After dealing with the eldest kids for session one, it was a breath of fresh air to be with some of the youngest for the next two weeks. I had Navajos who were aged between 9 and 11 and were so much more fun than the Utes! Plus, the Navajo cabins have bathrooms inside them, so no more trudging across a muddy field in order to shower or having to keep walking back every time you remember that you left your towel in the cabin.
The only problem I had with the age group was that they couldn't do my favourite activities on the ropes course. We were meant to do the climbing wall one day but unfortunately we missed it because something messed up in the office, which meant that we had to do activity sign-ups during that time. The other things that they got to do were a lot of fun.
One night we had 'Ugliest Counsellor', which doesn't really need explaining. My Co was off so I was the lucky counsellor who got ugly-ed up. As I'd never done it before I just told the girls to go crazy and do what they liked. This resulted in them scooping up cups full of wet mud and proceeding to throw it at me. The backstory for this was that I lived in the woods. The other staff seemed to have given their kids some rules as no one else was covered in mud, although a few were smothered in Nutella…
For Carnival Day I got bumped up to being 'Camp Photographer' as Johnny (the real photographer) was stuck editing a backlog of pictures. Now this is a great job. As long as I got the pictures in focus, I could just wander around not doing much. Another great thing about the Navajos is the PNGC dance. Whilst the Sioux/Ute was from 8-12, the PNGC ice cream social finished at 9.15 and the kids actually danced. I dressed as a penguin and danced the night away. Genuinely one of the funnest dances I've ever been to. Not that there is much to compare it to with all those dances that I'm always going to at home.
The Navajos also get to go on a campout. I was really looking forward to this, two cabins camp out together and cook their own food. Luckily, Steve who runs the campouts is a super nice guy and made my food for me, otherwise I doubt I'd have eaten half as well as I did. We all made Gonk Stew- a mixture of a crushed up burger, cheese, carrots and potato all in a piece of foil and thrown into the fire for ten minutes. It is delicious, even if the name isn't too appealing. I'm also getting pretty good at toasting marshmallows. The whole s'more (I have no idea why the apostrophe is there but it is) thing is okay but I don't like American chocolate (Read: Send me Cadburys please) so I just stick to perfecting my marshmallow technique. As the bed that I'm staying in doesn't have any sides, sleeping on the floor was actually pretty comfortable. It was one of the best nights sleep that I had, even though I was sharing a tent with eight noisy children.
The All Camp Dance theme this time was 'Gender Blender' which meant girls dressed as boys and vice versa. Whilst I wasn't too pleased that I got 'You make a good boy' comments when all I did was put my hair up and wear a cap, I was happy not to have made as much effort as some of the boys. The older campers got really into the theme and we had an obscene number of slutty boys wandering around in bikinis, mini skirts and tight fitting dresses. It was all a little inappropriate but they seemed to have fun.
During this session we also had July 4th. I wasn't sure what to expect, I knew that some of the kids were really excited about it as when they moved in they had boxes of American flags and other red, white and blue paraphernalia, but I wasn't sure what for. I was aware of the patriotism of America as we have to do 'flag' every morning before breakfast where 3 volunteers raise the American flag whilst we look on in silence. On America Day, this was all taken to a new level. Everyone was dressed in an American flag. The national anthem was sung. Staff were told that if they were wearing a shirt with a US flag on it, then they didn't have to wear a staff shirt. Chants of 'USA, USA' where everywhere as well as random calls of 'Amurica!' The day culminated in a competition in which each cabin were to decorate their table in as much 'America' stuff as possible and the winners would get to go off camp and watch some fireworks. My cabin put a good effort in but didn't win. I was on my EO that night anyway, so I wouldn't have gotten to go to the fireworks. Instead, I had a nice meal and sat on the beach, away from all the craziness. That kind of patriotism is only ever seen in the UK if we start winning international sporting competitions or by the BNP…
This session also marks the day where I achieved a long-time dream: to go to Warped Tour! On my day off I got to go to the rock festival, albeit for only 3 hours or so but I went there and got the T-shirt so it totally counts. We had to be back in time for dinner (our days off aren't really days) so had to leave early but still, it was awesome. And now I need to come back to America for another summer so that I can actually go for the entire day.