Saturday, 30 June 2012

first week of camp-the kids arrive

 Before you start reading, this post ended up being crazy long, with lots of pictures so sorry, but I just have a lot to talk about so I put lots of pictures to break up all the writing :p

My god has it been a crazy week. It isn't even over yet and I still feel like it has been forever! The kids arrived sunday, we all got our camp tshirts to wear and chilled out on the grass playing frisbee and waiting to be called when kids in our bunk arrived.

 cleaning ready for the kids arrival

 lovely amount of dust swept up in the bunk ;)

 everyone chilling in their long lake tshirts.

The amount of stuff these kids bring is INSANE, they are here for 3 weeks, we are here 10 yet they have at least double if not triple as many clothes as most of the bunk staff! Spent a lot of time sunday stressing about how little space and how much stuff we had to fit, ours is the cabin with the least storage space and every single spare bit is now filled with clothes, makeup,  balloons and bubbles brought by one girl, and about 5 instruments!

 First day we walked them around all different stations for them to audition if they wanted to do dance, be in a play and to do circus performance. I was extremely jealous of them getting to try hip hop dance and circus as it all looked so much fun, wish they had these kinds of camps in england!

In the evening the FAB (fine arts building) staff had to run a short taster activity to show what kinds of things we will be doing during the summer. I was bricking it a little because we had to stand up on a chair and talk in front of half the kids, introduce yourself etc. and hope that you can get them excited about it. We then went downstairs to our tables and heard a stampede of children running down as they had about 45 mins to try everything!

Mine went pretty well, I got them to cut images out of magazines and illustrate around them, the first day i had a lot of boys drawing blood on celebrity faces and things, it was pretty funny even if they didn't take it seriously.

 my station set up

my example for the kids


 one of the slightly creepy people sculptures in the FAB

Tuesday was my first teaching day, I didn't realize this until morning meeting which was a bit panicky but it went well in the end. I had a lot of kids asking how to draw faces accurately which is hard because I stylize every drawing I do and will admit my faces never look how I want them to look! 

I started making folders for everyones drawings and now it is the third day I am noticing the people who keep coming back, this morning I came in to 4 kids running in and grabbing their folders and pencils which made me happy! It is nice to see people get really excited about coming in and drawing, they are going off in their own directions too which is nice to see, I have one girl doing some insane drawings of flowers, lots doing cool abstract patterns, and one who is making a giant map of a fantasy world!

 this girl made two pet rocks and a house for them

 collaborating with danny in improv to make puppets for the kids to improvise with :)
guess which is mine?!

Friday, 22 June 2012

training week at camp


So we arrived at camp later afternoon and half the staff were already there. We all gathered on the grass for a motivational speech from Geoff, the guy who hired everyone. He also got us to check ourselves and our bags for bedbugs which was pretty hilarious! Apparently last year they had an infestation and with over 300 people living in bunks I can imagine it was pretty bad!

We then split off to go to the bunks which we would be living in for the next 10 weeks. I have been put in Sunrise which, despite the lovely name, had earned a reputation as "the shit bunk". I was pretty worried, and first impressions weren't wonderful as one light didn't work and my fellow councilors had yet to arrive so I was in there alone for the first day. The bunks are pretty small, and the mattresses are the width of about one and a half people with plastic covers that are pretty loud when you roll over, despite this, they aren't actually that bad to sleep in which I was surprised by!

For evening activity we all got together on the grass for a bonfire, everyone was chatting to everyone which was nice, and whilst you don't remember everyones names, I already feel like I know maybe 70% of over 100 staff here! We had some pretty hilarious safety talks from Geoff with warnings such as "if a child is running at the bonfire, please stop them" "children like to wave around burning marshmallows which could fly off and melt another kids eyeball" and many lessons on how to plunger a toilet that is overflowing without getting covered in crap! 

We have now had 3 days of training,cannot believe how much information we have been given about how the camp runs, how to treat the kids, cope with situations, clean the bunk, relationships at camp, respecting people, helping kids that are homesick and how to sort out kids that are slightly crazy and threatening to kill other campers. It has been mental but pretty funny at the same time and hopefully when the kids get here we can properly work out what on earth is going on. 

The waterfront is gorgeous, even nicer than it looked online and I cannot wait to go out and do some watersports, they have tubing, kayaking, motorboating and alll sorts. We are also allowed to try any activities we want in time off so I am planning on taking advantage of all the amazing art stuff they have going on. In one building they have all sorts including a printmaking studio, jewellry, weaving, textiles and painting plus my two tables for illustration.

I spent the past two afternoons clearing the mess that was my illustration supplies as they were left in a pretty awful mess. Plus the amount of dust and dirt on everything here is crazy. Since the camp is shut up all winter everything is crazy dusty, plus its in the woods so dirt and dust just gets brought into everywhere, the amount in our cabin was mental! 

Tomorrow is our last day preparing for the kids to arrive, I spent the last two nights up chatting till 2am and getting up at 7 so am gonna get an early night before getting up at 6 to go and do an exercise class run by a guy in adventure camp! Everyone seems to be going and though it is crazy early I figured it might be pretty hilarious! Plus I ate loads of fluff tonight and had a massive sugar high so it probably needs to be burnt off (if anyone doesn't know fluff is liquid marshmallow) 
Only having one computer here is a pain so I figure if I update this with enough information people won't mind if I can't talk to them much! I wish I could ring everyone lots and say how much of a good time I am having, but its so busy there is no time :( comment on this if you read it though as it is always nice to hear from everyone!!! xxx

View over the waterfont
Chilling on the "beach"
My desk midway through sorting through thousands of pens
The music people painting signs to go outside their shacks. They each have a little shed to teach in in the woods which is amazing!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

new york new york

Fiiinally got a chance to sit down and write about my journey here. There is only one computer for us to use for emails etc.

So. I met Sophie, one of the girls teaching film here, at Heathrow so we could travel together and make it a little less daunting, would probably have been much more emotional if I had been flying alone but we kept each other company :). We flew Virgin atlantic which was actually to be honest the nicest flight I have ever been on! The food was awesome, we had Gu puddings, then icecream, then afternoon tea with cakes :)

Arrived in Newark and met up with the other 41 people who flew over with BUNAC before we headed to our hostel in central NY. I was in a room of 12 with other people from our camp which was fun, finding out what everyone was teaching and where people were from. 

Woke up at 5am the next day and by 7 everyone was up and having breakfast because of the jetlag. We had over an hour before our bus to camp arrived so we all went to central park to have a good wander and take some photos, getting excited by street names we recognized and running around the place. 

The bus to camp took 5 hours and we stopped on the way for all you can eat pizza hut which was pretty epic! All paid for by camp too which was great! They even had "sweet pizza" which was basically pastry with apple filling and icing drizzled on! I think its the best apple pie I have ever eaten :D


Wednesday, 13 June 2012


This week has been weird. So much sorting out along with being bored, going shopping for america stuff then realizing I forgot something and will need to go shopping again!

Also have been watching the third season of heroes a bit religiously out of boredom. Need a computer ban I think to actually motivate me to finish getting everything ready, feel like I am just hanging around now!

Here is my pile of stuff so far:

New wellies and dairymilk incase I need chocolate (cos hersheys just does not compare)

And they said to bring a warm hat which meeeans-

Friday, 8 June 2012

Moomins in Nam

Haven't written on this blog in a while but I want to start again as I am off to America in just over a week to work on a summer camp and will be posting all about it on here :)

Moved out of uni for the second time on wednesday, this time with more things to say goodbye to than last year, still cannot believe how fast my final term went.  

I have had a godawful cold for the past 3 weeks and I am hoping to shift it before I leave because it is starting to get annoying, still, being at home means I have access to a much wider variety of free food, am trying to stay away from all the cake and eat lots of fruit and veg but I did bake brownies with my sister yesterday...

Went into Chippenham town centre in the rain yest, it is not the most exciting of shopping centres to be honest but for once I was actually surprised.

Where a lot of the shops have shut down and are empty they have started filling them with art projects from local schools, yesterday I saw a window full of moomin models, all made to be doing a different sport to celebrate the olympics :)


Some more decorations, I love how nice and colourful it was after being outside in the rain.