This week I kicked off Monday with the addition of the Orange group; we now have five groups of kids and one floater, Cassie, whom I mentioned in my first blog. I feel like we are now all properly positioned and that we're working in full-capacity. The first two weeks we kind of jumped around and a few people were sent home due to low numbers and camp, and this week that didn't have to happen. It feels much more organized than before, and so I am happy.
My group is mainly comprised of the (for lack of a better term) "problem" kids from each group. These aren't bad kids, but simply kids who have issues with listening and following directions and don't play well with the kids in their group. I was genuinely surprised by a few of them, who in their groups were absolute terrors and were constantly trouble but when put in this new environment were not just well-behaved, but kids I now enjoy having around. One in particular used to fight and then whine like a baby when he was disciplined, but once in the new group he became a leader, showing the other kids how to play with toys and reminding others of the rules. Unfortunately, one of my kids was removed from camp Monday afternoon. He was not necessarily a problem kid, but one that was obviously not ready for camp. You could tell he was an only child and was absolutely babied at home, so anything you asked him to do he blatantly defied you. I think being in school for a year will do him some good and hopefully next summer we'll see him again.
This week was kind of rough. In some respects it was much better, but if we're judging based on our kids' behaviors it started well and went downhill. Things were fine until Wednesday, which is when we went to Daytona Lagoon for field trip. One of our new counselors, Justyn, apparently has known nothing of the trip schedule since camp has begun and thus knew nothing of us going on Daytona Lagoon. He didn't wear trunks to camp, but rather long pants and was sent home. So right off the bat we were below capacity. The kids were great on the bus and fairly behaved at the kids' zone. We faced an unexpected challenge from the lifeguards who decided for the first time EVER that our kids were not permitted to wear their camp shirts down the water slides. The kids had to remove their shirts and hold them tight down the slide, until they got off, at which point we had to flip them and help them put them back on. Not too difficult, but almost all of our kids went down each of the three slides probably at least twelve times each, so we were down there for a while. It was fun though, and after a bathroom break we headed home because the daily Florida thunderstorms had begun. As we headed back to wait for our bus driver, it began to downpour. So our poor kids had to walk a good five minutes in the rain to the bus before boarding, so we were all completely soaked and freezing for the ride home. At least it helped them fall right to sleep, though ;]
Thursday was truly a difficult day. One of our other counselors left for a week and a half for Greece but didn't remind our site manager, and another counselor didn't come in until eleven. That left four counselors for five groups, each of which were pretty large at about fifteen or sixteen kids a piece. I took both groups, and the combination of the two left me at thirty kids to myself, which normally is not so hard but they just played off of each other and went absolutely crazy. On the playground, a child was stung by a wasp, but he was a trooper. We were also told that day that we couldn't take our kids to the movie room (our last rotation of the day) until five o'clock, which is two more rotations than we usually have. Our kids were exhausted by then and were really irritated to move around that much, but I tried to keep them relaxed by reading stories and visiting our computer room so they could still have fun.
Friday came around and we finally got in the pool! After a two week hiatus I can say with certainty there was no better feeling in the world than soaking in the cool water in ninety degree heat. We had to rush to lunch shortly after returning, so some of the kids had to change their clothes after eating, but it all went pretty smoothly. We visited the computer room again after lunch, but this time instead of just playing on PBSkids.org, I taught them how to login, choose Safari and type in PBSkids all for themselves. Although they were totally bored and frustrated while it was happening, afterwards in the movie room I heard several of them bragging to other kids that they knew how to use the computer now. Next week's lesson: shutting them down! I love tiny victories like this, because when they get back to school in August it'll be one less skill they have to learn in a short amount of time.
So that was my week! Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! B<3!