Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Start of Camp

Firstly, I have to apologise for not updating earlier. This is the first time I've had access to the internet since I've arrived - It's been a hectic few days to say the least!

The flight was pretty uneventful. A complimentary bar, which I didn't use, an enormous range of films which I didn't watch, and an annoying person next to me who I didn't talk to. It was almost all CA staff though, which was fantastic. It was a great atmosphere to fly in. On arrival in America we got taken to our hotel, which was kind of pants. They hadn't sorted out enough rooms for us, and so about 20 boys had to wait for half an hour before we could go to bed. And when I could go to bed, there wasn't any bedding. I never expected to go to a hotel and have to use a sleeping bag.

The camp itself is absolutely enormous. The grounds are some 300 acres, and we can go off grounds whenever we want, so it's pretty much complete freedom. So far I've not spent much time off site though, there really isn't much that you can't do here. So far my new friends and I have just wandered around the grounds, but I've already been invited to stay with one after camp, something I was told would happen, but didn't expect to. My bunk is B8. Up on Elkview (overlooking an Elk-something ski resort), rather than lakeside, and the younger children. My bunk will apparantly be filled with 10-11 year olds, which should be easy enough to handle. I have four co-counsellors - Two Brits (Troy, a magician, and James, a climber) and two New Yorkers (Jake and Dave, a musician and a role player respectively).

So far we've been mostly getting the camp ready. For me, this means fixing poi, taping the bars on the static trapeze, hoops and lira, and a lot of training in 'spotting'. Spotting is simply supervising the children doing an activity, teaching them and making sure they don't injure themselves if something goes wrong. So far, I know how to spot on the mini-tramp, globe, rola-bola, human pyramid, circus bike and static trapeze, and I can assist on the flying trapeze too. An enormous learning activity, given that this has all been in the last two days! I've had to learn how to use all this equipment myself too. I'll certainly be finding somewhere back in England that has a static trapeze, I really enjoy it and I'm picking it up quickly.

Today, I got my first go on the 'rig', the flying trapeze. The first thing to say is that it's big. It's about 15m high, and climbing up the ladder is a nervewracking experience. Waiting on the board at the top is the worst bit though, because you don't have anything to do while you're being attached to the safty lines except look down, which isn't a good plan! Then you're told to bend your legs on the "ready", and jump on "hep!". It's tricky when you're flying through the air to remember to bring your legs up onto the bar, release the handle and reach out for a catch, before dropping off into the net (we're not catching yet). I had two tries at flying normally, and then one try to do a flip on the dismount. Needless to say, I messed it up, but it was good to hear that the staff have confidence in me.

We're just cleaning up the bunks tonight, ready for the campers to arrive on Saturday. It's hard work, but I think it'll be worth it. I've certainly been thoroughly enjoying my time here so far.

More updates soon!


Emma M said...

Wow!! Flying trapeze!! Sounds scary. Sounds like you're having lots of fun tho =D xx

Phyllis said...

glad you're enjoying it! is it very hot? We won the appeal! Ed's going to 'Castle'

Rory said...

Flying trapeze, eh? Sounds awesome (and terrifying!) Glad to hear you're having a good time!

SarahPine said...

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