NaBloPoMo: Surprise Lake Camp’s lake

This summer I took part in Camp America which allowed me spend my summer at Surprise Lake Camp.

I spent many hours on the docks by the lake and it truly made me happy.

This summer, it was ridiculously hot so diving into the lake was very refreshing. I often admired the lifeguards simply because they got to spend all day on the docks and in the lake.

When we all first arrived we had to take a swim test before we could swim in the lake. I expected it to be very cold but because of the hot weather the lake was luke warm.

I never understood the people who complained about going in the lake, it was so fun especially when we got to go on the burger bounce.Β I would get flung into the air and land with a splash into the water.

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Travel: “Best overnight ever”

After camp Olympics, I thought any other day would be pretty hard to match it. However on Friday evening a group of us decided to make the most if our night off and head out of camp.

We didnt escape the luxuries that come with camp as the bugs, sweaty bodies and uncomfortable nights sleep still existed on this particular night.

We went hiking up a huge hill, sleeping bag and bikini readily packed. I must be the lamest hiker at camp as I plodded along at the back, complaining, sweating and nearly dying! I daren’t dream of what I must of looked like once I reached the top!!

By the time we reached the top I was so tired I could barely hold a conversation with anyone.

As soon as we got there, John Teva’s survival instincts set in and he went off into the jungle to gather some fire wood.

Callum, a New Zealand adventurer, used magnesium stuff to light the fire. It is pretty handy having a group of guys who all seem to be really into building fires! Actually I think it is generally all males who like playing with fire!

The night consisted of making s’mores, chomping on steak and campfire stories. It was a very enjoyable evening spent with a great group of people.

It was so enjoyable we didn’t end up drifting off to sleep until 4am, by which time the sun was coming up.

Snuggling down in my sleeping bag, crammed between two strong men (for protection from the two dear we saw and bears) in a four way spoon, I actually managed to get a reasonably good few hours sleep.

When I woke up, Steve was already in the middle of cooking breakfast; bacon, egg and sausage with Sunny D! As I was drinking the Sunny D I was reminded of how my mum used to only allow my sister and I to drink it occasionally because it apparently made us hyper.

Steve made me breakfast as I lounged about on my sleeping bag. Ashley had leant me her black pants that are apparently really big in America; Solos. They were pretty comfy and to me they just looked like yoga pants. John was so ‘frickin’ Teva’ he decided to not bring a sleeping bag and ended up sleeping in a ball wrapped in just a sheet – must have been so comfy!

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Once I had let my breakfast digest (I have been taught well, I didn’t want cramp lol) I went jumping off a rock into the lake. It took me a while to build up the courage to actually jump but I did it in the end. It was very refreshing and we all ended up spending the majority of the morning mulling around in the lake.

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At about 12 we started to pack up our belongings and decided to head back to camp. The hike down hill was quite enjoyable in comparison to the hike up. I was able to appreciate the Forrest with the all its creatures, including frogs and mini little orange lizard things.

Once I finally made it back to my unit I ended up sleeping from half 2 until half 7 in Ashley’s bunk. Her bed is so comfy and her fan is very powerful which makes it the perfect spot to nap. It has become a regular thing that I nap in Ashley’s bunk now and she just laughs about it!

That evening, Steve, Ashley, Casey, Laura and I went out to eat at a local diner. I had the French onion soup with a side order of fries which was a nice change from camp food.

So far this week camp has been pretty mellow. It has been so hot that I found it difficult to walk the half a mile between Teenside and Mainside. I managed to spend a lot of time in the air conditioned office, which was heaven, as I have begun preparing the all camp slideshow. This involved skimming through all the photographs that have been taken so far and choosing a few hundred. A difficult task considering we take, on average, 400 photos a day.

At the beginning of the week it rained a fair amount and the loud thunder feels like it is shaking you. The weather here goes from one extreme to the other. I can’t really complain about the rain as it at least cools down a little.

The campers in Ashley’s bunk always seem to have amazing food. I have been introduced to double stuffed Oreos dipped in Nutella! I don’t think I will be loosing any weight whilst I am at camp now!!

The last couple of days have been, what I describe as, your typical days at camp. 8.15am breakfast, teach some kids photography, take pictures of kids doing their activities, walk half a mile to the office and upload pictures, 1pm lunch, take some more pictures of kids doing activities, walk back to Teenside, nap, dinner, bed.

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On Monday evening a muscial band known as the Shlomones came to camp and everyone gathered in the Eddie Canter Theatre to watch them perform. I had to take pictures of the event but half way through I ended up cheering and dancing along with it all. I am pretty sure most people found it horrifically cheesey but for some strange and shameful reason I always seem to love the camp shows that they put on.

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After the show we went back to the diner and I had the soup again. It is so good! I also ordered lemon meringue pie which was ok! Huge but just ok.

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On Wednesday night I had to sit on duty (OD) which requires you to make sure all the campers are in their bunks and stay in their bunks until they drift to sleep. I have done 2 so far and they are normally very boring and tiresome. This time was pretty fun as another counselor ended up drawing a beautiful henna tattoo on my hand.

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Yesterday night it was Casey’s birthday so we all piled into Ashley’s car and headed for a nearby bowling alley. On the way we got lost and Casey and I went a little crazy. I have no idea why we found saying hashtag before every sentence so hysterical but we did and I think it will forever be hilarious. I felt like dressing up last night so I did my hair and makeup for the first time in like 2 weeks. It felt goooood!

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As always, the week has been tiring yet a lot of fun.

 

A lot of the photographs featured on this post are curtesy of Dan Cleare πŸ™‚

Travel: Poison ivy, lake fun and the Olympics,

Over the past few days I have managed to bond a little with the campers who I share my bunk with. They are very sporty and keep asking me to try and do an American accent. Now I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but I think I am pretty good at it now! They were impressed anyway!

I also went in the lake for the second time. I did another four laps of the lake which allowed me to use the diving board and a burger bounce.

Both the diving board and burger bounce were a lot of fun and I cannot wait to go back in the lake again! It was so refreshing after I spent the entire day wondering around camp teaching, taking pictures and sweating.

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For the past few days I have been so itchy and my ankles have developed blister spots. I thought I had just had an allergic reaction to mosquito bites but after visiting the nurse I discovered I have a poison Ivey infection. I apparently just have to wait for it to scab over and then I am all better! Mark (a fellow English friend at camp) came with me to the health centre and made me laugh along the way!

That night I also had to sit OD (on duty) in a different unit. This involves sitting in a certain spot from 9.30-12.30, making sure the campers go to sleep. It was very boring and I am not looking forward to doing it again next week. It also doesn’t help that I was nearly falling asleep because camp life is truly tiring!

The past two days have been crazy. Olympics, also known as colour war broke out at camp. It is one of the biggest camp events. The entire camp is split into 4 different colours, this year there was white Captain America team, blue Spiderman, red Iron Man and black Batman. Essentially it is supposed to be kept a secret until the Olympic break out occurs. Steve put together a audio clip and asked two councellors to have a dance off between each other. Half way through the clip Whammy’s (a man who has the most distinctive voice at camp) voice comes booming through the speakers. Everyone is wondering what is going on and then he announces the beginning of the colour war. We had Batman enter on a bat-o-cart, Captain America jumping from a shack at the back of the theater, Spiderman swinging from the roof and Iron Man climbing onto the stage. Everyone was going absolutely crazy and I had to try and capture the whole thing in pictures.

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Overnight, whilst all the campers were asleep, camp had been transformed with banners supporting different teams strung up everywhere! Everyone was dressed in their assigned colours and the constant stream of chants began at breakfast. I spent the day taking pictures of all the different Olympic events and ended up staying up until 2am to edit and upload them all so parents could see. Yesterday was also the 4th July so lots of people had big American flags and we had to sing happy birthday to America in the dining hall.

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I also managed to take a dip in the lake, in between taking pictures, which was a relief because it was such a hot day. I think I have established that my favourite part of camp is the lake, it is just so fun.