Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hello Mother. Hello Father. Greetings From Camp...

I did not fall off the face of the earth.

I was at camp. A week of church camp with 3rd through 5th graders, to be exact. And I was in charge. Frightening, but true.

Camp is fun. Camp is hard work, sweaty, and exhausting. Every year, about Wednesday or Thursday, I start doubting my abilities to work with kids and swear up and down that this will be my last year. Then on Friday, as the campers ride off with their parents and the campgrounds clear out, I begin thinking of what to do next summer.

By the ride home, a heartsickness grows in me to return to the microcosm of mass meals, pool time, and campfire. I spend the next few days dreaming about camp and feeling a weird loneliness at suddenly going from being surrounded by 60+ people to sitting in my cube staring at a monitor.

This summer, I was a little more scattered and slightly overwhelmed, having taken on more responsibilities than I should have. There's already a mental list of things I will NOT do next summer, as well as an aggressive timeline I want to follow with regards to staffing. I will NOT procrastinate next year. Once I find out when my week is, I will begin canvassing for volunteers.

Speaking of staff, I had a really awesome one, especially Junior Staff. My little gaggle of teenagers kept me sane and amused (laughing so hard I shed tears one night until 12 a.m.) and worked their tails off. One in particular (God Bless You, Eric!) knew exactly when and how to deflect the annoying children from Amanda's path when she was not in a particularly generous mood (Excuse me. I have a question.). They also managed to simultaneously make me feel old (Screaming out that the year I got my driver's license was the year some of them were born.) and young (Treating me like I was cool enough to hang and gossip with). Mighty nice to the ego to think I can still be considered interesting at 30. I am yet still relevant!

Sigh. I miss camp. It drives me insane. Wears me out. Makes me doubt every single ability I have. But as I sit here and look at my picture of the group from the week, I can't help but wish I was back there. Back being insulated in the comfort of a place that for the past 22 summers I have called Home.

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