Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Day in the Life.

As you know I just returned from my 8th summer working at a camp in Maine. TC and I like to spend our summers there because, frankly, it works out well when you're in the education world. We're not counselors, and haven't been for years. We run the waterfront, try to guide a staff of 40 waterfront counselors, live in our own cabin and also try to help out in other random/behind-the-scenes parts of camp. Its a tough life but somebody's got to do it.

I thought you'd like to see what a typical day is like for us. It's a bit crazy so hang on to your hat.

Camp is a busy place and every day is completely different than the one before it. That being said, there is a general routine that I follow every day. It just doesn't really work that often.

Most days TC and I wake up around 7:15am. We are tired and not ready to open our eyes. We were usually up until 1am the night before and after a while six hours of sleep starts to catch up.

We walk across camp to the dining hall where we can finally get a cup of coffee.

Coffee in hand, I go to my morning meeting in the Arts and Crafts building. TC and I are what we call Area Directors, which means we are responsible for an area and activity of camp. TC and I run the waterfront but we also have an athletics director, a theater director, tennis get the idea.

Anyway, we all meet every morning to go over the day, work out any kinks and get everything organized.

From there I head to breakfast with the other 599 people on camp. I try to eat Cheerios and banana every morning but mostly I end up with eggs or a bagel.

That could explain the ten pounds I've gained...

After breakfast I write the daily blog for camp. I write it from the perspective of our mascot, the moose. Usually I go up to the only place on camp where I can get some peace and quiet - the maintenance shop.

While I'm there I usually have something for Gene to fix. On this particular day I needed to cut some plywood to make into plaques for a swimming trophy.

When I leave I head down to the lake. First, I check in with Marcus, who runs the swim beach. 

He's wonderful and I never, ever want him to leave.

Then I meander on down the shoreline and find TC who is working with one of our crew counselors to fix up the oars. 

We're pretty hard on the equipment here and it takes a lot of mainenance to keep it all in working order. Maybe if we didn't have 400 children using it everyday we wouldn't have these problems. But then again, I'd be out of a job so I guess these aren't bad problems to have.

Next I usually head out on the lake to check in with everyone and say hi from my jet ski or pontoon boat.

After a few hours of working on the lake, it's time for a mid-morning snack that we call Fruit Break. Yes, we even have a song about it. It's titled, Fruit Break. Shocking, I know.

This day was a treat - pears. Peaches? A real treat. As are plums. But mostly it is apples. It's always at least a ten minute discussion to try and guess if it is going to be red or green that day.

Oh, this is what I look like every day. Pink flip-flops, Nike shorts, a bathing suit, a grey staff t-shirt, a SeaDogs baseball hat, a life jacket, and a walkie-talkie. 

It's really a good look, I know.

We also take quick breaks to reapply sunscreen while eating our fruit.

About this time the boss man usually walks by to say hi. He's friendly as usual. Kidding! I'm kidding. He's wonderful and I couldn't ask for a better boss man.

At 1:00 its time for lunch. Lunch is buffet style and most people eat outside. I've baked in the sun all day at this point so I eat inside where I can finally get some shade while enjoying my salad.

After lunch, I head back out on my old busted jet ski. I like to leave the shiny new ones for the counselors to drive. Every day I take Ellyssa the photographer out with me so she can grab some good shots for the website.

We swing by my beloved MasterCraft ski boats to make sure all is well and everyone is behaving themselves.

Next up, I get in the new big-boy pontoon boat and take out a photography class that has requested a tour of the lake.

When I get back I discover that someone has decided their walkie-talkie was hot and wanted to cool off in the lake. I try to take it apart to dry it out but am unsuccessful so I call in TC because he is much better at these things than I am. We make a good team.

At this point the wind is picking up and it is a guarantee that all 14 sail boats are going to be going in eight million directions. Therefore, I grab my favorite sailing director and head back out to try and keep all the boats from capsizing.

While I'm out with sailing a ski boat radios in that their boat won't start. So I go out and have a look. Sure enough, it's dead. I call TC and he comes out to bring in the skiiers and then comes back out to tow me back to the dock.

Once I get the boat to the dock I climb in it to have one last go at starting the engine. As I climb in I manage to step on a wayward upholstery staple that goes directly into my heel. Deep. I scream in pain, am totally freaked out and then ask a counselor to pull it out because I can't stand the though of it in my foot. What if it hits my bone?! 

When I manage to walk myself to the health center, that is manned with plenty of nurses, I see my boss and he hands me a delicious soda as a treat. That and the band aid helped dry my tears.

Then I go to the office and call the mechanic so that we can get the boat up and running by the next morning.

After activities are over for the day the whole camp gathers at a place we call Cove where our director greets everyone, announcements are made and songs are sung.

From there we all adjourn to dinner. Most nights are normal dinners, like spaghetti or baked chicken. This night was special and we had a lobster and steak feast. As always, it was delicious. 

To end the day we have evening programs. Some night the programs are divided by age groups and they do different activities like Capture the Flag, Name that Tune or something else that probably wouldn't make sense to you. This particular night was a dance, or as we call it, a Social. The counselors always dress up in themes and the younger boys counselors had a gladiator theme going on that night. 

At the end of the night, around 10pm, when all the kids are snuggled in bed a crew of staff stays on duty to make sure all is well. That leaves the rest of us to have the evening to ourselves until 1am. When TC and I aren't on duty we head out to a local dive that serves some of the best adult beverages this side of the Mississippi. We enjoy our evening with out friends, chat about the day, catch up on the gossip and just relax.

Then we wake up the next morning and do it all over again. But with different issues. 

And no staples in my heel. 

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