campers with rolled ankles
-One camper with a seasonal allergies flare-up
-Six campers from completely unchurched backgrounds
-One (point five?) bouts of interpersonal drama involving an overly sensitive camper

I only had six girls.

The camp as a whole also had to deal with:

-One poolside emergency (everything worked out fine)
-One crazy thunderstorm (remember my camper with hysterics?)

Plus various other dramas going on within different cabins. I also had to storm a noisy neighbouring cabin on the last night, telling them to please be quiet and apologize to us in the morning. I guess my surprise, stern appearance was intimidating enough that they complied with both requests (and the rather harried leader of the cabin actually thanked me for my intervention).

Suffice to say, it was nuts, but I actually enjoyed the challenge. One neat thing about having a cabin full of unchurched girls is that they know nothing, and all the Bible stories are new and exciting to them. You can tell them the story of Daniel and the Lions' Den without them yawning and grumbling that they've heard this a million times before in Sunday School. Every new Bible character that a staff member mentioned they wanted to hear about (and act out the story for with stuffed animals). They were all so eager to learn how to look up verses in their Bibles, and had tons of questions about God's nature.

I might also say that it was in this week that I was put in charge of leading FORC (which stands for Fun Outdoor Recreational Cooking). It could be accurately renamed Bush-Pie Hour. I'm not sure what possessed those in charge to give me this task, seeing as I had never before built a fire in my life, but I think I managed to hide my inexperience. I successfully set aflame a stack of wood (with one match, even!), and proceeded to make sure the kids were well-versed in the usage of hatchets and bush-pie makers.

Also, one of the campers (the homesick one, no less) told me that even though she had only known me a week, it felt like I was her big sister.

One of my favourite quotes from the week:

Camper: This may seem like a weird question, but are you a freakishly tall camper?

No, I am not.

My favourite game of the week was called "Going Bananas".

Jess, explaining the game: You are going bananas, and your campers are going to come sedate you.
Staff member: You mean, like, "Hey, baby..."?
Jess: Noooo.... "sedate"... not "seduce".

One of my campers, after the game is over: I want to play the opposite! Can you imagine what it would be like if the kids went crazy and the counsellors had to round them up?

No. We really have no idea what it would be like to round up crazy campers. Sounds like fun.

"Martingale Warriors" - our motto was "Mud on your face, not a disgrace"


art said...

If they know nothing of the Bible stories, did you tell them about how Jesus used a wooden stake to kill a vampire?

I like the sedate story too.

Justin said...

How did they sedate you? Needles?
If I was a camper I'd get a paintball gun while the leaders were busy being crazy and sedate them that way. It would be like Tommy hunting but more than one target.

Carla said...

They fed us Skittles. One Skittle would make us amenable to their instructions for about 20 seconds. I think they had 4 of them.

It was great fun.