Back in the summer of 1999, I was home from college. Home from freedom... that wasn't going to work. So I sought out a summer job that would take me away from home. My best friend Becky, she's been shown here before, was working at a camp for the second summer and said that if I should join her. We had grown up in scouts together - in fact we became friends at a camp (after knowing each other for an entire school year and hating each other.) And so I thought GREAT! I loved working with younger girls and it would be an adventure.....
Oh my word, did that phrase come back to bite us all in the arse! You see - the way this camp was laid out staff wise is as follows (roughly from my memory): 1 camp director, 1 assistant director, 1 cook, 1 assistant cook, 2 nurses, 1 life guard: KP, 1 activities director: Ivy, 4 unit leaders, 2 foreign exchange counselors and about a dozen other counselors (that was me and Becky.) Now why on earth did I just give you a list of all the staffing positions? Well to make the following list easier to understand the chaos.
The summer began with staff orientation, we all meet and become acquainted with one another. Our two exchange counselors both happen to be from Russia, they didn't know each other before, but it seems GREAT that they have a common companion. We all sleep outside under overhangs, but basically outside. We sleep on beds inside our sleeping bags and tarps cover our beds during the day (and night... it gets dewy,) orientation ends and that's basically the beginning of everything.
My brain is fussy as to the when and where of each specific nut falling from the tree, but the general order is as follows: The camp director quits, the assistant director isn't old enough to be in charge, so nurse #1 takes over as camp director and continues her nursing duties, I leave for a week for a prearranged nannying job and while I am gone 2 unit leaders quit, they then take the oldest counselors and put them in the unit leader jobs (one of those was Becky), in the middle of the night Becky is hauled out of bed and is helping nurse #1, Ivy and KP chase nurse #2 out of camp. In theory he had a knife... it was all chaotic and unexplainable. Nurse #1 is now the only nurse AND camp director. Assistant camp director quits after having some scandal with another counselor... (yes all girls camp.) We're in the mountains, there are bears. Bears climb into windows of the Pill Box (Nurses Station) we chase them out of camp. Many small children are falling down throughout camp causing multiple trips down the mountain for legal reasons to verify and confirm they are in fact fine. Toward the end of the sessions, this includes a trip to the ER for myself who busted a tendon in her hand when assisting taking out the trash. Someone had to cut my meat the rest of camp. After Nurse #2 ran off, then the Russians started to wander off. No one wanted them in their unit - they were negative staff (or just two more children in your charge.) One night they left camp for good. Those in charge pulled their work visas and they were never heard from again. Basically they defected. Delightful. Now we're two more counselors down. We end up running out of so many counselors to girls ratio that myself and another counselor Melody had to sit in a bathroom that is shared between two of the units and played Indian head poker for 2 hours, in order to be "legal" HA!!! while the unit leaders had a meeting. Then our cook (a batty ol' woman) carved a frozen ham with the wood saw and then
Now in the staff house we had a board, it was a very cathartic board. It is where we wrote our
Now all this sounds insane, maddening or plain confusing.... it was! But you know, all the campers were always safe and it was one of the best summers of my life and I came back the next year, as the chef... well after the other cook had quit. :)