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What A Load Of Crap

, , , , , , | Working | April 16, 2020

I worked at an elementary school summer camp one summer with nine kids aged one to three attending the camp. There were two of us working that summer so we each had to watch four or five kids at all times. At the end of the summer, my boss asked if I’d come back the next summer to work at the camp again and I agreed, assuming it would be about the same as this year.

The following summer, I showed up for work and found out that this year we had two workers to watch nineteen kids all aged one to three. Needless to say, I’ve never been so exhausted or changed so many diapers in my life.

Right, Sleeping, Sure

, , , , | Related | April 13, 2020

This happened when my friend and I were thirteen. We went camping at the beach with my entire family. But being thirteen, we were teenagers! At least in our minds.

We brought a tent for us to share away from the family. The last full day that we were there, my friend and I went out into the ocean all day, so when we came back that night we were exhausted. 

My niece, who was six, asked if she could sleep in the tent with my friend and me, wanting to sleep with the big girls. We said sure and put her sleeping bag in between ours and we all went to sleep.

My niece, even to this day, is an active sleeper, meaning she moves around all the time in her sleep. But we were so tired that we didn’t even notice that she threw her arms wide and hit my friend and me in the face. We only found out the next morning when my friend had a black eye and I had a busted lip… and my niece was perfectly fine.

You Can’t Hammer Caring Into Some People

, , , , , , | Learning | April 13, 2020

As part of the outreach programming at a small museum, my boss and I run a drop-in “Art in the Park” program for local kids twice a week during the summer. Occasionally, an entire camp shows up with 50+ kids, and they mistakenly assume the two of us being there means they don’t have to help supervise. This time, two summer camps have shown up, we’re totally swamped, and I’m mediating a conflict between two kids with one of the camp counselors when one of her coworkers comes over.

Counselor #1: *With no emotion* “[Student #1] lost his hammer privileges. He used it to hit [Student #2].” 

Counselor #2: “Oh, my gosh! Is [Student #2] okay?”

Counselor #1: “Umm…” *Wanders off*

I look over and see [Student #1] still holding the hammer and swinging wildly at a piece of scrap wood while several other kids also hit it with whatever they can find.

Me: “[Counselor #1]! If they’re going to use the hammers, you need to be right there watching them!”

[Counselor #1] sits down near the kids, but does not look up from her phone at them or me.

Me: “[Counselor #1]! To be safe, only one kid can hammer at once, and you need to be holding the board and nail!” 

[Counselor #1] still doesn’t look up from her phone.

Me: “Kids, if you’re going to use the hammer, [Counselor #1] needs to be holding the nail with pliers. Right, [Counselor #1]?” 

[Counselor #1], literally sitting a foot from me, STILL didn’t look up from her phone. I sighed and just put the hammer away.

Nothing Comes Between Dad And His Wine

, , , , | Friendly | March 12, 2020

(My family has sailed on Lake Superior since I was a baby, and every year my dad and some friends make a long trip to Isle Royale, one of the most remote National Parks in the country. But they’ve had a rough crossing.)

Friend: “Let’s have some of that wine I brought!”

(My dad agrees and digs through the storage in the RV-sized boat, looking increasingly sad.)

Dad: “Sorry, [Friend], no corkscrew.”

(They all groan, but they go watch the sun set. Dad sees a campground with two lone people sitting by their fire on shore. Dad’s face lights up with a sudden idea; he tears off toward the camp and comes crashing through the woods to a very startled couple.)


Man: “The f***, man? You scared us! Anyway, why would we carry an expensive bottle of wine on a backpacking trip? We don’t have a d*** corkscrew!”

Dad: “Sorry! I just had an idea. You must have a Swiss Army knife, right?”

Woman: *skeptical, pulls hers out* “Yeah, but… Oh.” *finds the corkscrew attachment* “I guess we do have one. But it’s you that’s got the screw loose, dude. Crashing through the woods like a yeti…”

Dad: *sheepish* “Well, I came by boat with some friends and we can’t open our wine. Sorry. Can I borrow that?”

Man: *laughing now* “You really had us there! Yes, fine. And don’t apologize! Just invite us, too; we haven’t seen other humans for almost two weeks!”

(My dad’s group and their new friends stayed up so late swapping stories that a ranger came down to the dock and threatened to fine them if they didn’t quiet down!)

This story is part of the second Wine roundup!

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At Least There’s Water In There

, , , , | Learning | February 27, 2020

I’m attending a summer camp for high school students hosted at a university. Since few students stay on campus over the summer, we’re given rooms in an empty dorm. The bathrooms are shared, and each one has toilet and shower stalls in it. One day, I’m taking a shower. No one else is in the bathroom until my friend comes in.

“[My Name]? Is that you?”

“Yeah. I’m almost done.”

“Oh, my God, you’re in so much trouble!”

“What? Why?”

“For skipping the fire drill!”

“What fire drill?”

“Uh, the one that just happened? You know, flashy lights, loud alarm, all that? [Camp Director] is furious you didn’t show up.”

“I didn’t hear anything!”


After I dry off and dress, my friend brings me to the camp director, who is, in fact, furious. She thinks I pretended not to hear the fire alarm so I wouldn’t have to go outside in a towel, but I insist that I really couldn’t hear it. Eventually, I convince her to see for herself. Someone turns the fire alarm back on, and I go back to the bathroom with her and two counselors.

Camp Director:
“If you’re lying, I will be calling your parents immediately to discuss whether you can continue attending camp.”

“I couldn’t hear it, I swear!”

Camp Director:
“We’ll see about that.”

We reach the bathroom, go inside, and close the door. The sound of the alarm all but disappears.

Counselor #1:
“Well, you can still hear it a little…”

[Counselor #2] walks into a shower stall and turns on the water. The alarm becomes completely inaudible, and the camp director’s eyes bug out in anger that is, thankfully, not directed toward me.

Camp Director:
“Excuse me. It seems I need to go yell at someone.”

From what I heard, she did go yell at some administrator from the university over putting her students’ lives — and their own — in danger. The bathroom doors in the dorm were immediately propped open with strict instructions not to close them until the situation was addressed. The next day, the university “addressed the situation” by removing the doors entirely.