(My apologies if you recognize my title’s quote, but it seemed appropriate and I’m not one to deny my past.)
So, camp is over and it’s time I actually sat down and, you know, wrote about it. This was not the original plan, but I’m going with the ‘better late than never’ approach, per my usual. I imagine that this will remove some of the charm and interest of it, but I went through the trouble of starting this newer version of the blog so I might as well use it.
Moving on to actually writing about camp….
Having completed the summer, I can now confidently say that this camp and my previous camp are two entirely different beasts that really aren’t terribly comparable. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to compare them anyway.
My previous camp, where I was a camper growing up and I later became a counselor and staff person, was an environmentally aware Christian overnight camp with one-week sessions where all the campers were in the same age group. Volunteer counselors came for the week to provide in-cabin supervision and week-specific programming, while permanent summer staff took care of the constants such as cooking, cleaning, life guarding, and standard programming. The week’s schedule was determined by the deans of the session.
This camp was a nature-centric day camp where sessions could be either one week or two, and multiple sessions were held at once for different age groups. You and a co-counselor are solely responsible for all programming and child care duties for your session, though support was available in the form of previous lesson plans, a helpful camp director, and the occasional counselor-in-training. Normally, counselors are assigned an age group and that is whom they work with all summer, but this year was different. Due to several sessions being canceled on account of low enrollment, staff were regularly shuffled about between the age groups. I was one of the more frequently swapped counselors, working with four out of the five different age groups over the course of the summer.
My summer schedule ended up looking like this:
3 weeks of canoeing with 6-7th graders, the first session (2 weeks) culminated in an overnight camping trip on the Charles River
2 weeks of day trips around the Boston area with 8-9th graders, culminating in a two-night camping trip on Bumpkin Island in Boston Harbor
1 week of teaching about bugs, insects, arachnids, etc. to 2nd and 3rd graders on site
1 week of teaching about critters that build things to make their habitat better suited to them (beavers, birds, ants, spiders, etc.) to K-1st graders
(The remaining age group was 4-5th graders, who ended their two-week sessions with an overnight experience at our nature center.)
I hope to at least touch upon each week here, though I’m already forgetting many of the details of my first few weeks, so I may have to approach this with rather broad strokes.