Hi from Camp Echo!!!
I have quite a lot to say since the kids arrived on Saturday, I can't believe it's already Monday time has flown! In our cabin we have 8 kids aged 11 as well as 4 counsellors (me, Jess (a lifeguard from Long Island) Linda (a lifeguard from Germany) and Emily (head counsellor of our division). Saturday was so stressful when the kids arrived, to say they brought a lot of stuff would be a massive understatement....one girl brought 15 towels and another brought over 30 tops...let's just say these kids are RICH. We have a set of twins who's father owns banks in Russia. Their sister goes to a university which costs $60,000 a year...so I think you get the idea of the type of kids we're dealing with here! Surprisingly they're not too spoilt though. The twins are the most difficult because it's such a task to get them to listen to anything you say, they dawdle to each activity and have to be forced to do their chores in the morning so they're a handful, they're called Michelle and Gabrielle. Then we have Julia who is their side kick, she also has to be forced to do anything! We have a girl called Meredith who is so mature for her age, she is like the voice of reason in our cabin for the other girls and it really helps to have someone their age on our side! She reminds me of my cousin Bethany. My two favourites (not that I should have any!!!) are Caitlin and Kristen, they are the sweetest kids!! They're always smiling and dancing around and they are ones that I really feel like I relate to. The last two campers are the quiet ones, we have Alexa who is very shy and reserved and I have to really encourage her to join in in the activities. She's also quite clingy to me and so sometimes it's hard because I have to give the same attention to all the girls. She's writes 5 letters home a day!!! The last girl is Rachel, she has ADD and is scared of everything, she also has to clean everything before and after she uses it so sometimes the other girls get a bit annoyed with her. I try my best with her and so far it's going well and I'm managing to integrate her into the group.
Mostly it's just me and the girls through the day while Jess and Linda are at the pool and Emily has to oversee all the bunks. At first this was SO stressful and I really was feeling the strain yesterday getting them to listen and respect me but tonight we really made a breakthrough. I asked the other counselors to take a break so I could handle the girls by myself so they could learn to respect my authority and it really worked. We formed a circle and discussed what we liked and disliked about the day and how we could improve tomorrow. They were all honest with each other but respectful and for the first time they really concentrated on what I was asking them to do. Afterwards the twins and Julia came over to me and said they really found it helpful and wanted to do it every night. I felt like I finally made a connection with her at last! They also said we're much nicer than their counselors last year who were apparently awful...but I'm not going to be a walkover! haha anyway I've just got them to bed and left the other counselors with them so I'd better go back now. Speak soon xxx