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06 August 2010 @ 12:15 am
 
It seems/feels/whatever that I have very little time in my life. I suppose it's because I spend much of my time working, and what time I have left beyond that tends to be spent with thoughts of work - lesson plans, constructive critiquing, approbating, beating myself up. My TDL (to-do list) is still long but is shrinking.

Today was a hard day for everyone. I had a bit of a row with my mother yesterday over money, a sore subject for both of us and one I never enjoy speaking about. Today I had the closest I tend to have to a tiff with my father over the same matter, but we settled it well.

Princess Pine and I drank energy drinks before camp. We got through the day on those and Starbucks vanilla things, sharing also with Fin and Clover.

One of the campers got a nose bleed while everyone was gathered around me giving my ukulele a shot. I saw blood and her concerned face; my head merely told me, "Make sure she doesn't lean her head back!" but was not helpful in telling me WHAT to do, despite being told in First Aid. I realised I needed a glove, but she was bleeding, and some maternal instinct kicked me in the ovary; before I knew it my hand was under her chin. I called to Tigerlily for gloves and inquired if she remembered the procedure. She seemed a bit scattered and didn't recall. In the confusion, cue the boss to enter, of course...so Myccorhizae barged in, barked out for gauze, told the poor girl to pinch her nose and lean forward. (Me: "Pinch the nose. Poppy’s pants, Kiwi, and you couldn't think of this yourself?") We got her cleaned up. I spent much of my time beating myself up over this. There were other little things during the day, but this was the main one.

I also sent the CIT (counsellor in training) to take two of the campers to the bathroom, as Fin had done, forgetting it broke a ridiculous rule. Of course Myccorhizae caught me. Ruddy ridiculous rules! At many other camps the children come padding up, ask "May I go to the bathroom?" and are told "Yes, go, be careful and come right back." End of story. We need a paid counsellor and not staff-in-training to take the child up a whole oh-my-goodness-gracious one flight of stairs where we can still see them, and in the case that it is one child, two counsellors are required just to make sure no one is getting sexually harassed. Society today, here is my announcement: I hate you. I am displeased with the touch-starved (we can't hug/touch them save head and shoulders and only in the direst of circumstances) co-dependent future adults you are producing.

I was a snarkbasket today. Gave myself a time-out during lunch.

So what do I do? Spend my free time - whole hours of it - cutting out and colouring I Am Specials for my campers, because somehow, I do grow to love them by the end of the week. I don't understand how the other counsellors can cut them out as blobs, scribble-colour them with crayons and jot down a name with an adjective. Equally, I don't know how I can spend ridiculous amount of time cutting close to the line, colouring with sharpies, oil pastels and chalk pastels and writing their names in script with thoughtful alliterations that match the week's theme.

I'm the 'teacher' of the counsellor lot. My campers get a lot of science. Crafts, too, when connected with the science. Games if the other counsellors cajole me into them. I'm friends with the other counsellors yet tend to sit alone at lunch out of choice - I prefer to step into conversations where I will, rather than receive an earful of babble from campers. I will entertain if the one or two happen to seat themselves with me - beyond that I tend to leave them to their own devices, uttering a few phrases here and there.

It is thus beyond me that I have one camper constantly giving me a hug and telling me she likes me, or one of the seven-year-old twins touching the (clean, craft) feather of his eagle-puppet to my nose and affectionately playing my ukulele with me, or any of this. My spending hours on their awards. I guess I'm just in an funk and confounded. Not too shocking.

When did I grow to love these kids, willing to throw my hand under a bleeding nose to protect a shirt I know a camper loves even before my senses catch up? Since when have the twin smiles of seven-year-old boys made me laugh softly with glee?

Drat you, summer camp job, for softening me up. So much for my desire to be a "kick-ass, soft-hearted, sharp-tongued, brave bundle of bunned sexiness" (quote credited to kelly_chambliss).

I think the point of this post is that I don't have any time (yet have enough to post this ridiculous entry) and am shocked to find myself spending my precious little time making awards for these campers I already spend 8 hours a day with.

At least the insomnia is still here. A constant is always a comfort.
 
 
Current Mood: confusedConfused.
 
 
 
Andrewquueer on August 6th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
At the last summer camp I worked at we had the same bathroom rule except it was that no one counselor could ever be alone with any number of children at any time.

Meaning if camper A had to get back to the other side of camp TWO counselors had to walk them there. Which, of course, means taking two counselors from somewhere else.

We had two sides of camp, Star and Fish. So if I was leading the computer room and it was time to transition back to bunks for rest hour and the other two counselors happened to be from Fish, we would have to radio to get another Star counselor up there. Never mind the fact that it was one kid, we'd be walking a total distance of 300 feet, and we'd be in sight of the cabin as soon as we were on the dirt path.

Ugh!

It is one of the reasons I like my job now. We're not encouraged to offer the kids hugs and such, but we're allowed to hug back if they hug us and if a kid is sick or not doing well? We can snuggle. My kids live there. This is home. At home they would, hopefully, be given hugs and love and touch. They need that.

Luckily a couple of the bigger staff at work will wrestle with the kids when they want to and won't get hurt doing it. Cos our kids, aside from everything else? Are mostly tween/teen boys. They would like to be rough and tumble.
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on August 8th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Uggggh I hate ridiculous rules that don't even really prevent things, or so it seems, just get in the way of good connections.

Yeah at Rowe we're always touching. I mean, it's not a live-in thing, but it's a 3-week stay-over, so we all get really close and cuddly.

Ahhh wrestling. Rough and tumble. That's pretty adorable in its own way. Thanks for the comment! It made me smile at the end, so I don't mind groaning over ridiculous rules so much. :P
CaroRulescarorules on August 6th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
Tough day.. tomorrow will be better!