So it's been nearly a week, and I think I know what's going on now. Or at least enough to make it look like I do.
This week has been Staff Week where all the camp staff do a load of training and get a taste of what's going to happen throughout the next 3 months. It's been great getting to know everyone and it sounds cliche and cheesy but camp really does have a 'big family' atmosphere to it.
So this week we had all the boring talks but interspersed with doing activities which we'll do with the kids to make it a lot more fun.
We had a campout one night, sitting around the campfire, playing games and cooking for ourselves. The cooking didn't really go to plan. We were supposed to make 'gonk stew' which is a broken up burger patty, potato, onions and carrots all wrapped up in foil and thrown into the fire. However, after an hour of waiting mine still hadn't cooked but I was hungry so ate it anyway. The smores went a lot better. The Americans were all astonded that us international staff hadn't had a smore before and were really happy to show us the way of the smore. It was good, but I don't think it lived up to all the hype.
Another thing that we got to experience was a mini Carnival day and a mini Theme day. Carnival day is exactly what it says on the tin, a load of fun games in the sun with a carnival-esque atmosphere. Theme day splits the group into two teams we were Athletes vs Mathletes and you play team games like catch the flag or 'soccer'. I was a mathlete and was upset to find that all I needed to do was put my glasses on to look geeky, whereas everyone else had to get changed...
I have been doing some actual work too. I'm part of the Fine Arts department which encompasses guitar, arts and crafts, photography, jewellry making, dance and drama and cooking. I've done the lesson plans for guitar, which is my main area and helped to clean the kitchen. My skills as a KP really shone through there, as the kitchen looked like it hadn't been cleaned since it was first installed. There was an ants nest underneath the microwave. I don't think I'm really cut out to be in this department, as most of you will probably already be laughing at the thought of me having to teach things like helping folk make friendship bracelets and learn to dance. Still, maybe I'll come back and you won't recognise me!
We get a lot more time off than what I was expecting. I've been able to go the pub twice already. So my idea that I'd be sober for three months has really gone out the window. But they don't really sell cider here so I'm back to having to like lager.
Back to my 'differences between us and Americans' that I touched on last time. We've been having a cookie/ biscuit/ scone debate. Seriously. What looks like a scone, but they use as a roll for breakfast items is called a 'biscuit'. I don't know who taught them English but they were wrong.
I've also been surprised by the weather. It's a lot rainier and stormier than I signed up for. It's stormy to the extent that there is an alarm which goes off and you have to run inside and stay in your cabin until you hear the all clear. There's another, different alarm which means get under a concrete building until you hear the all clear. I now have an idea what it was like during the war.
Tomorrow the real work starts. We have mini camp which is a three-day camp for 5-8 year olds, which is great for me because I can just go around with the kids and do all the activites with them. On Sunday real camp starts where I'll be stuck doing Fine Arts throughout the day and be responsible for campers (aged 7-15) for the rest of the time.
Cheers for sticking with this if you get to the end! More updates soon, but I am using a camputer with Windows XP and internet explorer.