Thursday thoughts from a CO.

Thursday is for staff “post-hump’ when we start looking towards the easier activities and we’ve broken the back of the week (and broken the front, back & sides of our sanity).
The main age group programmes run to a close with a double afternoon-evening session and a morning camp wide ‘super squad’ session provides an opportunity for breakout hysteria as the tiredness from the week means we regard victory at musical chairs as a perfectly valid sporting achievement.

When I watch these events it makes the thought process of the Olympic
committee having included Dressage (‘horse dancing’) in thier event lists much more

Personally today was a day of tiredness migrating to refreshment and a sense of relief. Post wide-game (with my role in the safety car) I found most of my more stressful tasks complete for the week. The morning started with watching and encouraging the sports in the marquee from my position towards the back whilst simultaneously trying to resolve an argument between kindergarten over the ownership of magnetic construction toys. The games in the marquee (more rain) were energised by pop music and punctuated by Sophie’s strained efforts of directing campers to thier events – her voice raspy after a night of shouting into a dark field willing 14+ into ‘the square’ for the wide game.

During the day we carried out our second round of Lateral Flow Tests – a camp activity I very much hope will be removed from the programme in future. Shoving plastic sticks up your nose doesn’t scream ‘fun times’ but they have very much been a means to an end this year.

I headed out in the afternoon after shovelling down my personal favourite meal of the week
(cottage pie with half an inch of cheese topping) to the local printers to crop and print this year’s camp photo. I enjoy the battle with the printing machine as it continues to try and defeat me by cropping Tom F off the end of the photo once I align the photo in the frame – I’m sure I’ve lost the fight on more than one occasion but I won this time around.

This year the front row caught my eye – two of my own kids looked only slightly younger than I was when I started at camp 30 years ago – the time warp of camp definitely ages you – Through 30 years (weeks) of photos, my family life has gone full circle with my kids starting thier own camp journey with smiling faces.

The programmes had various activities in the afternoon and evening; games on site, trips to soft play and bounce play venues further afield. Dinner was a mixed fayre with a barbecue, fish and chips or McDonald’s depending on the age group. I can’t comment on the relative success of any of these bits as I was partaking in a game of crazy golf with a number of Kindergarten who largely ignored the normal standards of golf etiquette; spending their time climbing the course
landscaping and posing with the pirate themed figures whilst using some rather unsatisfactory putting form.

After enjoying a fish and chip dinner and a sugar loaded ice cream courtesy of the junior
programme team bed-time was ‘challenging’ to say the least – after such a tiring day however the giddy defiance of the (my) kids finally broke and sleep occurred. Just excited about tomorrow’s day trip I guess.

A quick note as one of the CO’s – today (& the wide game the night before) for me was a real high point. It was the moment in the week when I stopped running around as much and
stressing and started looking at people enjoying themselves; personally reflecting on the smiles & the beauty/simplicity of camp. Its fair to say its been a hard two years getting the camp to run and at times has felt like an ‘extra thing’ but days like today make it worth it.

See you all at IOW.

Martin – CO