Wednesday, 30 July 2008

How To Enjoy SummerFun Camp

The last week of July was the final week of Summerfun and so we had been put into a team of four coordinators with no volunteers and with a reduced group of senior kids for the week of camp. Cindy, the church's youth pastor and main organiser for both Summerfun and Kids Club, would be in charge of the juniors with her daughter Ariel (who had helped both teams through the first four weeks) and we had to help the kids organise their camp.

The first day involved planning. Although a campsite had already been booked, the food and activities were to be the kid's choices so that they felt as though they'd had some say in the planning. We ran a heads-down-thumbs-up style ballot and structured a menu and decided on the items to bring along - the location having a lake and a field.

The campsite turned out to be the En's summer home after the original campsite refused a group that didn't contain more than four 25+ year olds. We were to pitch the tents in the garden and play in the lake, jumping off the dock, as with a regular site. A bonus of this set up was having the bathroom and kitchen to ourselves and in close proximity.

The kids were asked to provide the tents and a few of them offered 6-8 man tents for the three groups; 2 tents of girls and one of boys. A joke on the second day written on the chalk board was of mixed gender tent arrangements which troubled some of the kids so we decided to tell them the truth! The second day also involved shopping for items on the menu and a scavenger hunt around Richmond in 2 groups to help the kids bond.

Things to retrieve involved photos of certain locations, items from various fast food outlets, banks or shops and random items such as golf balls and nails. We returned shortly after Bruce's team - tied with 20 points each (probably losing because of a stop we made on the way back)!

On Wednesday we headed out to Mission in the vans and after dropping the things at the house, went on a hike around a waterfall and river. Although most of the day was great, a stray stone thrown to splash me bounced and hit me right on the bone of my knee – dropping me to the ground in pain. After a cold pack on it for most of the rest of the day I felt better and awoke the next morning feeling fine again.

The rest of the camp went well with the kids pitching the tents (apparently successfully!) as a team. Our guys tent turned out to only just fit the kids so Bruce slept in the van and on my way to join him I looked up at the stars and wondering when the next time I’d get an opportunity to see them so vibrantly again, decided to sleep under them; on a roll mat and inside my silk sleeping bag liner!

The next morning I woke up with cold feet but dry and happy, so decided to make a fire for the kids who were slowly awakening. After chopping some wood and making a tipi, I got the fire going with minimal paper and soon had a roaring flame! I spent most of the rest of the morning supervising the fire – allowing kids to poke at it as I had enjoyed when I was younger – and encouraging their smoke trail patterns; although asking them to move away when they were making them!

Most of the kids were well behaved and the two that weren’t, I had offered to talk to for the week so that the other leaders could have a break – Jenny and Bruce having just had two weeks with the pair! After a long talk with the two of them and then a really long talk with the more stubborn one, I managed to keep order between the two for the rest of the trip and was proud of my efforts – for which the other coordinators were also grateful.

The final day of the week, the first day of August, has been declared free for Bruce and I, so I will be packing for Latona and Calgary and then travelling in the afternoon. I am excited for my month off of work and will try to see much in the coming month.


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