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This Counselor Needs Job Counseling

, , , , | Working | November 15, 2022

When I was sixteen, I started my first job as a camp counsellor. Each day, we’d organise two to four activities for children aged three to sixteen in different age groups, each activity taking two hours.

This story happened when I was nineteen. I was responsible for one such activity; we were making sock puppets and a puppet theatre, as well as creating a little story the children could perform for their parents when they came to pick them up.

This is a lot of work, so I had two coworkers with me: [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2]. [Coworker #1] had started two years before, and [Coworker #2] had started the year before, so it was not like any of us were inexperienced.

[Coworker #1] and I had gone to our little storage shed halfway across town and had gathered a lot of materials for the children to use. Both [Coworker #1], the children, and I had a lot of fun. [Coworker #2], however, did not seem to have much of anything, let alone fun. He seemed bored, to be quite honest.

In order to try and get him to do something — anything, really — we asked him if he could run to the storage shed and get some more yellow paint. We were nearly out and the kids wanted to use more yellow paint for the theatre.

Instead of doing something useful, for a change, he just laid down on a couple of chairs, stared daggers at us, and announced:

Coworker #2: “No, I don’t want to. It’s too hot, and I don’t feel like running all the way to the storage shed in this heat!”

[Coworker #1] tried to reason with him, saying that he hadn’t done much of anything for the past hour and that if he could take over for either of us, we could run along and get the paint ourselves. [Coworker #2] was adamant about not leaving, nor helping.

After a couple more minutes of this, I decided that the paint couldn’t wait any longer, so I ran out in the 30°C (86°F) heat, to go and get the paint myself. I was gone for about ten minutes, and when I came back, [Coworker #2] was still laying down on the chairs, refusing to talk to either [Coworker #1] or me.

We decided not to make a big deal out of it right then and there. All in all, the kids were able to finish their sock puppets and the theatre, we even wrote a two-minute interaction that included all the sock puppets. As far as the kids were concerned, it was a total success.

[Coworker #1] and I went off on [Coworker #2] when we got back to the office, though. Luckily, our manager backed us up and gave him a poor review. Some parents had even called in to tell the head of the department that their children had said that [Coworker #2] had refused to help!

[Coworker #2] did get his comeuppance; he was forced to clean the paint brushes, a job that took him about an hour and a half to complete.

A few years later, [Coworker #2] tried to get his counsellor certification (a certification that increases your wage as a camp counsellor) but failed due to very similar reasons. He didn’t come back after that.

Couldn’t Catch Him Redheaded

, , , , , , | Working | October 6, 2022

I work at a day camp where the teenagers are junior counselors (JCs) and are expected to help the counselors out. Unfortunately, the fifteen-year-old “helping” me is so immature that I spend more time babysitting him than I do most of the six-year-olds. This story happens during my second week at work

Me: “[Junior Counselor], can you go get [Kid] for me? He should be getting on the bus with us.”

Junior Counselor: “Which one’s [Kid]?”

Me: “The redhead.”

He walks over to the other group of six-year-olds, where the kid I need is. He soon comes back.

Junior Counselor: “I can’t find him.”

Me: “He’s by…”

At this point, my brain completely fails on the name of the counselor he’s standing by, so I gesture in the right direction. Please note that I am sending the JC because I am trying to keep five other kids in line, and also that, while the kid’s hair is not especially firey, it is definitely red, and no other kid in the group has hair with even a red tinge. After my JC fails to find the kid about three times, despite him being in clear view, I leave him to look after the other kids and get the one I need.

Me: “See? This is [Kid].”

Junior Counselor: “Oh.”

He stares at the kid’s hair for a second.

Junior Counselor: “That’s orange.

Me: “That’s what ‘redhead’ means!

At Least Mom Didn’t Set Up Camp In The Next Bunk Over!

, , , , | Learning | October 5, 2022

My dad organizes Christian camps every year during the summer, usually a family one and a youth one, each a week long. We usually stay in between these camps because we’re the family of the director.

We just finished the family camp a few days ago and we’re starting the youth one today, so young people between twelve and twenty-five are arriving. I spot a girl I know, [Girl #1], going with her mother, [Mother #1], down to where the girls sleep. I follow to say hi and show her around a bit, being the welcoming girl I am. The mother is chatting with a different mother, [Mother #2], about her daughter, [Girl #2], and such.

Note: there are only top bunk beds left; the bottoms have already all been taken as the girls arrived.

Me: *To [Girl #1]* “Hey, it’s so nice to see you!”

Mother #1: “Hey, do you know whose bed this is?”

She points to mine as I sit on it.

Me: “Yeah, it’s mine. Why?”

Mother #1: “Oh, because I don’t want [Girl #1] to sleep on a top bunk; I think she might fall off during the night.”

Me: “Well, there’s really no reason to worry about that. I’m sure [Girl #1] will be fine.”

Mother #2: “Yes, I’m sure [My Name] and the other girls will take care of her! Look, I think [Friend] is on this bed next to [My Name], and [Girl #2] is on top of [Friend]’s bed. [Girl #1] can sleep above [My Name,] and she’ll be fine.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s an excellent idea! She’ll be fine. We can put a chair or something so she can get up easier.”

The top beds are a bit tough to get up on; I only know how because of years of experience.

Mother #1: “Yeah, but I’m still worried. Can you change with her? Just put your stuff on the bed above yours so she can have yours?”

Me: *Taken aback* “Um, no, I’ve been sleeping in this bed for a week already, from family camp. I’d rather not change. Your daughter will be fine.”

Mother #1: *Looks at [Girl #1]* “Well, okay, if you’re sure. And [My Name] can probably help you make your bed, right?”

What am I, a servant?! I nod noncommittally, and [Mother #1] keeps talking. 

Mother #1: “Where can I unpack her clothes and all?”

Me: *Inwardly groaning* “Well, [Friend], who’s also been here for a week, has already got all her things on that shelf over there, and there aren’t any more shelves. Everyone just puts their suitcase under their bed and pulls it out when necessary. Trust me, we won’t be down here long enough during the day to be bored.”

Mother #1: “Well, [Friend] could still move her things! Why does she have everything everywhere?!”

She starts moving things around to make space.

Me: “Hey, please don’t touch her things! She’s got that all done and all.”

She stops touching things but continues grumbling about how [Friend] should make some space for other people. [Mother #1] looks for space to put the suitcase (it ends up next to the shelf all week). I say hi to [Mother #2] and chat a bit.

Eventually, [Mother #1] takes out sheets and starts making her daughter’s bed. I think it’s all under control, so I head back upstairs. [Girl #1] ends up making a lot of trouble for my mom during the camp.

Since it’s a Christian camp, we have to dress decently; spaghetti straps aren’t allowed, pants must be knee-length or longer, and you have to wear one-piece swimsuits. Phones stay in our rooms.

[Girl #3] hurts herself halfway through camp, twisting her ankle, and [Girl #1] goes up to my mom.

Girl #1: “Can I go get [Girl #3]’s phone? She’s in the living room and can’t move her foot. We want to watch a movie.”

Mom: “No, the phones have to stay in the rooms. If she can’t go down to use it, she can’t use it.”

My mom also had to tell [Girl #1] several times during the day to change her shorts, change her shirt, put something on, and so on. She once came up to the kitchen in front of some boys in her pajamas! That’s a big no-no here. My mom got tired of telling her all the time, but she said that if she did it again, she was going to have a good talk with her parents about telling her what to wear or maybe even what to pack.

[Mother #1] eventually invited herself over for the next camp to help in the kitchen — I told her we had more than enough help — because she didn’t want to leave her kids alone. Mom said she wouldn’t let [Mother #1] come anyway!

The camp was amazing, and we all had a great time. When [Mother #1] came to pick up her kids, she basically cross-examined me on whether her daughter had been happy through camp. I think so?

Rigged For Failure

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2022

Our campground is on the newer side of things, but it’s still a standard campground with electric pedestals on all the sites and a dump station where guests can fill their campers with water and empty grey and black water tanks. The dump station is just down the hill from the site that loops right by the entrance to the campground itself; you can’t miss it.

We have a boat landing, but we don’t allow guests to store watercrafts down there without being attached to vehicles because it’s a public landing on a very big busy lake. The only site that has full hookups (water, sewer, electric) is the host site.

I’m doing my cleaning rounds, and I have to stop because there is a new arrival trying to back up his rig. He’s currently blocking the road so I can’t get through with our maintenance truck. Our campground host is assisting the camper with backing up his extremely large, brand-new toy hauler and truck.

A toy hauler is a type of camper that can be a fifth wheel or bumper pull that has a “garage” in the back of it to store toys like ATVs or jet skis.

This guy cannot for the life of him get this rig backed in. Our host ends up having to stand on the running board of the truck and assist the guy through the window. He finally gets it backed in and I get out of my truck to talk to the host and the guy.

Me: “[Campground Host], you’re definitely having a busy day.”

Campground Host: “Yeah, just glad we got it in there.”

Camper: “Thanks for the help. Where are the water and sewer hookups?”

Me: “We don’t have water and sewer hookups in the sites, we do have a dump station down the hill by where you entered the campground. You can fill your water tank there and empty your grey and black tanks there, as well.”

Camper: “I was told that we would have full hookups. Also, where do I store my boat and jet ski? Can I just keep them at the landing?”

I quickly glance over at the campground host, and we share this look that says, “Here we go.”

Me: “I’m sorry for any confusion. We just have electric hookups available at the site with access to a dump station. I understand it can be confusing when you make the reservation online. As for the watercrafts, you can either keep them on your site or leave them down at the landing with a vehicle attached, but I’ll warn you now that it’s a bit of a haul down to the landing without a vehicle. Most people just keep them in their site so it’s close by.”

Camper: “Well, now I have to leave the site to go to the dump station and unload my watercrafts.”

Me: “Again, so sorry. If you make any reservations with us in the future, I recommend our pull-through sites. That way you don’t have to back in and you have better access to the garage on your trailer.”

Camper: “This was the only site available, and I’m from Missouri; it’s not like I’ll be camping here again any time soon.”

And with that, he jumped back in his truck to go take care of getting water and his boats. I went to ask the campground host how long he had been helping the guy. Before I got stopped, the host said he had been helping him for fifteen minutes and would probably have to help the guy again when he came back to his site.

A while later, we also witnessed the same camper almost put his brand-new rig in the ditch and take out one of our signs because he cut the corner. I swear, some people should not be given keys to a rig that size without providing they can safely tow it and back it up.

And, of course, we had a jet ski and boat parked in the weeds down at the boat landing without a vehicle attached to them. We had to talk to him about that, too. The two weeks he camped with us were the longest two weeks of that summer.

It’s been a couple of years since and we haven’t seen him back. We now refer to him as our Missouri friend.

Their Reading Skills Are A Little F**ky

, , , , , , | Learning | September 24, 2022

I’m working at a summer camp, and we’re showing young campers around.

Camper: “What are… f**ky lights?”

Me: “What are… what?!

Camper: “F**ky lights. I saw a sign that said, ‘Shower f**ky lights,’ but I don’t know the word.”

Camp Counselor: “[Camper], that word is pronounced ‘facilities.'” 

Camper: “Oh… are you sure?”

Counselor & Me: “Yes!”