Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Do Not Camp Because I Should Not Camp

Last month, I helped chaperon 100 or so 5th graders, including my son, on their 3 day camp-style overnight field trip.  I am still tired.

Things I Learned Are Necessary to Chaperon 100 Kids for 3 Days
  • Bring a flask.  Hide it wherever you need to, but you need to.
  • Egg crates.  Lots of them.  Princess & the Pea that plastic, inch-thick torture device they call a mattress.
  • Do not listen if they tell you not to bring your own food/snacks.  You are a grown up and can handle keeping you stuff neat, tidy, and bug free.  Everyone else will be doing the same.
  • Do you have enough aspirin/ibuprofen/headache meds?  No, you don't.  Pack more.  Keep it with you at all times.
  • Caffeinate.  Often.  More, more than that.
  • It's totally OK to hate the cheery camp counselors a little.  No one should be that perky.
  • Find a partner and form a tag team.  Even a 5 minute breather can make things a lot clearer.  
  • Make sure said partner loves to snark on everything as much as you do. This is gold.
  • The kids will try to put one over one you every single chance they get.  They will never win.  Because they're 10.
  • You will be sad if they run out of time for you to do the zip line.  But this is probably OK, since you are most decidedly not 10.
  • Do NOT forget the shower shoes. Camp has not changed since you were a kid.
I have lots of thoughts and feelings about this trip, and while I enjoyed watching my kids, and particularly Sammy, it's highly likely this will be my first and last long-term chaperoning gig.  Chris can take Sabrina in 3 years, something I already told him, to which he responded, "I can't get that week off."  The plywood bunk beds, man.  They're out to kill you.

This made it all worth it.  First volunteer and smiling all the way.

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