Sunday, June 17, 2007

Learning

So, my summer's going pretty well. Last night was my first night off as a counselor and I was more than grateful for it. Working with kids 24/7 is fun, but it is extremely exhausting. Also, it was nice to have time to take a shower that lasts for more than two minutes, and to be able to drive away from camp and reach civilization (known as Wal-Mart).

Staff training was cool, mainly because it was such a learning experience. I had never done half of the things that I found would be required of me over the summer (like, you know, camping). But one week and a million bug bites later, I felt pretty confident about my chances of survival. All I needed to do was throw kids into the mix.

And now that I've gone about one week with kids, I can say that though staff training prepared me for camping, planning activities, and stuff like that, it really couldn't prepare me for dealing with kids. I think going to college to learn to be a teacher is very similar. It's not that there was nothing useful mentioned, it's just that once you're in the thick of things, a lot of what you've been told goes right out the window and you have to figure out what works (and, more importantly, what doesn't work) for yourself.

I've also learned a lot of lessons about life over this week. I've been working with a group of leukemia and hemophilia patients, and it's just been really inspiring. It's a good reminder of what real struggle is, and what real hope is. I mean, it really baffles me how a kid who has gone through chemotherapy is still afraid to go off the rope swing at the pond, but at the same time I think it's awesome. It's just cool to see that these kids who have gone through more than me (and probably many of you) are still regular kids. It's been an awesome week, despite the fact that I've yet to have a comfortable night sleep, my digital camera went missing, and my cell phone got wet and is officially as broke as I am. :)

Hope you're all having a great summer!

7 comments:

kurt_t said...

I LOVE camping! LOVE LOVE LOVE camping.

And I'm married to somebody whose idea of roughing it is staying someplace where you have to fill up your own ice bucket.

But we're adopting a child, which means the Other Half can kiss that stuff goodbye for the next fifteen years or so.

Woohoo! Pack up the Coleman lantern and the bug spray, baby! Nature, here we come!

Pomoprophet said...

glad you're having fun bro. Find your camera so you can take pictures. I think you're gonna make memories that you'll always have with you. Enjoy it!

MR said...

I work with kids, too. No amount of training can fully prepare you for what they throw at you!

What do you do when an 11 year old girl asks you if you are gay? Do you show mercy to a student who suffers from cerebral palsy, but lies and steals?

I often face situations like these but kids are still so worth it!

Beast said...

Hi Jay,

Glad you've had a good time in the camp! Have a good rest and restoration before you write more posts!
God bless you my friend!

BEAST.

Brandon said...

Jay,

I'm really glad you're having a good time at camp. I know you must be tired. I usually watch my two nephews once a week and that one day alone just seems to drain the life out of me. But it is fun, isn't? Kids can be so wonderful. They certainly can have a way of lifting my spirits.

I hope things continue on the good path.

Brandon

Cheryl Of the Wilds of C said...

I always read my kids to sleep at night. It was my favorite part of the day. What a privilege it is to work at camp counselor. Hope the rest of your summer is wonderful.

Jay said...

Kurt: Amen! I'm not much of a camper but any kid of mine definitely will be. I hope the adoption process goes well for you and the Other Half. :)

Pomo: I'm doing one better. I'm getting a new camera. ;-) But I'm not taking it to camp. It's disposable all the way till school gets back in.

MR: Kids are always worth it, despite the awkwardness that can come from working with them.

Beast: R&R? What's that? ;-)

Brandon and Cheryl: Thanks for the encouragement, guys. It means a lot to me.