Monday, August 08, 2005

Camp Shenanigans

Today in camp we had this really cool magician come and give a magic show. He was frum, so he made some really funny jewish jokes. He explained how his Rav told him he must explain at least one joke so that we would know it was fake. He showed a handkerchief in an egg trick.
Working with kids is fun. I enjoy it immensely. The trouble begins when, for example, one kid is fat and lethargic, and another kid is athletic and small. How are those two ever going to come to an understanding of each other? Some kids need more attention than others. Some are smart and witty while others and outright stupid. Some kids know the right buttons to push, and some are just so cute that you can't punish them. Case in point. One kid wanted to be goaly in soccer. A minute later a kid who hurt his foot said he could only play goaly. Who gets it? The first kid was there first and he wanted the position. The second kid, who I couldn't tell if he was taking advantage of his "hurt" foot to get the position he wanted. I ended up making them split the time. But along came along a third, and then fourth kid who wanted to play the goaly. One kid was a "space cadet" and the other kids hated him because he always let the ball through, and the other kid was just a plain spoiled brat who always got what he wanted. At that point I gave up being policeman and let the kids fight it out.
Another examples where I had a headache was when kids order me around to hold their toys or drinks like I am their personal maid. I am constantly telling kids I am not their mother and to stop asking me to buy them a soda or toy (yes, a kid asked me to buy him a toy from a gift shop and wouldn't stop nagging me for hours). Kids love to take revenge even if the "sin" was done by accident. The tit-for-tat was so annoying it wanted me to start hitting all the kids involved. Kids grab food like there is no tomorrow and never like to share.
The hard part is when I see an overweight kid eating all the food placed in front of him, asks for three, four more portions, and then go scourging the leftover tables for fifths and sixths. I don't know how to help him. He probably is not fed at home by worried parents so he needs food.
Then there are those kids who curse and say the f-word. What can I say to them to make them stop? If I say something they realize it is annoying and then they use it as a bargaining chip. They use it to manipulate the counselor. There are so many things that kids do that you wonder if they will ever grow up to become normal. I assume they must since I don't see so many adults acting like kids. I wonder how a 90 year old looks down at 40 and 50 year olds and think if they are still acting like children.


Blogger The real me said...

Almost sounds like my first year in camp in the Ukraine, difference is that I was only 16, but Bh we had a good director who thought me the ropes.

My basic rules were. Never say anything that I couldn't keep, almost never raise my voice, and never show that I was angry. Plus be a nice guy, and try not to punish, and if I did I gave them a way out of it, or didn't punish to excessively.

On the other hand I wasn't dealing with frum kids, and most of them were not the least bit spoiled, or fat for that matter.

Let us know how the rest of camp goes.

11:25 PM  

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