Alright, so I've just about finished decompressing from what was the best and most insane summer of my entire life and to get me back into the swing of things, I feel I should share some of the moments that made this summer great. (You guys are like my only friends so deal with it. (seriously, would you be my friend if the internet wasn't between us?)) So strap yourselves in, grab a cold drink (or 8) and enjoy a incredibly biased description of some of the highs and lows of my time as a camp counselor.
Warning!!! This may be the longest and unentertaining post in the history of STLGT...however, it still ranks way above anything ever written for Winging It In Motown.
Being a counselor made me feel this cool every single day....The Electrocution- During staff training we had to share a lot about ourselves and naturally I was quick to tell people about my work in the field of pneumatics. Surprisingly, this gave most people the idea that I was super-smart even though many of the stories I told ended in me getting hurt or in minor trouble with the police. (For the record I am fairly intelligent) So one day my unit director comes to me and asks if I know anything about stereo systems, to which I reply 'naturally'. (seriously my room looks like the back half of a radioshack) Thus I am put to work trying to fix the east camp stereo system while everybody else in my unit (east camp) is forced to do team building.( Total score i know) Now during one of these team building session everybody is at one side of the camp dining hall while im on the other side utilizing the only outlet in the entire room trying to figure out what is wrong with the stereo. I had narrowed the problem down to the transformer so I unplugged the stereo and reached in to remove the transformer. Sadly I neglected to remember that when transformers go bad they gain the ability to store mass amounts of electricity which was released into my body the minute I touched it. The shock was so powerful that it made me flip backwards onto my back and burned the hell out of my hand, it was a tough moment especially when everybody began to wonder "Why is that weird kid whose camp name I've already forgotten rolling around on the floor in agony?" Though I wasn't too badly injured, this moment turned out to be a dark foreshadowing of what was to come during the rest of the summer.
The First Cabin- Everybody says that the first cabin is the worst, and for a moment I almost agreed with them. Upon first glance my cabin seemed worse than Detroit's unemployment rate since they were the youngest teenager cabin and therefore refused to be very active in anything we did. To make things worse, I failed so miserably at filling out paperwork (I filled out the same sheet three times and still didn't get it right) that my unit directors made a public announcement to all the counselors telling them that I was no longer allowed to do paperwork. (This actually turned out ok, but it kind of killed my reputation of being a smart person) Fortunately as the week wore on, they turned into the most awesome cabin and easily my best cabin of the summer, especially when all of them joined my floor hockey clinic and we became the most unstoppable team in the history of the universe. Sadly at the end of the week they left and I was informed that in the coming week I would be moved from East Camp (teenage campers) to Explorers (11-12 year olds). I took the news well but I had no idea the type of hell that was about to befall me.
The Second Cabin- So I went to Explorers for the week and almost didn't make it out alive. On paper our cabin seemed ok, a few kids with allergies no biggie, but when they were dropped off, it seems that the parents completely forgot to mention that their children were completely insane. I'll never forget the first night when my kids sat around and compared what medications they were taking while another one went into the bathroom and peed all over my towel. (I didnt find out about this incident until I went to dry off after a shower then next morning...) During the week some of my cabin chased invisible 'shadow creatures' while others cried almost constantly and one of them even managed to fall off a bunk and go to the hospital with 'bruised' back. Ironically while at the hospital the poor kid caught strep throat and had to go home. He also happened to be the best kid in our cabin. As the week wore on, I was so desperate to return to East Camp that I used my night off to attend the East Camp dance. It was the best night of the whole week hands down. At the end of the week, me and my two co-counselors were honored by the Explorer unit directors for managing to survive the week with such a crazy cabin, and I was told I would be returning to East Camp for the next session. I couldn't have been happier.
The Fall- So my return to East Camp was pretty great, I had another totally awesome cabin and got to break it down at the East Camp dance for a third week in a row. However on friday afternoon we had a lost swimmer drill, which basically means you need to get down to the waterfront asap in order to begin searching for a possibly drowning camper. Naturally the minute the alarm was sounded, I took off in a full sprint for the waterfront. Everything was going just fine until I took my first step onto a decent sized hill leading down to the waterfront. It was at this instant that my right knee buckled and exploded in pain, causing me to fall face first down the hill. Upon reaching the bottom I noticed two things, one, my knee was rapidly turning into a volleyball and two, no one was stopping to help me and some were in fact jumping over me to get to the waterfront. Eventually my boss noticed me and helped me up, besides my knee exploding, I was bleeding from both knees, my left arm and my face. (It was a very rocky hill) In most situations I would have been rushed to the ER, but since it was the YMCA and everything was to be paid for by workmans comp, we had to stop off at the local doctors office for a drug test. Now in my 19 years on this earth I have never had a problem with going into a cup, but earlier in the day I had played 2 hours of floor hockey and my body was almost completely drained of all fluids. This led to me literally standing in a bathroom for half an hour willing my body to give me just enough urine to pass as a usable sample which I promptly spilled on the floor, forcing me to repeat the whole ordeal again before I could seek proper medical attention. At the wonderful ER in Potosi they informed me that I had aggravated the ligaments in my right knee and they gave me a full knee brace along with some crutches. On a lighter note I set the camp record for the fastest time in and out of that abomination they call a hospital. Sadly the injury kept me out of a cabin and on support staff for the next three weeks.
The Nation of Tesla- During my time as a cripple, I was put on light duty which meant working in such clinics as arts and crafts. During my time in A&C I typically resorted to vandalizing the tables and making really dumb art projects. One of these projects happened to be a flag with my camp name on it that I carried around on my backpack during the day. So one morning me and another counselor are standing in the dinning hall, which is decorated with flags from different countries, when we notice that there is a gap between two of the flags. I looked at him, he looked at me, we both looked at the flag and before you could say 'I pledge allegiance' we had hung my tesla flag on the wall with all the others. Later that day while me and him were filling out camper swim bands, we decided to start appointing people to positions within our government. Soon we had all major positions filled and a large following of citizens, we even claimed a small patch of land outside the dining hall. Later in the week since I had oodles of free time, I sat down and wrote a letter to the UN demand our nations acceptance. Sadly we never heard from them, but the nation of Tesla still lives on.
Our national anthem was 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'....not my choice
The Day of Unimaginable Shame- So right around the time that I busted up my knee, the was a soccer game between the american and english staff members in which the english won 6-1. For the next month and a half that was all they talked about until I decided to seek revenge in a different sport, this time the game would be floor hockey, a game that me and a few other american counselors were total gods at. (Seriously me and two other counselors once took on 13 teenage campers and half-way through the game were up 5-0 so we gave them our five goals and ended up winning 8-7) So we put up a sign up sheet and began to count down the days till we would get to lay waster to some tea sucking brits. However none of us counted on the fact that a bunch of people with zero hockey experience would sign up for the american team. I will never forget the shame I felt watching the american team play lazy uninspired defense and refuse to pass to wide open teammates in front of the net. Even worse was the fact that I only got to play about 8 minutes during the entire 3 period game because people demanded that I manage the line changes. Despite that I still managed 2 goals and an assist and was a plus 4 for the game, but sadly it wasn't enough, America lost to England 8-6 once again proving that in hockey hard work and determination will always overcome natural talent especially when the rest of the team is lazy as fuck. (I know how Sid the kid felt during his first years in the NHL)
The Raccoon- Raccoons are common place down in east camp and all of camp for that matter, they like to come and raid the trash cans at night and sometimes they even try to get into the cabins. Naturally it was my dream to one night successfully capture a raccoon and keep it in a cage as a camp pet. This never happened due to my crazy laziness and lack of quality supplies. Then when we were cleaning up camp after the last session were going to lock up the dumpster and lo and behold there in the corner was an adolescent raccoon. At first we thought it was injured so I jumped into the empty dumpster, put a blanket over it and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. At this point I felt totally cool, so I held it up and exclaimed 'I got it!!', it was also at this point that the raccoon decided to prove how not injured it was and the thing went completely apeshit in my hand. Freaking out, I tossed the it across the dumpster where it landed in the corner and immediately turned around and ran at me. I did a back roll out of the dumpster and on to the ground while Mr. Raccoon leapt up on the to rim of the dumpster, look me dead in the eye and then ran off into the woods. Moral of the story, never fuck with raccoons.
We named the little guy 'Teeks'....not sure why though
Looking Back- As I said before this was without a doubt the best summer of my entire life, I made tons of new friends, many of which are equally as insane as I am, and I also have a new respect for parents. (how you raise children without the help of narcotics is completely beyond me) Camp Lakewood is one of the greatest places on earth and even though I never went a week without getting hurt or sick, I cannot wait to return to work there next summer. It's been tough to adjust to living in the real world again, but once hockey season starts I'm sure I'll be back to my swearing and terrorizing ways once again. If you have children, please send them to camp, it will change their lives for the better I promise unless your child is Carnie, in which case I'm soooo sorry. Oh and me and another counselor made a totally awful and cheesy video about camp....enjoy the part where I break dance