I love college camps … and I dread college camps, (a little). As a teacher, it’s just part of the job. It’s an exhausting time for us as teachers, but it’s also a time where we laugh so much with our students and colleagues. I love camp because of the experiences we get to share with our students. We see a different side to our students, as they do us. It gives us an opportunity to connect with our students in a way we can’t possibly in the classroom. We see leadership, teamwork and best of all camaraderie.
Now I also said I dread camp too. When I say dread, I do only mean a little bit. That is simply because of the massive amount of organisation that is required when planning a camp. And as if organising the camp is not enough to take care of we also have to organise our own families for while we are away. As a single mum, it is simply not an option for me to leave my son Carson at home alone, so the challenge for me is who can I convince to take my son for a few nights, knowing full well that he will totally eat them out of house and home.
I want to leave you with a couple of camp stories that warmed my heart. These are just a few of many, many stories that each of us have from camp.
My first story is about a girl in my group. She’s very sweet and quiet as a mouse in the classroom. She went on the giant swing, was pulled up into the air 17 metres, where she had to pull her own ripcord to enable the swing to drop and swing – which she did, fearlessly. She then proceeded to swing back and forth through the air, arms outstretched singing at the top of her lungs, ‘I came in like a wrecking ball.’
On another occasion in the Survivor Challenge, my group had finished their activity. Some children fell into the water, and some managed to stay dry throughout. The water was cold and very, very muddy. One boy who was dry was left standing on the floating pontoon, trying to work out how to get back to land, without getting wet. Another older student, who was already wet and muddy, jumped back into the water, (which was only waist deep), and went to the pontoon and piggy-backed the other boy to the waters edge.