I can build fires and cook meals over them.
I can keep children amused with a handful of ‘repeat after me’ songs and a parachute.
I can distract a homesick girl at 12pm at night by telling her about my cats.
I have a short fuse when it comes to any kind of tale-telling: someone says, ‘She said that I….’ and I switch off.
I can carry a girl with a twisted ankle all the way to health centre and back.
I can shot rum straight out of the bottle.
I can do somersaults.
I can paddle a homemade raft constructed out of wooden planks, floaties and styrofoam.
I can make crayola paintings and clay pots.
I can direct an entire showcase and not go completely crazy.
I can function an entire day on approximately two hours sleep.
I don’t like most American food.
I have a low pain threshold.
My laugh amuses people overseas as much as it does people back home.
Americans will believe anything if it’s said to them in a British accent.
I am appalling at mini golf.
The final week of camp, last week, passed in one short blur! I was essentially working from 6.30am till 11pm without a break of any description: any spare time I had was spent printing off scripts, writing new scenes and organising workshop sessions for the girls. Still, it was a lot of fun. As I was hired specifically to arrange the drama week, I wanted to do my best and I really enjoyed myself.
Sadly it’s all over now. Friday, after the girls left, was spent cleaning up and making inventories of the arts and crafts supplies. Friday night, we made a big final campfire and sat around it and drank and then did somersaults in the pool until 5am. After two hours sleep, we got up and cleaned camp from top to bottom all day Saturday and headed to the final staff meal in Laurinburg in the evening. It was pretty emotional.
Didn’t want to say bye to any of these amazing new people I’ve met and it’s so unlikely I’ll see many of them again unless I come back to camp next year. Even so, there won’t be exactly the same people here ever again and we’ve had such a fabulous time. Was given a staff memory book full of ‘remember when’s’ and a necklace with my camp name on it. Wish I could add so many more memories of the final week to the staff book, like these:
Kiki doing a tuck and roll off the mule while mule-surfing (standing up on the mule with it going full pelt - something we didn’t do while Ninja was around).
The ‘important visitor’ leaving the clay pit smothered in mud.
‘No no, Boston, no no.’
Cherry giving me a One Direction poster at the final meal in commemoration of us shouting, ‘YOU DON’T KNOW YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL’ across camp whenever we saw each other.
Jaws and Squiggy coming to lunch dressed as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.
The drama girls finishing their final showcase, taking a bow and, as they did so, me putting on ‘Call me Maybe’, at which point every single girl in the audience got up and danced onstage.
Caroline’s ‘underwear sucking’ and ‘bedsheet airing’ incidents (don’t ask).
The disastrous final campfire in which several Brownies nearly got sizzled to death.
Erin’s grandmother’s assessment of her musical preferences: ‘Erin listens to rude music. She was listening to one recently and the lyrics were like -’ (She starts shouting full pelt.) ‘- ‘I LIKE YOUR PANTS AROUND YOUR ANKLES!!!”
Half the counsellors asking for colouring sheets at the final meal.
‘Kiki would never have the AUDACITY to break camp rules.’
Learning how to somersault at 5am whilst more than a little drunk.
In the same night, learning just how many counsellors will fit into a polyhedron floaty.
Ninja: ‘Ah’ve been married three times, now guess why ah left university early.’ Me: ‘Ninja, I don’t know. Tell us.’ Ninja: ‘Ah got distracted.’ (Laughs like a naughty child.)
My final road trip has begun. We’re currently at Kiki’s house in Charleston. On Thursday, Cat will drive us to Savannah and then we take a Greyhound to Atlanta. And then I fly home. Can’t believe how quickly it’s all gone but I’m so thankful for all the hilarious, crazy, beautiful memories I have from this summer.
Closing campfire last night was emotional for several of us. We only have a week left at camp and things are noticeably winding down. We made a memory page for the staff book this week. A tiny selection:
Myself and Cherry singing ‘Call me Maybe’ to a boy in Sonic.
Kiki and I jumping the pool fence to prank Jaws and Squiggy.
The several ‘counsellors’ meetings’ we had in the cabins after the girls went to bed, normally descending into hysterical laughter watching Sunshine and Koi’s impressions of some of the campers.
Jaws and Squiggy dressing up as Pocahontas and Spongebob for a song session at dinnertime.
The lifeguards playing music over the radio mid-afternoon.
Midnight trips to Walmart for more beer on our week off.
Fourth of July week (the bits I remember…).
The epic prank pulled on Thunder this week, involving moving her entire bedroom (bed and cabinet and all) up to the stage in the dining hall.
Stealing corn out of a field for cookout and then realising it was animal fodder.
Hawkeye making whirring noises while driving her trolley around Walmart.
The time I got extremely posh and British and told my girls I was ‘Frankly embarrassed by their behaviour.’
Convincing all the Brownies and most of my Art Craze girls this week that I am fourteenth in line to the throne of England and live in a 40-bedroom mansion.
Campfires, guitars, singing, beaver hunting, ‘JUMP IN…JUMP OUT’, getting my camp name tattooed on my ankle, the counsellors calling each other Beatrice in an attempt to confuse the campers, horse riding at Pee Dee, Hawkeye’s ‘four four-legged children’, eating a spoonful of Vegemite, Thunder shotting ketchup, Archibald the box turtle.
I booked a flight home today. Am feeling empty and miserable at the thought of leaving all these people. Cat tells a story about giving pieces of your heart away at campfire: I’ve definitely done this here.
Pranks so far since the bed in the tree incident:
JAWS, SQUIGGY AND THUNDER: Covered Cat’s car in post its; clingfilmed Roo’s car and filled it with balloons.
KIKI AND RIVER: Threw a ‘pool party’ on Jaws and Squiggy’s night off, decorating it with streamers and sidewalk chalk and filling the pool with red solo cups and balloons.
Pretty sure there are more to come. Am currently walking on eggshells waiting for the retribution from the pool party.
We have a week off for Fourth of July and Jaws, Squiggy and I have been roadtripping it around SC. Had so many kind invitations to stay with people: started off the week in Myrtle Beach where we stayed with Roo. Then onto Charleston with Cat where we had cookouts, made a bucket of sangria, visited a plantation and nursed several bad hangovers. Headed back upstate to Clio yesterday to Erin’s where we put on facepaint and transfer tattoos and went to a Fourth of July fireworks display. It was pretty good. Today is another hangover day although we did go horseback riding at Pee Dee this morning. I had a great time as I haven’t ridden properly for so long and it was fun to give it a go in a Western saddle. The staff at Camp Pee Dee are so lovely and welcoming and they essentially took a large part of their morning to show us around the trails in the soaring heat.
The heat is ridiculous this week and it’s a good thing camp is closed for the holiday. Can’t believe how quickly the week is going though and we’re back in camp on Saturday. Hoping to do some white water rafting and maybe a concert at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach before then, however.
Spending so much time driving around with the radio on that I can sing all of the recent releases. Call me Maybe is the song of the summer. Jaws says that she and her friends back home play a game where they say the lyrics to people. Frequently, we will approach each other and say, in complete seriousness, ”Hey. I just met you. And this is crazy…”
I ate a whole spoonful of vegemite last night for a dare as part of Ring of Fire.
The craziness continues. Unabated.
applenapoleon asked: My flatmate's roommate worked with scouts. Apparently there's a song full of euphemisms about penises. Would you like me to find the words?
Absolutely. A song about penises is always excellent for camp :)
Anonymous asked: I'm missing the updates girl... get WRITING!!!! loves you cariad. xxx
Sorry! I’ve been very busy celebrating Fourth of July. Promise they’ll be more regular when camp starts up again next week.
If you’re rooting for the boy scouts, clap your hands…oops, I missed.
Have learned too many camp songs. Percy the Palefaced Polar Bear, Sipping Cider, littleblackthingslittleblackthings, The Grand Old Duke of York, eenymeenyandamineymocatchawhipperwhopperbyhistoe, this is my boy kisser / breadbasket / babybouncer, EVERYWHERE WE GO-O, PEOPLE OUGHT TO KNO-OW, WHO WE A-ARE, WE ARE THE GIRL SCOUTS, um-ah said the little green frog, blacksockstheynevergetdirty, YOU CAN’T RIDE IN MY LITTLE RED WAGON, the moral of this story is never to lie!, The Princess Pat, rare bog a rattlin bog…
Too much in my head.