Monday, August 01, 2005

Bags, and not the ones you carry food in.

So as you all know, I'm working at a summer camp (as my brother calls it, camp super big Jew). So first session went pretty well, all my kids were generally fine, and my co-counselors were really enthusiastic and a lot of fun to hang around. Little did I know what second session had in store for the already weary Jon Newcombe.

Naturally, second session, counselors go into a slump. Six weeks into a summer of intense children and little sleep, you get tired. It's called, appropriately, the six week slump. I've already entered that in the fifth week. Why do you ask? Because it's a hard life, that's why.

First, my co-counselors. I've got two, between 18 kids. In camp terms, that's really bad. That'd be ok if we were all really strong counslors, but that's not the case. I don't like to toot my own horn (except I do), but I'm the best counselor in the bunk right now. This one guy, Shmuel, from Israel, is crazy. A good guy, and the kids like him, but he has some questionable methods. Then this guy Ben, from Canada, who is just never there. Even if he is physically there, he's not there. He constantly leaves the 18 kids unsupervised, and even if he is there, he's always reading or sleeping. I'm the only person who wakes up the kids in the morning, and I've resorted to hitting them with pillows. The strange thing is, I didn't do it this morning, and they all said they'd only get out of bed when I hit them with their pillows. Anyway, it was all jokes. I would never abuse a child.

On top of all that, there are only 4 full time lifeguards, when there should be 6. This makes like extremely difficult for a lifeguard who also has to act like a full time counselor because his cos are not there. Lets pile on some more, shall we? The kids just don't listen to us. I told them all, take a hard line in the begining, and then loosen up two weeks in, always works. The kids might hate you for the first few days, but they learn to respect you and your judgement. Since we came out of the gate being their friends, we don't have their respect. I'm one of three counselors in the whole unit of 72 kids who commands some discipline. Even that small shred of power I have over the kids is slowly fading, since none of my other counselors will back me up.

My only saving grace is that I have a little pet project of sorts. There's this one kid who is actually religious, so I've taken him under my wing. He leyns every Saturday, wears tzitzis (out now because I told him to), and lays tfillin with me every morning (for those keeping track, i now daven every morning, hooray for G-d). He also brought me a lot of orange things from his dad, which keeps me happy. Every time I look at my wristband I smile, and then get a little depressed.

Well, camp ends soon after tisha b'av, so I'll ride out the rest of the three weeks here, and then I'm like Ryan Seacrest from American Idol.

Newcombe, out.

1 Shpeils


Anonymous Miryam said...

Wow,nukes.I'm so proud of you. maybe you should take on the job of "big brother" to the new lil freshies next year. Oh, and remember, as soon as you egt back, we all have a little hillel reunion to arrange on your boat. right?

Thursday, August 04, 2005 7:39:00 PM  

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