I ended up being very glad that I came back to camp. Some kind of wall broke down this week. I feel like all of a sudden, the other staff went from being amiable coworkers to friends. I don't know why. But alas, given the schedule of camp, a week and a half doesn't give you enough time to really make strong enough connections to make it likely you'll retain your friendship from a province over. Hopefully I am proven wrong.
Week nine was another junior teen week at Conestoga. And yes, my wagon name was Spindle, not Spinster. And no, I don't know what "Spindle" means. Presumably it's some part of a wagon.
I crashed the popular group of kids this week. I'm not sure how. Usually I hang with the nerdy kids that lecture the others on the mythical lupine origins of ancient Rome, not with the flirty, crazy, coupled up groups. Yet this week I was aware of most of the interpersonal drama going on because the kids would voluntarily tell me and would include me in their crowded tables during meal times. My "popular" girls in the cabin seemed very open and happy to make conversation with me and one even expressed that she would miss me when she went home.
It was a rather eventful camp. One kid requested I give him a permanent marker "tattoo" all over his arm and the nurse left feminine hygiene gifts for all the girls on their pillows, which my girls were quite entertained to receive. Our wagon's front window was shattered and started spilling shards of glass all over the floor whenever we closed the door. One morning we paraded through the camp with pots and spoons and ululations declaring a "morning game" a full hour before our campers thought they had to wake up (they were mostly not impressed). We swapped guy and girl staff for "Kiss Me Dear", which was educational. I'm telling you, girls play dirty! We also had a most enjoyable dinner theatre, a game of human foosball, and a last minute, impromptu night game of "Star Tipping". And thank you, Jess, for the story about the man with the hook for an arm. Also, all the staff took turns giving their testimony, and we had a really powerful night at campfire where one of my girls rededicated her life to Christ. Plus, cabin devos were pretty good. Oh! And in thanks for all the hours I put in at the climbing wall this summer, I finally got to do one of the elements myself - I got to go rappelling! Yay!
There is one thing I really don't understand about camp. I can be there for two months, going hard every day, and I can have as much energy at the end of week nine as I had on the first day of week one. No doubt this has a lot to do with the prayers supporting the staff, but it never ceases to surprise me how teenagers can come with lots of energy and then be quite lame by day five. We go swimming every day at Conestoga, and by the middle of the week, there wasn't a single kid in the pool. They were all sunbathing or hanging beside the pool, while the staff pleaded with them to come swim. And at least one wide game ended because most of the kids were sitting out. So many didn't want to play that we had to make a rule that instead of running, you had to roll on the ground to your target. The field was too empty to simply run, as you'd be home free before your started. But the new rule pretty much just resulted in me and a few other staff and hardcore campers rolling and flopping around on the ground making strange wheezy noises while everyone else braided grass. Go figure. And the same goes for visiting the nurse. I didn't roll my ankle once all summer. How is it that without fail, at least half my cabin will have had ankle injuries by pick-up time? Oh, well.
This week had some up and downs, but it was probably my favourite of the summer. Rather pathetically, I forgot to take down any quotes from this week, meaning you get an old quote from my dad, which is something I would have liked to have told my campers:
“We are going to go outside to play and we will have fun whether you like it or not!” Art Heinrichs