For the past two weeks I’ve been living in the middle of the woods. As creepy as at sounds, it’s actually been pretty great.
I’m spending the American summer working at a summer camp in the mountains of northern Arizona (if you already didn’t know). I arrived here on the 24th of May and for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been training for when the campers get here. They officially arrive tomorrow after midday and I’m super excited/nervous at the same time, but more on that later.
My camp is pretty much the stereotype of American summer camps. Rustic cabins in the middle of the woods, big mess halls where everyone eats, shared toilets and showers, fire pits for camp fires and lots of pine trees. Every morning we raise the American flag and say the pledge of allegiance and at night we take the flag down and fold it in a special triangle (don’t ask me why). All meals are canteen style and there is extreme amounts of singing before all meals – we all get into it, it gets pretty fun. Walking along the paths, it’s common to see lizards and squirrels running by and at night you can sometimes hear the packs of coyotes in the distance. If there are less than 2 spiders in your shower, then you’re considered extremely lucky, but you never know when you’re going to get a cold shower.
I’m also happy to report that I’ve made friends! We’re a team of 40 staff and I’m the only one from Australia. As well, there are girls from England, New Zealand and South Africa. All together, we’re considered the ‘internationals’ (I feel kind of special) and we’re usually the ones who are clueless as to what’s going on.
Summing up briefly, we spent most of the last two weeks preparing for the campers. I’m now first aid and CPS certified and can deal with a homesick kid. I’ve ridden a horse, shot a bow and arrow, gone canoeing, eaten my first s’more, had my first camp campfire, roasted marshmallows and have become skilled in the art of friendship bracelet making (I can do 4 different types, and I’ve received 5 from people already!).
Tomorrow is the big day. For the first week I’m going to be looking after 7 and 8 year old girls. I don’t exactly know how I’m going to keep them entertained for the entirety of the day, let alone week, but we’ll see how everything goes. I’m pretty nervous to be put in the position of in loco parentis but I’m excited for the kids to come. Camp will finally be camp, and I’ll finally get a chance to do my job.
Hopefully I won’t die of screaming little girls.