What struck me most about the third was the fact that I was super emotional watching the kids go.
I had quite an odd tent, with a mix of seven and nine year olds. This was initially quite a challenge, given the mental age gap between the two, but they have been absolute angels in comparison to the other two sessions. Don’t get me wrong, there were still times where J and I got mad, but they were just being kids!
I felt like a proud dad when one of my kids passed his blue level swim test, allowing him (and us, finally!) to swim in the deep – the first time it’s happened in years. I also managed to teach two kids how to ride a bike for the first time with no training wheels which filled me with relief more than pride as biking with the young ones often involves us doing 95% of the work whilst they sit there enjoying the ride.
We were also the first little johns in a long while to have an entry in the talent show! They all got together and did a cute dance to Bruno Mars. If I’m honest, in comparison to the other entries, ours wasn’t great, but I’m just amazed that this was something they really wanted to do and pulled through with it, despite nerves and tantrums.
The talent show this session was actually one of my favourites. Despite the circumstances of some of these kids, there is some absolutely amazing talent. I’m struggling not to use the diamond analogy, but being pressed in at all sides does sometimes yield gems!
These were some of the Sherwood boys
I loved this because it was so different from the other dances. It’s rare kids this age would try contemporary!
This was my favourite act of the night. One day during music, JJ, the girl, started singing this song. T, the guy, then hopped on the piano and started singing and playing along whilst another girl made a beat tapping on the acoustic guitar. The result was enchanting. We had a talent agency visit from across the way a few days ago. They loved his music so much they donated a piano as he only has a chance to practice on sundays at church. His passion for music is absolutely astonishing.
The banquet that follows was also one of the best. Our unit leader staged a wedding with the unit leader of the oldest girls’ hill as everyone said they should get married. It was hilarious, and genuinely would have made a lovely real wedding ceremony!
I didn’t really expect to get so attached to the place when I first arrived, treating it more like a job than camp, but everyone is genuinely like one big family. Yes, like any family, it has its cracks and flaws, but then you have moments like this when everyone gets together to have fun. Those are the memories I’ll be taking back with me!