Comes With Extra Playing Positions

, , , , , | Learning | March 7, 2018

I’m teaching a video-making summer camp with seven- to ten-year-olds. On the last day, I decide to bring in board games and things from my house for them to play with, since they have all mostly finished their videos and need to wait for me to edit them.

One of the things I bring is “Truth or Dare” Jenga. I only kind of glance at the box, and tell the kids they don’t need to do the Truth or Dare part, just the Jenga part.

After a few minutes, I see one of the kids kiss a girl’s hand and ask what they’re doing, and they say they’re doing the dares on the Truth or Dare Jenga. I decide to investigate and look more closely at the Jenga pieces. Turns out, they are Truth or Dare Jenga pieces for adults to use in the bedroom. I take them away and give the kids a different game to play after that, but thank goodness I looked!

Dysentery At The Dance Camp

, , , , , , , | Working | January 22, 2018

I attended a dance camp; there were bunkhouses, separate shower buildings, a cafeteria, etc. When I got there, folks directed us to drive “round Robin’s barn” from the entrance to the parking area. I didn’t understand why at the time, but later noticed that the shorter driveway traversed some 4″ PVC pipe; rainwater drain pipes, I assumed.

A couple of days into the camp, I was in the cafeteria getting some salad, when a particular leaf of “lettuce” struck me as odd. It wasn’t lettuce at all, but a paper towel thoroughly saturated in some greenish fluid.

I reported this to an uninterested employee, and thereafter ate only thoroughly cooked food.

To cut to the chase, about a third of the attendees came down with some sort of dysentery. The situation was bad enough that the state health department got called in. I managed to escape with no significant ailment, but vowed never to return to that camp.

I heard later that the camp was on shaky financial footing and had hired locals with no professional food prep experience. In addition, those 4″ PVC pipes were apparently sewer lines, and at least one had broken.

Fuuuuuuuudge For Dessert!

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2018

Years ago I worked at a summer camp run by the church. One of the rules was that all music played by the staff had to be kid-friendly, which made sense. However, the kitchen staff were let off a bit, as they usually worked when the kids were out doing activities. This particular kitchen staff had two playlists: a non-kid-friendly one for prepping meals, and a kid-friendly one for mealtime. It’s important to note that you could see and hear into the kitchen from the dining hall.

One night, while the kids were still in the dining hall, one of the kitchen staff turned on the stereo and walked away to start cleanup duties. However he didn’t realize that the non-kid-friendly playlist was still cued up from earlier. I was in the kitchen asking someone a question, when suddenly I heard loud drums, electric guitar, and a growling heavy metal voice start to scream: “FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU– “

Immediately, the staff member who turned on the stereo dove across the room and unplugged the system to kill the music. The rest of us just stared at him in shock and then started to laugh hysterically. Fortunately, the camp director wasn’t around to hear the “F-bomb” near-miss, but for the rest of the summer, the kitchen staff were very careful to check the playlist before turning on any music!

Finally Got Your Goat

, , , , , | Friendly | December 12, 2017

(We farm goats. Sometimes first-time nanny goats have twins, and sometimes they reject one of the twins. When this happens, we have to bottle-feed the rejected kid. The first few weeks, it’s pretty much a 24/7 proposition, but not one that’s too hard to take as kids are mobile pretty much from the get-go, and small enough to be portable. It also helps that they’re adorable. Rather than cancel a camping trip, I take a red-brown female kid trailer-camping with my family.)

Campers #1, #2, and #3: *all separate occasions* “What kind of a dog is that?”

Me: “She’s not a dog; she’s a goat. I’m bottle-raising her.”

(Reactions range from “cool!” to “that’s stupid,” and I quickly grow weary of folk who can’t tell a goat from a dog.)

Camper #4: “What kind of a dog is that?”

Me: “She’s a Chupacabra-doodle.”

Refuses To (El)Bow Out

, , , , | Learning | December 8, 2017

(I’m at a music summer camp. While leaving one of the nightly concerts, I see a girl, who I recognize as a French horn player from my orchestra program, on the ground, and a staff member next to her. I quickly realize that she is injured. As I’m walking over to ask if she’s okay, I hear her listing where she’s hurt.)

Girl: “Both knees… uhh… oh! And my elbow.”

(The staff member next to her shines her phone’s flashlight around, and I see that her knees are both scraped and bleeding. I don’t see her elbow.)

Me: *reaching her* “Hey, are you okay?”

Girl: “Ah, yeah! …Probably.”

(Seeing my discomfort with that answer, she proceeds to wiggle her fingers and put weight on her left hand, then looks back up at me.)

Girl: “Oh, yeah, I can still play.”

(Note that she didn’t check her knees at all or mention how she was, outside of playing horn. Well, good to know she had her priorities straight.)


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