Hey guys, Just thought as I have a spare few hours for the first time in over a month id pop on and do a quick update, the last few weeks have been an amazing eye opening experience that has turned out to be one of the best & one of the worst things I’ve ever done, its very strange but let me explain.When I left England, in the car to the airport all I could think was "What the hell am I doing?? taking 3 months out of my life, my work, my site, my family & friends to go and work for no money in the middle of no-where in America " well once I got to the airport the nerves quickly made that thought go away and I just focused mainly on getting there and not getting on the wrong plane at the airport.Sat at the airport with a bag of fruitella's and fhm magazine, i saw 3 of the girls I would be working with walking up to the gate that id been at for a few hours as I got there quite early, introduced myself, which was cool, because I didn’t look like a lost traveler on my own anymore, we looked like a group of lost travelers instead hah.Once we got there we met Whitney (who is my boss) at the airport & because we are nice humans, we waited, 5 hours for the other people who were coming in on other planes from all around the world to turn up! after meeting everyone and getting driven to camp for the first time, STILL not knowing what to expect, we rolled in and a few of the people who I’ve spoken to on the internet were there playing basketball and just dotted all over the place.Once getting into my room, we got introduced to everyone and got a tour from the one and only Michael Jackson (No word of a lie this is his birth given name) it was time to settle in and just chill out.After a few days of getting to know people, and a few games of FOOTBALL (it’s not called soccer.) training week had started which, let me tell you now was one of the most mind numbingly boring things I have ever had to sit through in my entire life. But hey-ho as it goes we just trundled on and all made it to the end.One of my whips
Once camp actually started, I was excited, nervous, a bundle of emotions as I’ve only ever really had office jobs and NEVER worked with kids, but I was really looking forward to giving it a shot, my first week was spent with a child with server autism, with very little ability to hold a conversation, the way I can explain this to people that don’t know it was like his brain when it came to talking was like a switchboard, with set sayings, so he repeated a lot of the same stuff. I found it hard, stressful, but when I saw that what I was doing, my jokes, the games I made up for him and the stupid little things that normally day to day you would overlook, making the little moments fun for him and showing that I can see past his disability and seeing that huge smile on his face, and saying how much he liked me made the hard work worth it.The second week was very different, it was spent with 8, yes EIGHT boys in my group, and I had been pre-warned of 3 of them were known as VERY Naughty kids, I couldn’t wait haha, honestly.
When they all arrived I introduced myself, they all seemed happy with me being there counselor which made it a lot easier to me, the way I thought id work these lads instead of being a strict teacher like figure, id join in, so if they were only a little naughty, I.e one of the lads pushed another boy out of the fire door and locked it in the dinning hall so he couldn’t get back in, so when they other boys counselor come along saying what had happened and how I should punish him, I took the kid outside, told him what he did was wrong, but it was funny, and not to do it again and he wasn’t getting punished this time. Reason being, they are kids, they are at camp not school, so they can be boys, as to be honest if I was younger that’s something if I was with my mates I would have done too, hah.
I really enjoyed having the 8 lads it was really funny, they all behaved really well for me which was awesome for me as it made my week a lot easier, god knows if I was the one that made them behave but whatever, no water off my back if not.
My 3rd week was spent looking after 2 of the lads from the week before and a new boy with downs syndrome, which was a huge eye opener for me, as never dealing with anyone with downs syndrome before, not even coming into contact with anyone so I did not know what to expect. But I am so happy I was able to work with him, as he was one of the sweetest kids I have ever come across, he loved to play “tag” and was very independent, smart and helpful. So anyone that has that disability in a category ready for any sort of abuse or negativity really need’s to re-look at there priority’s as this is one thing I will be able to take away from this trip and I’m proud to say I have been able to work with people of all variety’s.My 4th Week, which i think was last week as im getting a bit lost in time, was spent with 2 boys as 1 was ill all week and the other i moved to another group as he didnt get on with one of my other boys. It was funny. this week was hilarious infact, I can now say i have experienced the worst behaved kid ive ever come across but everyone here is telling me that there is one more kid coming who is worse haha and i might have him in my group so i look forward to that, but i had a kid called gamari, even though he is very naughty he is my favourite so far that ive looked after, doing stuff like putting unpoped popcorn into the fish tank in which the camp is hatching baby crabs, To painting on walls, to telling people to do one(in a lesser manner) (he's 6 i thinik lol) to then giving people the finger, and moving on to cussing everyone lol but i found it funny, he looked like a minature mr t and always said shut up fool (nothing to do with me..............................ok i made him say it but it was so worth it haha) but yeah this week was funny, he was a pain, but so sweet too. The first day he come without a swimming costume, So i said just wait out of the pool untill tomorrow, dip ya legs in or whatever but do not get in as he was wearing denim shorts. he was behaving for about 10 minutes, then he went the other side of the pool, Looked me dead in the eye, smiled at me, ran and jumped straight in, fully clothed, but once again i laughed! i wasnt angry and i keep going back to the same thing, this is camp, not school, i hate telling the kids off unless they are being violent or swearing. but other than that why shouldnt they mess about!!
Small things i wont forget from him is he called me overG: "Adam!"
G: "come here"
A: *walks over*
G: "DEAD BURRRD"
A: "Ok well dont touch it"
G: *In dead serious voice* "Who did it?"
A: did what??
G: "Kill tha burd, who did it!!"Guess you have to be there but honestly it was so funny.Week 5 Consisted of 3 boys i had already looked after and another lad called A'mir who i had never met before, we guessed at the start of the week that his name was going to make him a badass. I could not have been more wrong, he was so polite, so helpful, so good at basketball. just the best behaved kid ever,so i was very lucky, quite an evenless week to be honest but was still good, still fun and now i want to come back next year lol.*Updated*
So week 6 i had the younger lads again, which consisted of a few really well behaved lads and one of my personal favourite's called Gamari, who a lot of people here at camp said was really naughty, but he wasn't he was just a 6 year old boy who was very mature for 6, so people forgot that. But he was so funny, so so funny. I shouldnt admit this but as I write this I am on my last week here in america, I taught him loads of Mr T quotes as he looked like a mini Mr T lol, so funny. but it was a good week, uneventful to be honest but good. One event that happened though let me run you through this. Zachary, another one of my favourite's, is an Autistic 13 year old boy, a twin too, they are both here, they are AMAZING. As i was saying, Zachary was standing by the pond and out of no-where he launched his water bottle into the pond, so he set about trying to get it back, he sat on the bank, sliding down on his arse making all these noise's, as he is about to fall in the pond Shiloh steps in and says that he will do it, being all superhero like etc. As Shiloh is slip sliding down the bank, Zachary follow's both nearly falling in, it was so so funny I have it all on video.Week 7
this was not a good week for me, I had been given a 1 to 1, the kid was amazing but he was to much for me, he was so strong and loved to climb everything and the fact he was bigger than me made it near on impossible for me to control him, also getting in arguments with my bosses and it all getting a bit to much, I just wanted to come home, no word of a lie, this week was horrible, Once again though Zachary provided the week's entertainment on the climbing wall getting a massive wedgie. This was actually one of my highlights of the whole America trip. I was literally rolling around on the floor laughing my Friggin ass off!!!! he was screaming OUUUUUCHH, THIS IS NOT FUNNY SHILOH! OHHAWWWWHHHCHHHH, it was a "you had to be their moment" but I'm so glad I was!! haha !
I had the Young boys again, Gamari was also there, i loved that kid, this was also his last week and I had felt that I really had bonded with him over the last weeks of having him, he started to behave for me, listen to what I told him, called for me when he was in trouble, never reacted to others if they winded him up he just came for me for support, it was awesome, it was like he was depending on my support and looking back on it now i honestly do miss him! A lot of this week was spent fishing, with Gamari, wanting me to help him out, which I did occasionally, mostly hindering though as I'm aweful at fishing and kept getting the hook stuck in the tree behind me, then blaming him when it broke, you know, as a responsible adult would......
So week 9! here it is! Last week! i leave on Saturday to go to georgetown to meet my dad and brother who are currently in new york, I cannot believe how quickly this date has come, on one hand I'm really happy as I'll get to see my family and friends again, start on building a new car and business, basically just sorting my life out....but on the other hand, I'm leaving behind a huge group of mates, almost like my "american based" family I guess, people from cultures I thought id ever come in contact with let alone consider an amazing friend's, finding out what amazing people they all really are, we are all going our separate ways, which is really really sad. Saturdays not going to be pretty I know that for a fact, but im going to try my up most to keep in contact with these people...
This week at camp, I have the Twins in my group, Zachary and Jacob, also Nick who I've had basically all summer and the legendary Naughty kid who from today hasn't been naughty at all, but I shall wait and see on that...
But already as I sit here on Monday night, todays been hilarious. So I'm looking forward to the rest of the week and im glad i can end my camp experience with this awesome group.......But I'm going to be so teary eye'd friday night/saturday and I have enough videos of the kids to show everyone when im home. Basically this has been the best thing i've ever ever done in my entire life.*last edit*week 9 was amazing, my group were so funny, the twins are without a shadow of doubt 2 of the funniest most incredible kids I have ever come across. It was just so funny to work with them and I'm so glad I had the opportunity!!I was right when I had said that friday & saturday was going to be teary eye'd, leaving a few of the people was the hardest thing I have had to do all summer. I didn't enjoy it and never want to have to do it again. But thank's to the wonders of skype we can keep in contact easy etc.All in all, if you are considering doing this, GO FOR IT!! honestly!!! If you are not considering doing this, DEFIANTLY DO IT!! As thats the boat I was in, the not considering it, but I am soooo glad I did.Hope everyone's enjoyed reading this, as this doesn't need to be updated anymore, I may throw some more pictures in for reference in the future but no more writing as I'm sat in my hotel room in Miami, relaxing untill I have to fly home and start working again....