Monday 25th July
9:30am Loudspeaker: “Eeeeeeeeeeeevvverybody up, up, up! It’s time to riiiise and shiiine… It’s a beautiful day on the Rockbear campus…”
Woohoo, two-hour lie in for everyone on lazy day! I love being on alternate day staff.
5:57pm I didn’t get up until 10:30am and then sunbathed all day with Pip. It’s so hot; the girls kept tipping buckets of water on us and running off. It was actually nice to cool down a bit though. The Mean Girls from last session are definitely friendlier now that they’ve been divided, and they actually seem much happier and more relaxed. I think they’re free to have fun now without the pressure of keeping up with each other and the competition of who’s best friends with who. Now there’s just a core group of five and they’ve worked out how they can be best friends with each other rather than fighting. It’s been a week since the others left and I’m actually enjoying spending time with them. I don’t think I could’ve coped if they’d all stayed on for another three weeks. Last session was awful.
Me, my campers, Pip and her campers all put face packs on and dried them in the sun. That was fun, I felt like I was 12 again, when me and my friends trashed my mum and dad’s bathroom with face pack clay all up the walls and over the towels.
After lunch we all boarded the big yellow bus to go to Winkworth cinema to watch Batman. I did my usual trick of catching a few zzzs while the film was on. On the way back I sat next to this really sound kid on the bus – he was telling me all about his hopes and aspirations for life. It felt like a very deep conversation to be having with a 14-year-old boy, I can’t imagine any boys that age in England being so eloquent.
Little blonde Stephanie has made this hideous looking creature in crafts. It’s a piece of foam cut out like a bear and she’s painted it orange, given it a few strands of scraggly black wool for hair and drawn a face on it. It’s gross, but Stephanie absolutely loves it – I took it off her to look at and she went mental. She carries it everywhere and cuddles up to it at night. It just shows how these kids are so on the ‘cusp’ of growing up. One day they’ll be effing and blinding and talking about sex and boys, then the next they’ll just want cuddles and to snuggle and be comforted. It’s confusing enough for me.
11:45pm Tonight’s evening activity was Brain Wars. Earl divided everyone at the Kennedy Theatre into four equal teams. As a team you nominate a member to go up on stage and answer questions or do forfeits from Bud and Earl for points. It was fun, but trying to control the kids who weren’t asked to go up was a nightmare. They were all messing about so Earl decided to deduct some points, which made everyone who did care really angry and war pretty much broke out in my team. To calm it all down they had a singing round where all the kids had to join in and whichever team sang it the best won, easy. They sang Billy Joel’s, Piano Man. It was really emotional hearing the whole camp singing together – some of the kids were waving their hands in the air like they had lighters and they were putting their arms around each other’s shoulders. It was a really lovely moment.
God they work you like dogs up at the horse section. I spoke to Pete after Brain Wars; he fell off a gator the other day and has seriously fucked up his knee. He lifted his trouser leg up to show me and it’s really swollen and bruised – it actually looks like the bone is protruding under his skin. The boss of the horses section won’t let him take time off to go to see a doctor because they’re short-staffed and the camp nurse is just like, “ah you’ll be fine”. If that were one of the kids we’d have about 10 ambulances here by now.
There’s going to be a huge storm tonight – I can see the lightning flashes already from my pink armchair on the porch. I’m just going to sit and watch it and think about what an incredible seven weeks I’ve had so far.