I miss working there and everyone I know irl has already heard just about everything and I like talking about it, so if nothing is going through anymore, perhaps a mix of wholesomeness and drama will.

 

Day 1

 

One time I was helping teach a class, I think it was the Chemistry merit badge, which I had no idea what to do in. This camper comes in twenty minutes late, and you could kind of tell that it was his first time at camp. He looked very unsure of himself, and was shorter than I was, so I assumed he was pretty young. Anyways, he looks at us and goes, "Is this the Archeology class?"

The other counselor and I look at each other. There were two issues with this kid's question. One, he was on the exact opposite side of camp he was supposed to be in, and about two hours late.

So I hop off the picnic table and go over to him and ask him if he has a schedule or something like that for all his classes that he's supposed to go to. His eyes go wide and he shakes his head; it hadn't occured to him that such a thing existed. No worries, he can get one printed out at the admin office. I ask him if he knows where it is and once again he says no. He's getting a little worked up now, and I'm not about to have a first year freak out on me. So I ditch my class that I was doing just about nothing in anyways to take this kid up to the office.

On the way there, I start talking to him about stuff. Other merit badges he's taking, how he likes camp so far, all my basic talking points. I come to learn that his name is from the Narnia books, because his mom read the series while she was pregnant and really liked the name. I learned he and I both don't like really big or fast rollercoasters and we went to the same amusement park earlier in the summer. As we get to the office, he's considerably better and doesn't seem so overwhelmed.

He gets his schedule and I walk him to his next class, make him promise to keep track of his schedule, and send him on his way. For the rest of the week whenever he saw me he smiled really big and greeted me by name, and I did the same to him. At the end of the week he tracked me down at the end of the closing campfire and thanked me again.

That was two years ago. I saw him again this past year, and he recognized me immediately, which is honestly one of the best feelings in the world that I made that much of an impact on him that he knew who I was after not seeing me for over a year. He was now taller than me and told me that he makes sure the first years in his troop have their schedules and wants to be a staff member when he's old enough.

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ISHMAEL

 

August 2017 — March 2019

 

13,035 stars uwu

 

When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind. 

 

Why did this italicize

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ISHMAEL

 

August 2017 — March 2019

 

13,035 stars uwu

 

When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind. 

 

*sits in a rocking chair by a fireplace, sipping coffee out of a mug* come in children, come in.

 

Day 2

 

this was also two years ago. in the area I was in, we also provided the Robotics merit badge. It wasn't anything fancy, we just had the kids talk about robots and build one with a group using some old Lego Mindstorms kits. The computers we used to program the bots with ran on Windows 7 and were probably older than me at the time. They worked just fine (for the most part), and usually there was a kid in every class who had some kind of experience with robotics so he could help everyone troubleshoot if they needed to. I myself was never really taught how the Mindstorms program worked, but it was simplisitic enough that I could kind of flub my way through when groups got stuck.

The computers were kept in this plastic bin. Every day I would bring it out so that the campers could work on their robots. Now, once they start programming, I'm not really needed until they get stuck, so there isn't much for me to do. Earlier in the week I would read other merit badge books that I was teaching, but I got through those rather quickly. I start to fidget and mess with things when I'm bored, so I was messing with the lid of the computer containers and decided to put it on my head and see how well I could balance it. It was much easier than I anticipated, so I wore it for the rest of class. For some reason this was the funniest thing ever to the campers, and they begged me to wear it for the rest of the day. So I did. I showed up to the dining hall for lunch with a lid on my head, and they lost their minds. I took it off when I was inside though because it was crowded, but the rest of the staff quickly noticed that I was carrying a lid with me. Staff sits outside for lunch, so I was able to put it on, and immediately people started to stack as many cups as they could while still keeping it on my head. We almost got it entirely filled, but then someone knocked it off my head. And let me tell you, 30 cups hitting the ground at once is about as loud as a jet engine.

I ended up wearing that lid for two days straight until I had to put it back with the container at the end of the week. It ended up being very useful to me, but that's another story for another day.

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ISHMAEL

 

August 2017 — March 2019

 

13,035 stars uwu

 

When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind. 

 

Day 3

 

This was during the period in which I had the lid. One of those days, it was raining particularly hard. It was the type of rain where we told campers to stay off certain trails because no one wanted to haul a kid with a broken leg out of a ravine. Me being me, I had left my rain gear back in the staff housing and I didn't have time to get it until dinner. So naturally, I wore the lid as a kind of umbrella. It worked surprisingly well, even though I had to dump out the water that pooled on it every few minutes.

Sometimes if it's too rainy, we'll allow kids to hang out under our permanent shelter until it lightens up. Most of the campers brought rain gear, and the ones that didn't either didn't care or were forced to improvise and make ponchos out of trash bags (which work remarkably well, I might add). One by one they would leave the shelter to go to their next class, and soon enough someone else coming for one of my classes would take their place. We easily had 40 campers under this gazebo, enough to make me feel like it was necessary to stand on a picnic table to make sure I could see everyone. That's how I saw this one kid who was on the verge of freaking out.

I feel like I should say that I don't make it a habit to shuttle kids to and from their classes whenever they get in a situation, but the story I told earlier reminded me of this one. Anyway I ask this camper what's going on. it turns out that he had forgotten his raingear, which was a huge problem for him; he had cochlear implants on both of his ears, and he told me that they couldn't get wet in any way. I told him that he could stay under the shelter as long as he liked-- many staff members weren't expecting to hold a very good class in this kind of weather anyways and he would at least be accounted for if he stayed. But he was adamant that he get to his next class on time. The other counselors and I looked at each other and we had one of those silent conversations. I say 'conversations' but the looks I were given were more along the lines of 'Ishmael has a lid and it would be faster than us lending raingear'. So I gave the camper my lid and told him to angle it so the wind wouldn't hit him. The wind in question was head-on most of the way and so this kid literally couldn't see where he was going, so I went with him. It was not a fun experience and I was soaked through very quickly, but I got him to his class which was thankfully not that far away, took my lid back, and went back to my area.

I came back looking like a waterlogged rat and had to wring out my socks.

To this day I don't know what that kid was thinking when he saw someone that was supposed to be professional say "here, take this" and hand him a plastic lid to protect himself with

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ISHMAEL

 

August 2017 — March 2019

 

13,035 stars uwu

 

When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind. 

 

I was going to make a comment about how these are the only posts of mine that go through within minutes of sending, but this one took an entire day.

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ISHMAEL

 

August 2017 — March 2019

 

13,035 stars uwu

 

When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind. 

 

Yep well please keep going if there is more...

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{Jacquelyn}

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

"Princess Inferno"

"Straight"

"Animus; Thrice Moon Born; Venom; Camouflage"

"Queen Glory x Death-bringer"

"Proued Christian and friend of Seeker"

Somsay stange

Some say odd

I say child of the Living God

keep going this is very interesing

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call me Eliza

 

"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." ~Albus Dumbledore

 

Oh yes, oh yes, IT'S SPRINGTIME!

 

WE are not Forumers.

WE are the Forums.

And we all have the power of Wings of Fire.

 

We goin' to the other side...

Day 4

 

Telling these stories sets off a chain reaction of stuff I forget out of that context. 

The same week of the lid and the rain and all that, one of the classes that I taught was the Oceanography merit badge. "But Ishmael!" You might be saying to yourself. "What can you do with oceanography at a summer camp?" And the answer to that is I talk. A lot. Mostly about ocean animals because I know enough random facts to keep it interesting when I have to talk for two days straight about ocean landforms. As you can imagine, it's not a very popular class. We had probably 16 campers in total taking it (we can easily house 700+ a week) and since the cap for the class was 14, there had to be a class where only two campers were there. I got that class. I had found a box of sand to use and fill with water to simulate oceans and stuff, which was a great find because since I did only have two people in my class, I went through my material really fast. I would probably spend half the class with actual merit badge work I had to do for the day, and the rest of the hour was just the three of us  messing with the sand and talking. It was by far my easiest class, and the other area staff knew it, so the other counselor teaching Oceanography, let's call him... Baguette, pulled me in to help him teach his class with him since I was on break at that time.

And let me tell you, some of those children were one of the most chaotic beings I have ever had the experience of seeing. Going from two to fourteen was rattling, but it meant there was a lot more questions hurled my way than I was even remotely prepared for. I did not expect to have a 20-minute exchange with a bunch of middle schoolers about if a dolphin was a fish or not and all sorts of weird classifications of other animals and if they were mammals or birds or fish or whatever, but that's what I did. Towards the end of the week they all had to make a five minute speech about something related to Oceanography. many of them just parrot what we talked about over the course of the week, but some campers get more into it; one time I had a kid speak about how this class changed his life and made him want to persue a career in Oceanography, and more power to him. 

The end of the week comes, and the rains came with it. I do not teach that class under the main permanent shelter. We set up canopies at picnic tables scattered around open spaces around the area. They're pretty much metal poles with tarp roofs. The tarps aren't taught, so when it rains you sometimes get these pools of rainwater that cause it to sag even more. You have to pushthe water off and it makes a great big noise. I usually tried to do it as casually as possible because if I even acknowledged the fact I was doing it, all the campers would want to try and focus on that instead of my beautiful face and I didn't get paid enough to deal with that.

So it's raining like crazy, the tarp makes it really loud, and I'm trying to hear whatever kid was speaking, time him, clear the water pockets and make sure no one else was doing it. It felt a lot like bailing out a leaky boat with a teaspoon. But we all got through it, even though these campers had to literally scream so people could hear them above the sound of the rain. It's still one of my favorite classes to teach because it is so low key, but I think the camp might be getting rid of it this year. I understand, like I said, it's not a popular class and isn't really worth the time slots it takes up, but it's still enjoyable, for me at least.

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ISHMAEL

 

August 2017 — March 2019

 

13,035 stars uwu

 

When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind. 

 

*pulls out panda snuggie and sits criss cross Apple sauce* this is just so pure and amazing I'm living in this thread now 

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     Slytherin

Panromantic