Now the kids have been here a couple of weeks things are starting to calm down after a hectic settling in period. The first few days of the kids being here were hectic and free time was pretty much non-existent. Now the schedule has fully kicked in it’s more relaxed, there’s still not much free time but I’ve settled into the teaching schedule and non-lodge duties.
The duties we have are quite fun to be honest. One of the more entertaining duties we have is reading the news during assembly in the morning on the big rock outside the main lodge porch. As the girls are not allowed phones at camp they don’t have any clue about what’s happening in the outside world other than letters or calls they receive from home. The standard topics we read are sport, which is mainly baseball, as well as weather. We can chose fun news stories to add into it as well. We get a bit ridiculous sometimes and say it’s a national day of dinosaurs for instance and give out dinosaur facts. There has also been national ant, pig and bee day so far. No one questions the legitimacy of these national days, such is the authority that comes with reading the news. Admittedly getting up and speaking in front of 250 people was daunting at first but after a few days you learn to take it in your stride – public speaking life skills ticked off!
Another fun responsibility of the non-lodgers is candy line. Every Monday and Thursday we line candy up on the main porch and the kids come up to the main lodge after rest hour and are allowed to buy one candy item for 50 cents. It’s pretty fun, there’s lots of shouting by us guys telling kids that a quick decision is a good decision and that they need to donate all their change to the donation box. Of course us non lodgers get a free candy bar.
Non lodgers also take it in turns in pairs to be on Night patrol. Night patrol starts when the youngest kids go to bed at 8. We make 2 rounds during the night making sure that all is well in the cabins and no one unexpected is on the docks or the beach, we also occasionally have to dodge porcupines on our cabin rounds. In between the rounds we take the opportunity to engage in the gentlemanly sports of Risk and Monopoly in the main lodge. Night patrol officially ends at 11pm but if these games are being played we can be there until the early hours of the morning trying to gain dominance.
Meal times at camp are interesting. Two counsellors sit at a table with either 6 or 7 campers and one counsellor is the head. The campers and counsellors change once a week. One week you might have a really talkative and fun table and the other not so much. You try loads to start conversation but if a kid doesn’t want to talk there’s not much you can do. Food at camp is a bit hit and miss; for breakfast some mornings we have scrambled eggs and pancakes which is great, and others we have muffins – I like muffins, but not for breakfast. Dinner and supper are pretty good but sometimes we have Corndogs or Nachos which kind of puts you in a bad mood because all you want is decent food after a long day teaching. However no matter the food, meal time is another opportunity for us guys to get to know the kids at our table who we might not have necessarily met during the rest of our camp life.
All in all a non-lodgers responsibilities and tasks are very different to the female lodge counsellors. They’re varied and very fun whilst also allowing us to interact with the kids during multiple occasions outside our activity periods. We experience things at camp that the lodge counsellor’s wont necessarily experience so we’re in quite lucky position in that respect.