Friday 17th June
7:16pm First lazy day today! Normally there will be two lazy days per session, but because this is a shorter session we’ve only got one. All of us alternate-day staff wore our Camp Rockbear t-shirts for their first outing and took the kids to see Star Wars II: The Phantom Menace. It felt a bit wrong on such a sunny day but hey ho, we’re always outside anyway. The rest of the counselors with normal-day off went to NYC for the day.
We got on the big yellow school bus and headed off to the nearest cinema in the local town Winkworth 20 minutes away, singing all the way. The cinema is really old-school – more like a regal theatre with an ornate ceiling, luxurious red seating and opulent curtains over the screen that dramatically opened when the film started. In the foyer they had popcorn made in a carnival popcorn-maker and saltwater taffy, which I found out is absolutely disgusting. The kids were going crazy for it though. It’s such a nightmare/laugh to get 300 campers into the screen with the snacks they want, most of them had eaten the candy by the time the film started and wanted more. The counselors had to budge the kids up to sit sporadically among them to stop any sexiness or naughtiness. I’ve never seen a Star Wars film before and probably won’t ever again – it was boring, but I did miss the hour in the middle when I was asleep. When I woke up all the kids around me were laughing and I was covered in popcorn. Pretty sure I’d been snoring and dribbling.
10:16pm I hung out in the bunk with the girls when we got back and chatted about school and what they wanted to do when they graduated. They have to go to university for so many years here, it’s crazy. And it’s so expensive – tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why parents start saving as soon as they’re born and why getting scholarships, like you see in the movies, is so important. These girls are amazing; I bet they’ll do well in whatever they decide to do.
I’m managing to cope with the shower situation. The girls don’t seem bothered about privacy, so I guess I shouldn’t feel weird about it either. It is a bit odd when I’m showering and they’re all around getting ready and brushing their teeth. You can’t help but see people in the shower when you walk in the bathroom because of the shit curtains and mirror positioning.
I’m amazed at how well I’m getting on with the kids. I’ve worked out that in lessons all you have to do is talk to them and be jolly and they’re your friend. Well, the younger ones anyway. Some of the older ones are a bit harder to crack, but you just have to keep talking to them and show that you’re fun. I’m really happy with my relationship with the girls in my bunk. I came in earlier from being at the bunk next door and two of them got up and started hugging me asking where I’d been and saying how much they missed me. I know they were joking, but it was nice. I never thought I’d get on with them this well.
It seems a bit harsh that they don’t let the kids phone home for the first week of camp. I can see why they do it – they’re more likely to be homesick if they speak to their parents – but it seems a bit mean. Today was the first day they were allowed to do it and when we got back from the cinema the kids were fighting each other to get to the front of the queue up at the front office.
Had to listen to the string orchestra earlier for evening activity. If there’s a musical instrument I hate, it’s got to be a violin. Bloody racket.