The one with the new kids

Second session for me started off with the incredible news that, yes, we would only be having five kids! The delight between my co and I was tangible, as we fist pumped out of the gymnasium with our new crew in tow. There was an odd shift in numbers, meaning that this session, there were a lot more girls than boys, so from a hellish first of seven, five with extra staff on hand should have been a piece of cake. Should.

Of the five kids, one, D, is probably the best child I have ever seen, he listens, does what he’s told, and is all around a total boss!

Of the five kids, one, S, is probably the funniest child I have ever met. He had this hilariously air-headed accent and comes up with the most fantastic lines. He becomes passionately fascinated with various things, currently Legos; “I love Legos. Legos is like a part of my life, I just can’t stop thinking about Legos”. I would love to take a peek into his brain and see what goes on as the world must be a wonderful place through his eyes! “Do you know that life is like minecraft, but you dot have any weapons”. I asked him the other day whether he’d like to be a counsellor when he grows up to which he replied: “I don’t want to be a counsellor, when I grow up ima be the president!” Look out, America!

Of the five kids, one, Sh, is a …tricky. If you’ve ever seen the film Hulk, you’ll know what I mean when I say he’s like Bruce Banner; mild mannered and actually quite fun normally but when something sets him off, he becomes consumed with this terrible rage that takes several people to quell. He will run anywhere and everywhere and is really quite a handful when he enters these fits, pulling out every card in the book to manipulate you and get his own way.

If I’m totally honest with myself, life would be a lot easier if he did get sent home like one of the kids in the tent across from us who lasted little more than three hours. However, as hard as it is for us as counsellors, having to give him 2:1 attention at the expense of the other campers, this, for him, is a lot better than home. It comes through in a lot of what he does; he’s had to fight hard to get to where he is, and it’s hard to break walls down that he’s been forced to build over the last seven years.

We did see a small breakthrough though when he went around and gave us all hugs, and there were some really lovely moments watching him “play camping” on the bed under blankets with a few of the other kids, watching him having genuine fun and laugh his age! So, for now, we’ll fight to keep him.

I feel the worst of storming is now over. A few temper tantrums, lethargy, petty arguments over who’s soccer ball it is and some time outs are the worst we’ve had, and now we’re into norming, hallelujah! We didn’t really see much of this last session but the kids are becoming settled in their groups. You still have the odd child who just loves picking fights, but at least it’s not a whole tents worth. So we have more time to relax and actually have fun doing our job, which is nice.

B

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