My job as a day camp counselor ended a few days ago. I can’t even begin to tell you everything that happened over the summer, so I’ll stick to telling short little micro-stories about the fun and sometimes insane times I had with my campers.
Story 1: Fish hooks are for fish, silly
One of my kids got a fish hook stuck in his leg, if you can believe it. Here I was just sitting on my lifeguard stand doing my job when this boy comes running up to the stand. I half ignored him at first, because I was trying to focus on scanning (waterfront lifeguarding is the opposite of fun). But I heard him say something to the effect of, “Mumble mumble mumble in my leg.”
At that point, I looked down to see him clutching his thigh. “I got a fish hook stuck in my leg,” he repeated.
I quickly had the other lifeguard take over total coverage for me while I dealt with the hook. Unfortunately, it hadn’t poked all the way through, and the barb was too big for me to pull out. His mom came to get him a little while later to take him to get it removed. He was back the next day. Tough little guy.
Story 2: The rocket
On the lighter side, a couple of my campers found an unwrapped (clean) tampon and had no idea what to make of it. “It’s like a little rocket!” my boy camper exclaimed with joy. I had the worst time trying not to laugh my butt off as I took it and threw it away. The best part was that I got to tell his dad about it at church that Sunday.
Story 3: In which I hurt myself
On Tuesday (fricken’ Tuesday!) of my last (LAST) week of camp, I somehow managed to get my toenail yanked off during a field game. Let me revise that. I somehow managed to get my toenail almost all the way yanked off. See, it was sticking straight up, hanging by the smallest of bits of skin on the left side of the base.
Are you cringing yet? Now imagine how I felt.
Of course, given that this was the last week of camp, I wasn’t at all willing to go home early. I loved my campers and I didn’t want to say goodbye before I absolutely had to. So I decided to stick it out. Have you ever tried hiking with your toenail torn off? Don’t.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t allowed to tell my campers what happened. So of course, that was the only thing they wanted to talk about. Eventually, I got fed up with the questions and told them that an gator got into the lake and bit my toe off and the hospital had to sew it back on. The kids didn’t believe me (I think), but they did mostly stop asking questions.
Story 4: Skipper
At the beginning of the summer, I resolved to not have these kids butchering my name all summer long. I’ve worked with kids before, so I know that “Susannah” can be both impossible for their minds to remember and hard for their mouths to pronounce. So I gave myself a nickname.
My group was called the First Mates, so I decided to call myself “Skipper.” After a week, the name stuck fast. As the summer went on, a few funny things came of my nickname.
First, one of my campers was mortified when he accidentally called me “Stripper” instead of “Skipper.” Of course, I couldn’t let that go, so I teased him until his ears turned pink and then let him off the hook. You should have seen the look of relief on his face.
One of my younger campers loved to play UNO in the evenings. He was a wild little guy, and every time he skipped me, he would yell “Skip Skipper!” at the top of his lungs. It was great to let everyone around us know I was getting trashed at UNO by a six-year-old. I have about ten different stories about this camper alone, but I’ll save them for another time.
Finally, one of my campers came up to me and said, “I have a gift for you.” I’m not sure what I expected, but it was not a five inch long brass plaque with the word “Skipper” engraved on it. I was touched and a little confused, but I thanked her and gave her a hug anyway. I’m going to hang it on the door of my apartment when I get there in a few days.
That’s about all I have room for in this post. I’m sure I’ll think up some other stories to tell you about in the future. But for now, know that I had an awesome summer. I’m really going to miss my campers, especially the ones who came every day.
I should be posting a bit more regularly now that I actually, you know, have wifi. In about a week, I’ll probably have a post about my new apartment. Can’t wait to show you all.
Do you have any crazy stories from your summer? Let me hear them in the comments.