Honesty Time

Keeping it real since 2013

End of Camp Reflections

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Today was my last Monday morning of this year’s camp session. While my future with the company looks promising, there are still no guarantees about where I will be in a few months, weeks, whatever. So I’ve been feeling both very excited and very sad about the last week of camp.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my kiddos, who bring me joy every day, even if I do have to have a sit-down with them about their misbehavior, or even if they do get annoying (even the cutest kids can get on your nerves).

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my staff, who have all put their trust in me and followed me in every piece of advice I have given, even though I’ve only been with the company for about a week more than they have. I think about our jokes and laughter, and when, if ever, we will meet again.

I think a lot about how people walk in and out of our lives, and some only stay for a short time, while others are around forever. Some leave for the better, and some leave though you wish they wouldn’t.

Like my boss dude. I think about my boss, who somehow trusted me without any doubt to do this amazing job, though it was such a huge commitment for someone so new to the company. Thanks to him, I’ve found a much happier place to work, and I found the strength to leave my old job. Hopefully, more doors will continue to open for me. I learned a lot from him, and I’ve learned a lot about my own abilities through the work he has had me do.

I think about my fibromyalgia, and how taxing working so many hours a week has been on my body. My social life is nil, and I have had a chronic cough for many weeks now, purely because my body is beyond run down. I think about how I run out of spoons so early in the day, but I push myself because I am in a good place. I am learning that while my fibromyalgia is still calling almost all of the shots, there are times when I can ignore those shots. I may regret it later, when I’m collapsed in exhaustion while the sun is still out, and the pain radiates from hair follicles (legit) to my toes, BUT, I appreciate every new experience in my life.

Here’s to my last week of camp, and I look forward to many, many more. I close with a few more notable quotables from my charismatic, funny-without-realizing-it campers.

  • First grade boy playing foosball with a bunch of kids older than him. They’re telling him to relax because he’s getting too amped, and something about how he’s just a kid, and not the boss.
    “I’m not a kid, I’m a man!!! [Counselor] told me so! He’s a man and so am I!”
  • Counselor: You’re crushing me in mancala right now.
    Camper: That’s my job! Actually, I do have a real job. It’s to be cute! And so far I’m doing a good job and I haven’t been fired yet.
  • I gave a tour to some parents the other day. They didn’t bring their kids because they were just looking for some more information about us. Seeing just parents and no kids in tow, a little girl excitedly, but also maybe a little worriedly, asked a counselor “Mommies and daddies are going to start coming to camp?!”
  • I was knitting a scarf at my desk in the office. A 5 year old girl asked me what I was making. I had only knit about 5 inches of the scarf, but I still tried to put it around my neck to model it for her.
    Me: It’s going to be a scarf!
    Her: It’s too short to be a scarf! It should be a sleeve for your husband’s shirt!
    Me: I don’t have a husband. I’m going to knit this long enough to be a scarf.
    Her: Oh. … you should get a husband and buy him shirts with no sleeves so you can put that on his shirts.
    My boss: Wow your getting it from all angles. I bet she sounds just like your grandma.
  • Talking about movies with the kids, some creepy movies, some old.
    Camper: Back in your day, was Gremlins supposed to be serious?
    Oh my god, how old am I that they ask me about “back in my day”???
  • Two kids were sitting in the Director’s spot in the office, pretending to be him.
    “Allyssa, you’re fired!”
    Me: “You can’t do that, I’m the Assistant Director!”
    “Yes we just did, but you’re rehired as a dog.”
  • “When will my mom buy me a bikini?! L is the same age as me and she has one but I don’t!” A kindergarten girl.
  • Sassy kindergarten-kid: Meeeeelissssaaa (not my name), how can you be an adult? You’re so midget.
  • In the afternoons, kids get snacks of chips and/or apples. This has turned into a snack called “Chapples!” The kids now chant for “chapples” every afternoon.
  • I was checking kids out of camp and asked a 5 year old for his wrist so I could take the identification wrist band kids all get at the beginning of the day. He gave me the arm without a wrist band and I said “Oh, no! Not that one! I don’t want to cut your wrist off!” And he says “Yeah but I want to cut yours off!” Oh, ok. Ok. Ok then.
  • All of my campers were very excited for me when they found out that I was getting my stitches removed back in July. However, one little boy was still thoroughly convinced that the reason I had stitches in my wrist to begin with was because Godzilla had tried to bite my wrist off. When two 3rd grade girls told him it was just a cyst, he was very disappointed, but then we still talked about Godzilla for 10 minutes. It doesn’t help that I’m the reason why he thought it was Godzilla. Coming up with a rad story is better than saying I had a cyst, which most kids don’t understand. The original conversation went something like…
    Kid: Why do you have a cast? How did you broke it?
    Me: A giant t-rex came to bite my hand off, but the doctor saved my hand so now I have stitches all around my wrist.
    Kid: That’s not even possible! Dinosaurs aren’t REAL!!!
    Me: What?! Then who bit my hand off???
    Kid: You must have meant GODZILLA! I bet it was Godzilla, he’s real!


And the best quote of all, from many campers, some who have already had their last day, is a simple “Thank you.”


Thank you, campers. Signing off.


Author: Allyssa Ellen

A costumer, a makeup artist, an educator, and a librarian, all rolled up into one convenient, fun-sized package.

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