I am back from four months of being away and you would think I have learnt a lot and grown up. But I have not. I am still pretty much the same person recalling how I thought I would somehow change over the summer. But then some people are just too stubborn to change and that someone might just be me. It’s not that I don’t like change I don’t mind it unless it is change for the worse in my personality or something.
Anyway I went to work in America for 2.5 months at a camp in upstate New York. They say that not all camps are the same and the experience is different at each one, but I doubt I’ll be doing this again. I came out unfulfilled and not impressed with camp. I thought I would love it and have the most amazing summer of my life, but I just came back sad and extremely tired from all the hours they worked us. We were not really allowed to get ill and clogg up the health centre but that is what happens when you overwork people and treat your staff in such a way. The amount of hours I did would be illegal in the UK and certain things make you appreciate the UK a lot more such as the NHS. Though the infirmary was free, we were dissuaded to go. One day, it was visiting day where the parents come to visit the children they dumped at camp for one month or two months. I worked as an Outdoor Adventure Specialist and had to work in the burning sun (heatwave in the US) for 6 hours straight with 20 minutes for my lunch break. I had to run to get my lunch, scoff it down and rush back so that we could manage the unlimited amount of kids choosing to go on the adventure course. it was a manic day which resulted in us closing 1 hour earlier than planned due to the heat. I convinced the head of Outdoor Adventure that my fellow friend (who also worked on the adventure course with me) was sick but refused to get help. She finally ran to the bathroom to be sick. While I too ended up with heatstroke as I finally choked on some water and collapsed. It sounds dramatic and in fact it seem dramatic at the time, but it was just fuss made over nothing- I was just too tired.
No one can understand what I experienced- everyone think that camp is amazing because despite the hard work you make friendships for life, you looks after children and discover your life dream. But for the tiny percentage that don’t like camp which includes me- I discovered I hate working with little brats and can’t stand working with children who don’t want to learn but just want to be selfish and do whatever they want.
The social aspect was great meeting new people and adapting and facing new challenges, but we lived in a camp bubble with no privacy, no respect for personal space. I came to camp prepared to give up drinking for 3 months to work with kids, but when I got there I discovered that we were allowed to go to the bar and drink. On our days off, everyone would make out with each other, get stupidly drunk and sleep with people without having a f””””” clue what they were doing. I was told of “goggle eyes”- which is when in the beginning you are not attracted to a person but having to be forced to live with them for 2 months you eventually find them attractive. Well I sure wouldn’t like it if a guy at first thought I was ugly and then after a month found me more attractive because of the limited amount of girls left to hump. Some people are just superficial!
It was not all bad I did have some fun, but I found it insulting that my camp director told us at orientation that we should get to know our fellow staff because who knows it might be the person you’ll end up “making out” with over the summer. I didn’t think a camp could have such crappy and fake values than the ones espoused. The children were spoilt rich children who had no idea what pain and suffering there was in the world. People complained about the food instead of being grateful they were at least being decently fed and had a bed for the night to sleep.
What’s more I underestimated how much I would miss my family and though some people did not. Being away made me realise the importance of looking after my family and treasuring my good friends who actually love me for who I am and who actually want me back. During my travels I discovered that my aunt, my uncle and a family friend had passed away this summer. These events have made me realise that so much can happen in just 4 months and we must not neglect the ones most important to us. We must treasure and make them feel like the most important people in the world so that they don’t have a reason to give up on life. RIP- may you finally be happy and never alone.
Anyway I hated camp and I never want to return. Though I do remember the fond memories of the people I met and of the fun things I did before the children came. I will never forget the bitchiness, the cruel people who would gladly step on others to get to the top. In fact I am pretty sure that is life- the horrible people somehow manage to climb to the top while the soft and quiet get trampled underneath. It’s time to get a voice, but I sure won’t resort to mean ways to get ahead. Its sad because on my travels I met some very nice people who went to different camps and they were very friendly! Much friendlier than those who went to my camp. It’s a shame really but at least it will give me pleasure when the company who helped find my camp ring me up to ask whether I will be going to camp again, I can gladly say a big fat “NO! Never again”. I’m not one for tormenting myself as much as it is all the rage now since Fifty Shades of Grey!