Saturday 18th June
1:57pm The girl from Brisbane I met on the plane, Emily, and me have become really good friends. Her and Cara are in a bunk together. It’s just on the other side of the dividing hedges to mine, in the mixed section near the volleyball court.
Emily’s really easy to talk to, she’s got these beautiful big eyes that just make her look constantly happy and excited. Me and her went to check out the circus in our free this morning up behind visual arts. Hmmm, not the most welcoming of staff, they obviously didn’t want us there. I had a go on the trapeze anyway; it was amazing swinging through the air. Hoops hang down from the ceiling like on Gladiators when they used to have to swing from them and wrestle each other down. There are silks to climb up and loads of trampolines and gymnastic equipment, it’s amazing. These kids are so lucky they get to try all this stuff out; most people never get to play on a circus trapeze. It amazes me at breakfast when the kids are choosing minors and they ask if they can just ‘stay in the bunk’. I feel like an old woman when I tell them to make the most of this opportunity.
Me: “I didn’t have all this when I was younger, you should think yourselves lucky and do everything you can.”
Calm down grandma.
5:15pm No one’s come to my creative writing class again. Now, shall I tell someone I’m free or just keep quiet and go back to bed? Hmmmm, choices, choices.
I love where my bed is in the bunk. I’m above an empty bed so it’s easy to get up and down, and it’s next to the door for fresh air and easy access when I’m coming in pissed from the GC. Oh, and it’s as far away from the smelly bathroom as you can get. Sharing a room is cool, I like having the campers to talk to. I always wanted a sister when I was growing up, and now it’s as if I’ve got 13, even if Jude is really annoying. I’ve put loads of photos of my friends up on the wall by my bed and all my cosmetics and knick-knacks are lined up on the shelf above. I’ve bagged the drawer underneath my bunk beds for my clothes too, so I hope no one decides they want to sleep on the bottom. I love how it’s my own private area up top, when you’re on a bottom bunk people can always see you and they sit on your bed. Not up here though.
I’m getting on really well with Rebecca too. We can just sit and chill and chat, and it feels like I’ve known her for ages. She’s really interesting and clever – she’s reading American Studies at King’s College London and from all her travelling it just seems like she knows loads about the world. I want to live in London when I finish university, I think. Jude’s dull; she’s really moany at the kids and just a bit of a drip. Unfortunately, I think she might have missed out on a sense of humour at birth too. I’m having such a good time, I feel like when I get back home I’m going to be just like the girl from the American Pie film; “This one time, at band camp…”
The little boy who threw the water on me the other day was chasing me around the visual arts area earlier and play-threatening me with a golf stick. Haven’t done so much exercise for ages, it was pretty funny. He was having a great time just giggling and trying to run. I loved seeing him so happy. He must have been through so much with his parents. There are quite a few kids here whose parents died in 9/11 – Earl gets them here on scholarship.
I had a go driving a gator earlier, it’s like a golf cart crossed with a little tractor. Bud didn’t seem too impressed when I crunched my way down the big hill by visual arts though, especially when the back of it hit the floor and the wheels crunched. Oops, I just trundled off like nothing had happened, la la la.
11.13pm When you’re DJing in canteen in the evening, the kids come up to you with pizza and ice cream all over their faces shouting and spitting at you to play their favourite song. It’s so gross. They ask me for Happy Birthday shout-outs to their friends too – this is when I know I’ve made it in life. From the DJ box there’s nothing to look at but the kids, so I’ve made a few notes:
- The super nerds hang out by the vending machines looking uncomfortable. Either they’re just there for the sweets, pizza and ice cream, and genuinely don’t care about the opposite sex or the music or what they’re wearing. Or they just hope that one day they’ll turn up to the disco and suddenly fit in.
- All but one or two of the older kids are said ‘super nerds’; I guess all the cool ones sacked off summer camp at 16.
- The ‘pretty, cool girls’ are always late – they’ve been in their bunks trying on clothes and deciding what to wear. When they do arrive they divide, some just look pretty on the side trying to entice the boys, while others get up and bust out a few ‘sexy’ moves to the music, usually Don’t Cha by the Pussycat Dolls. The kids are obsessed with that song. It’s a bit weird watching the 12-year-olds thrusting their fannies into each other, I feel scared for my not yet conceived child that this is the world I’ll be bringing them into.
- The five to nine-year-old girls try to imitate the older ones, with disturbing results.
- Most of the boys just run around trying to get the attention of the pretty girls. The rest of them are too busy playing airplanes, or wandering around in circles making themselves dizzy and staring at the ceiling.
- The camp is united in their love for the Cha Cha Slide song. They squeal with delight when they hear the intro and they know all the moves. I could play that all night and they’d love it. A few of them think they look really good dancing to it – but they don’t.
They’re basically choosing between music, food and the opposite sex. Give them a few years and they’ll learn how to divide their time between them all.
My campers just come up for some pizza, have a giggle together and then go back to the bunk. If I’m in the DJ booth they always drop off some pizza for me, and take a piece back to the bunk for whoever’s on duty. Love them.