Saturday, September 15, 2007

Getting to know each other

First year camps are always exhausting. The point of the camps is to get to know the kids, and have them get to know each other. We definitely achieved those goals.
Not alone did I catch a total of only eight hours of sleep in two nights, I also had to be on the alert all the time. Because with a camp house full of twelve year olds, lots of things happen.

Usually, these things are limited to "Mrs. S, Andy stole my shoe and now he won't give it back", "Mrs. S, I can't find my shoe and I promise I looked everywhere!" or "Mrs. S, I need a band-aid because I fell". This time around however, I received some very different complaints: "Mrs. S, George went up the attic (not allowed) and found pancake mix which he dumped all over our sleeping bags". "Mrs S, George is smoking in the orchard" (Of course smoking was not allowed, and the orchard was off-limits to the kids.) Two minutes later: "Mrs. S, George says he wants to sleep with me" (he said what??? he's twelve!), as well as (different girl) "Mrs. S, George tried to choke me but he says he was only kidding".

Needless to say I went and found George, and the other three teachers and I had some serious talks with him. At first he didn't confess anything! But, after only two hours (!) of interrogation he finally fessed up to smoking, and "some other things that you probably don't allow". He had lied and did so many things against the rules that I took him home on Thursday morning.

After that, things quieted down in the camp house. Of course there was some (ok, a lot) of talk about George, but at least everyone agreed that what he did was not ok. And for some reason, the all seemed to want to be good examples after seeing this bad example. The kids were nice and polite, and some even voluntarily took their dirty dishes to the kitchen. There were no kids complaining about boring games (whiny tone: "I don't want to do that, that's stu-pid), and when we had to clean the camp house on Friday morning everyone pitched in. Boy, did we get to know each other!

1 comment:

Mrs Yoastie said...

Yes, that just helps to confirm that teaching is not for me.