Read Wednesday 8th June
Thursday 9th June
12:17pm I’ve only been at camp for four days and I can already say my big plan for a three-month detox isn’t going to work out. Last night there was a party for all the counselors up at the Golf Club – the GC for short. The place probably serves no more than 10 people a night for the rest of the year, but every summer they let all the counselors from Rockbear go up. They must make an absolute mint out of us. It’s about a ten-minute walk away from the camp car park, up a very steep hill. From the outside it looks like some sort of ranch nestled in a golf course. Climb up the wooden steps and you’re in the main room, which is decked out like a log cabin about 10 metres squared with chairs, tables and bar stools dotted around. The walls are covered in golfing pictures and there’s a stag’s head stuck above the bar – pretty sure it’s real. A balcony runs all the way around the main room, big enough for chairs and tables to admire the course from, and round the back the terrace is even bigger. It’s perfect for chilling out under the stars with a beverage or four.
Everyone was drinking pitchers of beer – that’s the only way they serve it – shots, or jugs of cocktails. I had so much fun just listening to music and chatting to everyone. Some people seemed really awkward there, but I was in my element trying to sniff out all the other boozehounds. Danielle is definitely one of them, we were chatting for ages. I love her soft Brummy accent – reminds me of home. She’s got her tongue pierced, but Earl will go nuts if he sees it, so she has to talk with tight lips when she’s around him. I also got chatting to this guy Jamie who works in video. He’s from New York and works as a news journalist for a local TV station there. How cool is that? Tried to get him to find me some work experience, but I think he thought I was joking; I’ll work on him.
Pete who works up at the stables with the horses is pretty cool too; he’s gorgeous, tall and from Formby near Liverpool so he has a beautiful accent too. Shame he’s gay. He’s really funny and I got on with him straight away. It’s so cool there are horses on camp; I hope counselors are allowed to take them for a ride.
I’ve met some really inspirational people here so far. I actually feel quite embarrassed about how little I’ve travelled when I talk to everyone. I’ve just grown up in the same small village all my life. I went to infants, juniors and high school there and spent every weekend in the local town, sporadically going to the nearest city when I felt like an adventure. Then I went to the bright lights of Sheffield for university and that’s it. Some people here have been coming since they were 18 and do it every summer while fitting in cool stuff – like ski seasons and language camp – the rest of the year. I wish I’d had the balls to come by myself as soon as I was old enough. Better make the most of it now I guess!
6:16pm I’m slightly horrified at how shabby the camp is. I’ve been going around pulling nails out from the wood and fitting the windowpanes back in properly. I guess it’s just from the close up over winter, but it’s a bit worrying that the kids will be here in just two days. I’ve swept and scrubbed the bunk so hard – it’s as clean as it’ll ever be.
We got our camp-issue t-shirts today – I love them! They gave us a brown polo neck and a fitted purple cotton tee to wear on changeover days when the new kids come. If we ever go on days out with the kids we have to wear them too. Think everyone was a bit over excited though and all the counselors are strutting around with ‘Camp Rockbear’ written across their chest.
My bunkmate Rebecca introduced me to her best mate from last year Jo; she’ll be working up at visual arts with us too and runs the jewellery department. Both of them have come to Rockbear for the past four years – which means they’ve now spent a whole year of their lives at camp, wow. The Australian school year runs January to December, so Jo has pretty much fucked up her schooling especially so she can come here.
Jo: “Where else do you have your best friends on your doorstep, do you get to behave like a kid all day, have everything paid for and work out in the fresh air all day long?”
Good point well-made Jo. I like her.
8pm Cara’s managed to charm some ‘Camp Rockbear’-emblazoned tartan pyjama bottoms from the front office to replace her ‘Love Me’ trackies, thank god. She’s well proud of herself. I’m sure the guy at reception is into her, and the lucky gap between her teeth did its work. There’s loads of Camp Rockbear branded stuff up there for sale – bags, swimsuits, hoodies, trousers. I guess they’re cool while you’re here, but I couldn’t imagine wearing them out and about at home. Maybe back home the kids are really proud of the camp they go to; it’s probably some sort of status symbol.