Sunday 19th June
12:16pm Only one kid has turned up to radio today. He’s happy enough working his way through the CDs, I’ll leave him to it.
Random passing kids: “SpongeBob Squarepants. SpongeBob Squarepants.”
All they want to do when they see Cara and me is to make a SpongeBob Squarepants. They’re so cute. The visual arts boss told us we’re not allowed to cut up any more sponge heads though – think we used the quota for the summer.
1:47pm Camper: “Is London in England, or England in London?”
5:03pm Cara and me went and played tennis this afternoon. Well, tried to, we were useless. That bitch that runs the courts was definitely laughing at us. It was good fun for 15 minutes, and then we just felt stupid as some of the crafts kids had come to laugh at us through the wire too. Not good for the old ego.
Keakuki made me sit in bed with her after lunch. She’s got this thick, black, unruly hair that I don’t think she washes very often, it’s a bit smelly and she has permanent bedhead. I’m learning to love the kids whatever though – all of them are a bit gross in some way. Keakuki has big, brown eyes and a wide frog-like mouth that’s kind of scary. She always wears clothes that are too small or skimpy for her and thinking about her now I imagine her with flippers for feet – she pads along the hollow bunk floor slapping her feet down with every step, making far too much noise.
She took me through her school yearbook to show me her friends. Then she moved onto a photo album she had with ‘model’ pictures of her in. It was from one of those shoots where you turn up and they drape fabrics over you and plaster on the make-up. She said her dad had bought the makeover day for her and her mum to spend some time together. She was really excited and had the day off school to go and do it, but at the last minute her mum said she was too busy at work and so just dropped her off in the car to have it by herself. She was pretending like that was fine, but her parents just don’t seem to care about her. She makes me so, so sad, what do you say to that?
8:17pm Argh, Jude is driving me nuts! She’s so unnecessarily strict with the kids. She doesn’t let them stay up reading at night – reading, for god’s sake! They’re good kids, she should give them some leeway. She’s so snappy and mardy all the time, maybe camp is wearing her down – she looks absolutely knackered, but we all are. She’s always nagging the kids to do this, do that. I’m genuinely worried about how I’m going to last another nine weeks with her.
I want to put a pillow over my ears every time she talks and I actually have to count in my head to calm myself down.
9:16pm We got the list of campers for next session earlier. They won’t arrive for another two weeks, but I think the head counselor wanted to warn us.
Rebecca: “Oh, shit.”
Last year these campers were known around camp as the ‘Mean Girls’ – like the ones off the film. Apparently they’re nasty, bitchy, cliquey, cruel hussies who, most importantly, were absolute shits to their counselors. Rebecca’s friend looked after them – who hasn’t returned this year – and she was always crying and saying how she just wanted to go home. Keakuki knew who they were straight away and was pretty much screeching the place down. She’s staying for the whole summer, so she’ll be in the bunk next session too. She was begging the head counselor to be allowed to change bunks. So, joy, really looking forward to next session now.
1:13am Just had another midnight staff meeting.
Earl: “I’m really proud of you all this year. We’ve recruited some excellent staff and you’re all doing a great job, keep it up.”
That was nice to hear – he even had a smile on his face. He gave the first Counselor of the Week award to one of the little girls’ counselors. I wonder if I’ll ever win it? Probs not.
It was so cold in there. We all sat snuggled up to one another in our big hoodies and hats. When it was time to leave we just looked at each other in despair – we’d all worked so hard to generate some body heat and we didn’t fancy venturing out into the cold again.