Home at last! I just got home from my school’s annual 6th Grade Camping Trip. YAY!!!! We left school at about 8 am on Monday and got back in the afternoon today. The whole point of the trip (at least what I’m told) is to ‘do teambuilding activities, and build friendships, and do outdoor education for urban students’. Personally I feel like it’s main purpose is to see how far you can drive teachers phsyically, mentally, and emotionally before they fall into complete and total delerium. I’m actually not ‘down on the trip’. I think it’s a valuable experience for the students. They have a ton of fun, are forced to be open-minded and out of their element, and are incredibly fun to SCREW with for 3 days. Scaring them, freaking them out, bothering them – that part of it is pretty awesome. It is however, a testament to any sane adult’s sanity and physical endurance. Not to mention their ability to sleep on a wooden slab with a semi-inflatable yoga mat on it.
Even though it’s not the name of the camp, I refer to the place as Camp Crystal Lake – because I feel like the trip stalks and murders my patience and endurance. Here’s an actual picture of the camp:
So here’s a basic run down of my life for the past 3 days. Monday – leave school at 8 am, get to the camp by 11. Have lunch & take the camp tour, then 2 1.5 hour ‘Outdoor Activity Sessions’. (At this point, each teacher leads a group of about 8 kids in an Outdoor Activity Session/Lesson. Over the course of 2 days you teach the same activity to each of the 6 groups). After that – the kids get 45 minutes of ‘free recreation time’. After that – dinner, presentation on wolves/coyotes, campfire with skits & songs, a walking through the dark/scaring the kids as they look for the ‘wolf’ in the dark, smores, and then bedtime at 11.
Day 2 – Up at 7 with breakfast at 8, the other 4 activity periods, lunch, more rec. time, dinner, then a dance until 10. (Complete exhaustion sets in at about 3:30 pm – after that all of the adults are basically operating on auto-pilot, the kids are total crabby brats, and the high school counselors can’t stop laughing as their respect for the teachers begin to grow as they realize how irritating kids can be).
Day 3 - I don’t remember today at this point because I slept through most of the festivities with my eyes open. I think there was breakfast, ‘Camp Olympics’, and a lot of packing, etc. We left the camp at about 11:30 am. By noon all of the kids on the bus were passed out. The adults soon after.
Every year when I get back from the Camping Trip I take a hot shower, take a great nap, wake up and eat spaghetti, and then veg out watching guilty-pleasure tv. Which is exactly what I’m doing right now. All of the 6th grade teachers were told that we have Thursday off and don’t have to come to school. I also took Friday off in an attempt to re-gain my strength and sanity.
So now that I’m in my own quiet, comfy home, wearing my pjs and watching Law & Order – I have time to reflect on some of the more hilarious quotes from students in the wilderness.
Hilarious Kids’ Quotes from Camping 2011:
1. “Miss __________, are we near an airport?”
“What’s with all the lights?”
“Those are stars.”
2. “Stop tube-slide raping people!”
3. “ I can’t wait to get home and play video games 24/7!!”
4. Me: “Wow you really had some moves out there on the dance floor. The ladies are going to be chasing you…”
Him: “That’s what happens when your game is on point”
5. While doing the outdoor activities, the high school counselor and myself start talking about kids being couch potatos -
I said, “That’s the problem with kids today, they don’t play outside enough – they sit around playing Xbox.” To which the kid in the tree in the picture responded:
“I DON’T PLAY XBOX – I JUMP OFF ROOFS FOR FUN!!!! Y’ALL SHOULD TRY IT!!!” (If he only knew how much I want to).
Hilarious Teacher Quotes:
1. In regards to dropping ‘fake’ DO YOU LIKE ME CIRCLE YES OR NO notes around the dance to start drama: “Will lives be ruined? Possibly. Will kids get scarred? Most likely. Is it worth it? HELL YEAH!!”
2. “Can you believe this is what you do for a living?”
3. “Teaching is the only profession where people just don’t believe your word as a professional. I mean if a dentist comes in and says ‘well you have a cavity and need a filling.’ You don’t say – “No I don’t, you don’t know what you’re talking about. My teeth don’t get holes in them. Clearly you have something against my teeth.” But if you tell a parent that their kid is getting a bullying referral, they just don’t treat you like you know what you’re talking about. Who argues with their surgeon? Their dentist? DUH!”
4. “This trip makes my entire body and soul hurt. Why can’t I stop laughing?”
5. “I can’t wait to go home and get drunk.”
So one more year of that trip under my belt. It reminded me how much less energy that I have now that I’m not 22 anymore. It reminded me how sad it is that poor urban kids don’t have parents that take them into the wilderness ever – so much so that they’re amazed by birds that aren’t pigeons. Thirdly, it reminded me that I love my kids – seeing them out of their element and doing hilarious things. And lastly, it reminded me that after 70+ hours with kids – I am SO happy to be by myself at my house – without any kids within hearing distance.
So another year’s trip is down, and tomorrow I’m sleeping until I don’t feel like sleeping anymore.