Long ago in the days of yester-year when we were still just "best buddies," my hubby and I were camp counselors. He worked on the boy's side of camp, and I worked on the girl's side. He had grown up at summer camp - both being a camper and a counselor, whilst I myself had only been a trouble-making camper for all of my Junior High and High School years.
And the thoughts of being a counselor to 10-15 new little girls each and every week had me in tears almost every weekend. Seriously, it did. The whole concept of "camp counselor" was kind of panicky to me. (Remember also...way back in the days of yester-year, I was quite certain that I would never be a Mama to any pukey, poopy ankle biter of my own.... Kids weren't really "my thing.")
|Whoops. This picture should actually come after the next one...|
But, by Saturday morning when all of those little girls were reunited with their families, I was always so sad to see them go.
By Sunday, I was stressing that a brand new week was upon me.
By Monday, I was freaking out about the new set of rugrats I was going to be taking care of.
And again, by Saturday I was sad to see them go.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
For all the live long summer.
I think it's change. I don't do well with change.
At this particular camp, one of the jobs for us counselors to do throughout the week was to pick a "skill" that we would teach our kids every day for that week. There were all kinds of activities for them to choose from: horseback riding, bb guns, swimming, crafts, canoeing, sailing, hiking, wilderness survival etc...
I find it absolutely hilarious that Kev taught sailboating (is that even a word?) and horseback riding for two of his activities. Never in my life have I known him to navigate a sailboat or to ride a horse...but he taught those activities...and he taught them well. A fabulous friend and I found ourselves to be new together at the camp this particular summer, and before we knew it, all of the cool activities and all of the activities that could be spent outside working on an awesome tan got scooped up by the more "seasoned" counselors who knew what they would be in for during their summer working there.
Wilderness Women we were.
I find that hilarious, too.
And you could surely pick us out in a crowd. Whilst all of the other counselors were tanned golden bronze from the sun, we were still white from being in the woods all day. And bug bitten. From being in the woods all day. I was only minorly (is that even a word, also?) jealous by all of this...after all, I had a "best buddy" to impress....
And might I also add that I knew nothing about teaching Wilderness Survival?
But, my Daddy-O on the other hand, knows a lot. So, on one of our week-ends off, I blitzed myself up home and got me a crash course on the whole topic and some supplies. He gave me a handy-dandy supply kit of first aid material...and we taught a little bit of that...including how to make a homemade sling with your bra. Hey, one gots to survive.... And we learned how to make shelters. We learned about what plants were edible and what were not. We made "cowboy bread" over an open fire. We learned how to make one match fires. And we also learned about a wasp's nest that was buried nearby... and we got really fast at running through those woods back to camp as fast as our little legs could carry us.
By summer's end, we had developed quite a name for ourselves, and our activity actually became pretty popular. I think mostly, because we ate a lot...but we two "Wilderness Women" were quite proud of ourselves and we developed a friendship that has lasted to this day. Katie made that summer fun for me, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.
Meanwhile, back at the boys' side of camp, Kev was teaching his kidlets that if you flip your canoe out in the middle of the lake, it is possible for you to turn it upright and get back in again and row back to camp....
And to prove that this is indeed possible, he and my brother "showed us" while we were in Rangeley.....
You be the judge....