Finding (and Breaking) the Routine

The craziest thing about working at a camp is that it is essentially the same every day and every week.  It starts with morning sign-in and name tag drama (“I can’t find mine!” “Mine won’t stick!”), then a flurry of morning classes where paint, fluff, and clay fly, then everyone’s favorite part of the day (bar the complaints that we are having pretzels, not goldfish)…snack! Then lunches are consumed at the speed of light, and all the lunchtime toys and games are dispersed to all four corners of the room. Then, in the afternoon, I coerce everyone to clean up, and then we repeat it all over again, ending with a speedy but efficient clean-up of our classroom spaces and set-up to get ready for the next day.  In that sense, I’ve plateaued a bit – I know what I am doing on a daily basis, I am generally prepared for the projects that are going on, and I can kind of go on auto-pilot through the day.

But in another sense, each day is totally unique and brings its own set of challenges and adventures. Each week the campers and teen volunteers change the personality of camp.  Last week, both the teens and the campers were pretty energetic and really loud.  Great kids, but they definitely wore me out.  This week, we have a quieter, more focused group with great creative energy.  I got to teach this week, helping the campers make pillows that looked their dream houses, and I really enjoyed getting to see their creative minds in action and see their focus and dedication to their projects.  But each week brings its own crises as well, like the water bottle that spilled over a whole shelf of art, or the supplies that were supposed to last two days only lasting one, or a type of clay not working as expected.

It’s these type of challenges that keep me on my toes and keep it interesting each and every day.  We are officially at the half way point of our Young Masters Camp series (2.5 sessions down, 2.5 sessions to go!), and we have no camp next week, so it’s a great chance to recharge our batteries before the final haul. I know I’m looking forward to a quiet week!


About mcoldiron

Grad student at OSU. Museum-nerd. Dreamer.
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