Well it seems like the end of summer has crept up on us and we are now entering Gypsy Week. What is Gypsy Week? It’s a one week introduction to camp for 7-9 year olds. Many of these girls have never been to camp before or even away from their parents for a night! They get to get a taste of what classes are like and still get to enjoy the All Camp Day events and other fun things camp has to offer. It’s a great trial to see if girls are ready for a longer commitment at camp.
Yesterday the girls arrived. I am now in Oakledge, but unlike a normal session these girls are the same age as the Romany girls. We had some funny questions such as: ” Do we get dinner?”(to which I replied,”Wait, your parent’s didn’t sign you up for the meal program?” And then reassured her that she would get 3 full meals a day and even snacks!, another question was in reference to our kaper wheel ” You mean we have to plunge things?” this child thought the broom was a plunger. I was happy to report she was more thrilled about kapers after she learned we didn’t have to plunge things. 🙂
After a wonderful cookout at Bidwell and an abbreviated version of opening songs, Oakledge got to spend some time on the rock wall. This was probably the only time these girls will get to climb this session, so it was a really fun and special thing for them. Many girls made it all the way to the top of the walls, even the hardest level. These girls are so young and muscular that most of them could climb with just their hands.
Bedtime was the hardest. We had our Goodnight Circle, had a toothbrushing and bathroom party, sent them to their beds, sang goodnight songs- and then the girls began to come to the tent. Homesickness hit. We had 7 girls who came up crying, and after some reassuring we sent them off to bed and we didn’t hear or see from them again through the night.
5:40am ( 6:40 in ATL) the girls began to wake and were not so quiet. Around 6:15 another counselor and I got out of our beds and went to deal with the noise. I was not able to go back to sleep like other counselors, so instead I controlled the continual girls who woke up and were loud. Needless to say it was a rough morning for some of us counselors ( THANKFUL FOR THE COFFEE!!) The girls came back to the unit after breakfast, did kapers( we had 2 run off during this time because they thought they could just go get sponges without asking. At least they took a buddy but they had several counselors worried), and then they were sent off to classes. I’m excited that we get to rotate around to different program areas this week because it gives me a chance to enjoy some things I’ve not gotten to do this summer.
This is going to be a challenging but fun week. If you know me, you know I love this age. I know God is going to use me to help these girls grow up and become more independent this week.
I’ve discovered the magic of camp this summer. I pray that I will forever be a part of this place and that I will be able to send my daughters here when they are old enough.