Camp 3, Summer of 2008

My first Edmund Rice Camps for Kids experience was an absolutely mind-blowing one. Although I’ve had little experience with children, every single leader there (all 25 of us) worked together to give the kids the greatest holiday of their lives. It was incredible. I tell you truly, none of you will understand what I’m trying to say unless you have experienced the camp yourself- it’s just impossible to describe with any kind of language. Of the past five and a half days, I will never forget:

  • Being known as ‘The Ninja’ within three hours without mentioning the word once.
  • Chasing Brandon down the road when he ran away from camp. I picked him off the ground so he couldn’t escape and gave a casual “Good day sir!” to someone who was watering their lawn, before piggybacking him all the way back.
  • The Circle of Fun.
  • Sitting on the side of the road with Esther as we tried to get Caleb to come back to the group.
  • The look on Thomas’ face when he got dunked by the first wave.
  • Playing scarecrow in the river. So, so tired.
  • “Are you having a ball?”
  • Katie painting my toenails hot pink.
  • Scrubbing my toenails with nail polish remover.
  • Donna covering me with make-up and saying “You look fabulous darling!”
  • Alier calling me a sissy-boy because of it.
  • Katie singing “I said a boom chicka boom!” in her sleep.
  • Having my energy meter flashing red on Day 4.
  • Awkward turtle.
  • A mata mata hoomba!
  • Chris’ impossibly cheeky smile.
  • “Would you like some cookie with that icing?”
  • The way Katie pouted when I told her I was too tired to piggyback her. No onewould be able to say no to that face.
  • Calling Simon “Redbeard”.
  • “What’s better than a group hug?” “A group hug jumping!”
  • Katie’s song during the performance night. The look on her face at the tumultuous applause, the way Ash lifted her on his shoulder, and the way she signed everyone’s arms.
  • Agot’s big ol’ eyes looking up at me.
  • Ah-dee-doo-dah-doo-dah-day.
  • Zayde telling me I’m actually pretty cool.
  • Megan pretending she was a dog named Splashie for around 30 hours straight.
  • Tempani bursting into tears at every opportunity, often with a huge grin on her face.
  • “I took my knife-ee-ife-ee-ife-ee-ife-ee-ife…”
  • Bicep curling Ryan.
  • Having waterbombs ditched at me.
  • Ditching them back.
  • Jumping-reverse-turning-kicking the ball to Kandyce, who thought I was the God of Soccer.
  • I’m a Little Coconut.
  • Mintoxilicious.
  • Touching the basketball ring with my foot while everyone brainstormed a way to do it. I got disqualified.
  • Great big moose named Fred. [Note: According to, moose is the plural of moose.]
  • The scariest clowns I have ever seen in my whole life.
  • Fun cream!
  • Nothing says civility like a good book and a glass of red.
  • That Ben guy who I waved to on the beach. He was on holiday there and ended up playing with the kids who weren’t swimming.
  • Forgetting everyone’s names and calling them all “Dude”.
  • “Why did the man cough so much?” “Because he was drinking coff-ee!”
  • Getting kicked in the nuts by Brandon. He thought it was hilarious. Every male leader suffered this week.
  • Madol’s crazy dance moves.
  • Alier and his roommate (“Dude”) staying up late talking about condoms and sex.
  • That first breath of fresh night air.
  • Dancing on the disco night.
  • Baby Shark.
  • Clancy crab-dancing with Caleb.
  • Pirate Day.
  • The song from “High School Musical 2”.
  • Shakin’ and Bakin’.
  • A week’s worth of cold showers.
  • “What’s more awkward than awkward turtle? Awkward turtles humping!”
  • Pigging out on junkfood when all the kids were asleep.
  • Everyone spontaneously bursting into song.
  • Making Hanna the most perfect iced milo.
  • Writing myself a warm-fuzzy because I thought no one else would.
  • When Brandon jumped on Richard’s back and Zayde said: “Brandon, get
    off! Can’t you see he doesn’t have legs?” (Richard wears knee braces.)
  • When Brandon asked what happened to his knees, Richard replied
    “There was an accident.” Zayde responded with, “Is that what happened
    to your face too?”
  • Having Katie on my left arm, Megan on my right arm, Ryan on my back and Thomas around my legs. I commando-rolled my way out.
  • Tempani calling Simon Red “Bobo”.
  • Having “tattoos” drawn all over my arms and legs.
  • Nicole and Callum (first year medical students) arguing about which anti-septic is better.
  • Designing the greatest umbrella of all time.
  • Having an acrobat-off with Nick.
  • Writing our own camp-song tribute to the Simons in ~1.5 hours.
  • Paige losing her voice from yelling and singing so much.
  • Scaring pedestrians with mobile phones.
  • Leaning on the rail overlooking the beach while all the leaders sat on the grass behind me. The wind in my hair and clothes, I stood there for a few minutes admiring the incredible view. Out of nowhere, a group of leaders spearheaded by Callum run up to me screaming “I’m flying Jack!” Then someone started singing “My Heart Will Go On” and every single leader ran over in a group hug and joined in. Everyone on the beach just cracked up.

If we get photos, I’ll see if I can post any of them. To everyone reading, Edmund Rice Camps are incredible, life-changing experiences, and you quickly learn how to get along with the kids. Even if you don’t really want to go, after a day with the kids, anyone would want it to last forever. Check it out of you can to enjoy one of the best weeks of your life. Peace everybody!

3 thoughts on “Camp 3, Summer of 2008

  1. Pat. says:

    See, I told you it’d be good =)

  2. Bethwyn says:

    zomg that sounds so awesome! i’m glad you had a great time!! i missed you everyday that you were gone. so i’m glad it was worth it!! =]

  3. […] background (e.g. learning disabilities, financial problems, domestic abuse). I’ve been on one or two camps before, and helped out with a bunch of one-day activities, but I’ve sort of […]

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