Thursday, 10 April 2008

How To Work At Camp

To say I enjoy working with kids is an understatement. A similar understatement, in terms of magnitude, would be to say that the moon is slightly bigger than my thumb! Prior to the "Kids Club Camp" last weekend, I was probably more excited than most of the kids!

Firstly it meant an entire weekend of being creative (keeping kids entertained is all about inventing new games, telling jokes/stories and making cool things) and having fun - things that I really enjoy doing!

Another reason to be excited was that I wouldn't be working. Since arriving in Canada, I have averaged over 40 hours of work per week, despite various days off! I hadn't had a weekend free since I started at the Flying Beaver in early February, even for Easter!

Essentially though, I was excited to the core because I love camp! Any chance to escape routine has been pounced upon immediately since I was a small boy. When I was 6 years old I joined scouting. Through the next 12 years I learned how to camp, build fires, make shelter, hike, navigate, lead, work in a team, tie knots and make useful things from sticks and string.

I spent last summer at a Summer Camp for the first time in my life. Instead of tents in a field there were buildings, climbing walls, basketball courts and a pool! The experience was amazing and completely unlike anything that I had ever done before so I was thankful to have had the opportunity to try it; originally recommended it by one of the teachers who accompanied my team through Malaysia when I went to Borneo in 2006.

At Summer Camp, I worked with the kids as though they were friends and we were all hanging out. It paid off. I managed to get about 20 kids that seemed to adore me and followed me around from place to place whenever they spent time at the adventure course. They became known as my fan club and it felt really cool to have people that were really happy to see you each day.

One girl who had been on an element with a different ropes course instructor came to me when she was done and said that she hadn't enjoyed it because I wasn't her instructor at the time! Another group of girls offered me money for my email and cell phone number!

Modelling my freshly spray-painted T-shirt

When I joined Kids Club in February, I was looking for something fun to do some evenings each week and had been told about Kids Club and FUEL (the Monday night club) by my cousin and some friends who I met in Whistler on Snow Jam. I never expected there to be a camp and I wasn't even sure that I would keep going each week if other things came up.

As it turned out, last weekend was probably the second best weekend I have had on this trip so far (behind Snow Jam, obviously!) and I enjoyed everything about it!


Anna Jagric said...

Cell phone?!
Someone's a Canadian now.
Are you sure those girls are old enough?!

Andrea Thomson said...

Jello-Man! - you were an *awesome* leader and the kids loved having you there (as did we, the other leaders!).
You have a great way with young people and I hope you stay on :)

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