Monday, July 23, 2018


today i traded on my enormous popularity at camp and went and asked for a small detail of volunteers to CLEAN THE OUTHOUSE.

they were all like "ME! ME!!!"

so i took four of them and taught them how to use a broom properly. i taught them how to scrub a sink.

the actual toilet cleaning part had to be done by me because according to policy, only adults may clean toilets (because pathogens and imperfect handwashing in children?) and for some reason they wanted to watch me clean the toilets.

"what do you do to do that?" they asked.
"you can come see.  it's not a secret."

and so a small group of tourists followed me from stall to stall.

and then when we got back to main camp girls were coming up to me asking if i will let them be on outhouse detail tomorrow.


the sensible explanation is that i have no actual supervisory duties. i don't have to line them up or get them from place to place. i just come and instruct all the fun things. and often i am taking a small group and teaching them something new, or just in general paying attention on a small scale to them.

my theory here is that no matter the chore, it is individual attention and personalized instruction and they like that.

plus they got to come to flag circle at the end of day and report that they cleaned the outhouse and they VOLUNTEERED, so they got to take pride in being good citizens.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

tea paty

i don't have any pictures (because policy) but this is what i did yesterday:

i took six small parties of girls (a half dozen in each, maybe?) to the various habitats on the camp property and we gathered all manner of edible leaves and twigs and berries.

we looked at animal sign. we talked about foraging guidelines.we learned how to crush up plantain, mullein and jewleweed and use the juice to ease bug bite discomfort.

we sorted out our leaves and berries and with help from one girl who was quick to volunteer, i set up a camp stove to boil water.

i poured tea. the counselors helped the girls make little finger sandwiches with gathered leaves on brown bread with cream cheese. popular sandwich fixin': mustard greens.

after the tea was poured, i cut up and fried some milkweed pods, which blew some girls' minds.

and now i am tired.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

i wish the campers knew

that i will learn that they do not like cucumber and that their mom does not know this way before i learn their names.

that when i ask them if they have ever done a skill, there's no shame in saying "no". it just tells me to start instruction at the beginning.

that in discussions about behavior, i have more respect for an admission of a behavior that may need changing than i do for wide eyed passivity.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

this happened.

i came home from camping with the girl scouts from the resident camp and came home to unpack and unwind and then i had a meeting monday with a nice lady from the council and now suddenly it appears i am in charge of things over at the day camp, like instruction with cutting tools (mostly knife instruction) and flag ceremonies.

because teaching little children proper flag etiquette takes TIME and the actual counselors are busy with supervisory duties.

when you are working with very young children you are faced with having to seriously discuss that the color guard does not wear cat masks and may not carry that special stick and pinecone combination no matter how much they love the stick and pinecone.

yes, the color guard includes that little girl wearing a sparkly princess dress.

but by golly, she can fold a flag.


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