Okay let’s continue with the UniCamp saga (<—– saga = something that happens over a long period of time. I would say that UniCamp has been a part of my life for a SAGAs worth of time. That’s not correct English. I’m a teacher).
We left off with: How The Beav Came About
……So, with my name permanently etched onto my sticky nametag, I walked into my very first UniCamp meeting. It was in some residential lounge – can’t remember which. 10th week of the quarter. And I knew nobody.
Let me just summarize the meeting for you. It was a lot of introducing ourselves and playing name games (Imagine this: “Hi, I’m Beav.” “Hi! I’m Goonie!” “Hi! I’m Pink Skies.” “Hi, I’m Dinglehopper”). No wonder people think we’re crazy. It was a lot of singing songs (for example: “God Bless my Underwear”). It was a lot of screaming and shouting. And things I wasn’t quite used to. I never went to a typical summer camp growing up. I went to TENNIS camp. Where people play tennis and only shout when they missed the ball (or heard shouting from angry parents on the sidelines).
The remainder of spring training was just like that. Songs. Games. And themed meetings. That centered around our session outcome: “Change – It Begins With One.”
I wasn’t particularly close to people in my session. A lot of them were “Old Woodseys” (<—- people who have done camp before) who had known each other from previous sessions. They were friendly, but I was shy and unwilling to leave my comfort zone. I opened up a bit more after our retreat, but I was still pretty closed off.
Halfway through training, we had co-revs (where the Leadership Team reveals our COs and our positions up at camp). I got paired with another first-year Woodsey named Smiley. Together, we’d be the Unit 5 (youngest girls) counselors. While I was really excited about getting what I had preffed, I had yet to feel this “Woodsey magic” people spoke of. I couldn’t understand why people seemed to love this organization so much. What made UniCamp better than any other camp? Why did the KIDS come back year after year? Why did the volunteers speak of their years in camp as the most defining years of their lives?
All the old Woodseys assured me that it wasn’t something that I’d get or that I’d feel until the week up at camp. So I continued to blindly go through the process with that advice running through my head: “You just won’t know it until you DO it. You won’t feel it until you’re immersed in it.”
That advice got my butt through training and it got me to on-site orientation (where we pre-acclimate ourselves to the campsite before we go back up with the kids). And then I almost quit camp…
….To Be Continued….