Thursday, July 06, 2006

Random Childhood Memories #9 - Day Camp Counselor

All events age 17 (from one single summer) at the YMCA Summer Day Camp.

--As a reward for good behavior, we had taken a group of 12 kids to the mall to play video games at the arcade. They had a fantastic time except that when we got back, there was only 11. We knew for a fact that we didn't leave anyone at the mall because of our fool-proof counting system. She had somehow disappeared AFTER we got back to the Y. After nearly 3 hours of frantically searching, we found her asleep under the back seat of the van.

--I was the "tough" counselor. I had all the bad kids in my group. I ran a very tight ship, and when someone screwed up, the whole group paid the price. Most often the punishment would be physical activity such as push ups or laps around the track. I did every punishment with them. Once I got called into the boss' office and she told me a parent suggested I was being too hard on her kid (of course, he was the worst one). We laughed together and decided we'd make it even harder on him the next week. He needed it (and loved it) more than anyone.

--We once took over 60 kids to the Astrodome to watch the Houston Astros play a baseball game. We piled on two huge school buses, drove 40 miles into Houston, ate our box lunches in the grass, then all lined up single-file to get in the door. When I presented the ticket handler with a large roll of tickets she said, "Umm, honey, these tickets are for tomorrow's game." I completely freaked out kept my composure and begged on my knees to let us in calmly negotiated our entrance.

--One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken was hung up on the Bulletin Board in the lobby at the Y. I had two kids on each leg, one on each arm, and one on my back. That's pretty much how it was the whole time I was there. Too bad I didn't think to get a copy.

--On another field trip, we took about 30 kids to an "animal farm." The flyers touted all the fun the kids would have petting and riding the animals, including numerous games and fun activities. When we got there, there was a mangey, nearly-dead pony tied to a tree, a cocker spaniel, a goose and a goat. The activities were a rusty swing set and horseshoes. I didn't even let the kids out of the car. It was awful.

--At a "lock-in" (where the kids stay the night in the gym), we were playing dodge ball with various sizes of the red, pimply rubber gym balls. I threw one pretty hard at one of the bigger kids and as he dodged it, it accidentally hit one of the smaller girls square in the face. It hit her so hard, she just stood there dazed for a full minute before the tears began to fall. I felt so awful I wound up playing dolls all night long.


Post a Comment

<< Home