Towards the end of orientation we had all settled in pretty well and each made a few good friends. My roommate Kyle and I had gotten into the habit of going to the camp gym pretty much every day. It’s pretty simple but does the job – one of the weights is a branch with two milk cartons filled with water on each end. We also had a press up set which we did every morning. All the counselors had also gotten into the habit of staying up late pretty much every night and life was pretty chill.
When the kids arrived this all changed. The amount of free time we had was cut down dramatically due to our teaching periods and lifeguard duty kicking in. I didn’t really have many complaints though; the waterfront is a great place to work and is so picturesque. Teaching is also great. Due to my competitive swimming background I’ve been placed with the higher 3rd and 4th level swimmers. There are fewer of these than the 1st or 2nd levels and I usually have groups of 3 or 4 for a period, sometimes even one on ones. The small groups are great as you can really focus on their technique. It’s still teaching but on the verge of coaching and I feel that’s a good position for me at the moment as I’ve taken my teaching course but really want to complete my coaching course when i return to the UK.
As well as life guarding and teaching swimming I’m also ½ of the coaching team for the camp swim team. The other half is Sasha who has become a good friend of mine and she has been a camper and now counselor for many years so can show me the ropes. We have several swim meets through the year and swim team practice is scheduled in 3 times a week. I’ve really enjoyed taking the swim sessions so far and applying different things I’ve learned over the years to see how they work out. The kids are also really good – we have 3 national swimmers and a few club swimmers as well so I’m looking forward to the meets and travelling to other camps!
As well as normal teaching periods, life guarding and swim team, there is also a period after supper called evening unit. At the beginning of summer counselors wrote down all the activities they enjoyed which ranged from nail painting to kickball. Now the kids are here 3 or 4 of these activities are made available for the kids to do for an hour. So far this summer I’ve taken Frisbee, ping pong and kickball. Frisbee has to be the most exciting but tiring of these; around 20-30 kids were chasing myself and two other non-lodgers, Marc and Ryan, around a field trying to steal the Frisbee from us. After 5 minutes I was dead and we played for just under an hour – I was super achy the next day.
All in all even though the arrival of the kids has cut down our free time dramatically I don’t think it’s that bad. Yes I’m pretty much constantly tired but teaching and coaching are so much fun it’s kinda worth it. You just have to use you’re time wisely; when you have time for a nap take it and don’t be afraid to say no to going out one night to catch up on sleep. Don’t let the fear of missing out (FOMO) rule you!