Hey again! I’m still alive!
This week I’ve passed the two week point of being at camp / being on my travels so I thought I’d write a bit about what I’ve been up to. A few things to note, firstly I wanted to write more but my 15 hour days are quite tiring, and in the past fifteen days I have had one day off – so free time to write is hard to come by. Also, since the kids have been here we can’t have our phones on show or out, so photos are a bit slacking.
What isn’t slacking though is my journal entries. Since I arrived, I have written 28 A5+ pages so roughly 2 pages a day and this is simply down to how much happens in a day.
I’m a Voyager roamer for cabin B1, meaning I look after 19 8-year-old boys from when they wake up to when they go to bed, Voyagers are the younger half of camp (between 8 and 11). And a normal day for us are
7:00 – Wake the boys up
7:30 – Ask them to get ready for breakfast
7:45 – Breakfast
8:30 – Go back to the cabin for clean up hour
9:30 – First period
10:30 – Second period
12:00 – Lunch
12:45 – Rest hour
14:00 – Third period
15:00 – Fourth period
16:00 – Snack / tuck hour
16:45 – Fifth period
17:45 – Dinner
18:30 – After dinner free time
19:00 / 19:30 – Evening programme
21:00 – Bedtime
22:00 – True bedtime
The periods are all of the activities available: (water) skiing, archery, skateboard park, ropes course, ball hockey, soccer, basketball, taught swim, free swim, inflatable times, hanging out at the beach, pottery, cooking, textiles, general arts & crafts, BMXing, kayak, canoe, sailing, baseball and theatre.
As a roamer, it’s my job to make sure all of our 19 boys are at their activities or meals on time, that they get involved and that they enjoy themselves. It means that I help them shoot arrows or put on their lifejackets, I’m one of the guys who encourages them to play a sport they dislike or drown myself in attempt to push them above the water onto the inflatables (this last bit has happened several times).
However, it also means that I’m the guy who has to tell them off for pushing other boys, or to tell them to take a timeout when they’re being a bit too much and souring the other boy’s time. Getting them to tidy up after themselves and to make the cabin habitable is an ongoing challenge but the other counsellors and I are slowly getting them into good habits.
It turns out though that with our guidance, our cabin is one of the best and our boys are one of the best behaved, even when they’re misbehaving – this may be down to how the older kids act though.
It also turns out that our cabin is full of some of the best counsellors and we’re doing our jobs quite well, which is great to hear!
This is where it gets a bit disjointed…
The camp itself has a great environment and when I walk down Main Path which runs through camp, everyone is happy to be here. As a counsellor, I have had to deal with some cases of homesickness but nearly all of these have disappeared as time has gone on.
The food was simplified a bit after the kids arrived, I’ve never seen so much pasta covered in butter, pizza or chips, but there are good options available and we’re never hungry. The kids eat 5 times a day (3 meals + 2 snacks) and have sports drink available at every meal time to keep them going. Most lunch times finish in a song and dance party in the mess hall (= dining room), with Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara being regularly played. You can’t go two hours without hearing Despacito. (My Camp Timberlane playlist is here.
They are little boys, so we have had quite a few tears along with scrapes and grazes, mostly these are treated with a close eye and a band-aid. There haven’t been any punch ups among my boys yet, just a couple of times when I’ve had to tell two guys from irritating each other.
I’ve made some good friends, one of which being Chrissie who is an Australian girl who was also late to camp, we travelled up together and have drunkenly told each other how much we admire each other, it also helps that she’s on Ropes with my best friend and co-counsellor Rob. There’s Luka from Ireland who is on Arts & Crafts, which all of my boys seem to love doing – today they even stuffed a bear, dog or frog cuddly toy, I’m so upset I didn’t get one. There’s also lots of others that I’m sure I’ll have good stories to mention on here before the summer is out.
Canada Day was fun. Singing Shawn Mendes in the mess hall, a beach dance party and fireworks. Everyone was wearing red and white of course and I had kids on my shoulders for most of it. They take these things seriously.
Some other things I’ve done here include:
- Going skiing for the first time ever and falling off several times
- Driving one of the boats across the lake
- Getting drunk at a friend’s cottage and cutting my hand up on the stones in the lake
- Jumping off a huge inflatable iceberg
- Running my own Evening Programme
- Becoming a veggie again after seeing two fish die in quick succession from fishing
- Being drawn by Luka which was awesome
- Seeing a couple of snapping turtles in the lake
- Pushing my co-counsellors in the lake
- Playing baseball for the first time in years
- Jumping off the high diving board and going foot first
- Going to Tim Hurtons and getting Timbits and an icecap
- Riding in a car for two hours back to camp…in the boot
- Starting to learn how to dive properly
There’s a lot more to say but I think that’ll do for now!
Happy July everyone!