Every year, we all look forward to the summer time. The warm weather, perfect days at the beach, fun outdoors and especially the fact that getting dressed no longer feels like a mission in tactfully layering our clothes.
Here in Trinidad, it’s always summer. As part of the Caribbean there are just two seasons; the wet and dry. However, we still refer to the months of July and August when school’s out as the summer vacation. With that said, the summer of 2014 was my first experience as a camp counsellor.
My fiancé and I decided to put together a summer camp with a few kids from the community to help improve their football skills. It definitely sounded like a fun idea on the drawing board, but actually putting it together and seeing it through took a lot of dedication and a whole lot more of patience.
Finding a location was the first order of business and once this was accomplished it was all about advertising and peaking both the interest of the parents and children. We spent time at the malls giving out flyers, answering questions and we even put banners up in high traffic areas to get the word out about our football camp.
When we had a sufficient amount of kids registered, getting the right sizes of uniforms was a job in itself. Getting the right colour, sizes of t-shirts and matching shorts and socks for each kid doesn’t sound like it could be that hard right? It’s actually not when you’re not in a warehouse surrounded by shirts, shorts and socks in every possible direction which in our case, we were.
However, that turned out to be quite a walk in the park after the kids actually showed up for their first day. When you have a handful of kids in an open field near footballs and goal posts, things can quickly turn into what almost resembles a mini zoo.
After the first week though, once we all got to know each other and were more comfortable at camp, we got along just fine. The kids had a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave at the end of the day. Parents also kept asking if we would have another camp next year or if we would continue with football lessons during the school term.
I’m not saying that our patience wasn’t tested at times and there were the occasions when we did have to deal with bouts of throwing up, but it was quite rewarding to see the kids leave at the end of the day with smiles on their faces and their enthusiasm for returning the next day to spend time with new friends and cool camp counsellors.
Camp counselling if you’ve never done it, may sound like a nightmarish kind of punishment as it initially did for me. But with the right planning and support, it turned into one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve had. Sometimes the thing that seems most frightening or unappealing could actually be the thing that helps you to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy what you’ve been missing.