Thursday, 11 July 2013

Day four part two - every new beginning leads to some other beginning's end

Well, the last wetsuit has been soaked and packed away.  The body boards and skim boards have been returned to their shelves, the archery targets taken down and the rifle alley disbanded; we have all given our disco clothes (i.e., our last salvageable outfit, generally with odd socks) that one fantastic airing.  I tried to explain what a “rite of passage” is to the kids, then realised that I was wasting the time of one of theirs. 

How will we look back on camp 2013?  And how will Camp 2013 look back upon us?  After all, it is not just the campers of Badock’s Wood who make a camp.  First of all, it is most pleasing to report that the camp leaders, and the leaders of every activity we have undertaken, have commented on our children’s politeness, positive attitude and determination.  We had a very high success rate on all activities, with 96% hurling themselves off the platform onto the zip wire, easily the most terrifying thing we have asked them to do all week.  We’ve managed to find friends to play with on every trip to the beach, and secured numerous hi 5s from the cool kidz running the water sports activities. 

And how does it rank?  I’d say fairly high up there if I’m honest.  I cannot recall too many things which have made me close to heart attack or blood boiling point.  More importantly, that memory bank of magic has been replenished to bursting point, with another host of amazing scenes during today’s epic water sports session.  Other people in my position will appreciate it when I say that there have been 8 or 9 heartbreaking (in the right way) moments this week that remind me why I said I'd do it.

I have been ably aided and abetted in all this by my three irreplaceable co-pilots: Hathway, Correia (2nd tour) and Norman.  Thank you all – giving up a week of life often goes unappreciated; hope we managed to make it filled in another way. 

Trust me, there have been stars, and a thousand legends born.  We have too many to mention, and it would be unfair; furthermore, they are the kind of occasion where you have to be there in order to understand why it was so important.  What I will say is this: many children have grown in more than stature this week, and for that I would pay the price many times over.

But enough of my ramblings.  You’ve had to put up with my tosh all week.  Let’s leave the last word to those who, time and again, weave the magic that makes this thing so special.  At (full roast pork dinner with all trimmings) tea this evening (followed by jam roly poly and custard) we asked every child, what was your favourite part of the week and why. 

Here’s what they said.

Gary – aka Robin Hood; aka Spider Monkey: “Archery, because it was so much fun.”

Lamarah – aka Lamermaid: “Everything was really fun to do.”

Jamal – aka the J-meister: “Everything, because it was so much fun.”

Brooke – aka Brooke Swift: “The sea trampoline – the waves kept bashing me.”

Josh – aka Boarderboy; aka Mr Helpful: “Body boarding – I’m good at it now.”

Luke – aka the barracuda: “Everything, because it was amazing.”

Kiah – aka KiahNoFear: “Archery and rifles, because they were really fun.”

Nathan – aka “Take off those trousers and that united top!”: “Body boarding because I like jumping waves.”

Shelby – aka the Bad Hatter; aka Raftsbane – “Trampoline, because the waves kept crashing me, and Miss Norman got bashed.”

Kile – too many akas to mention, but our favourite is K-ayaker:  “Jumping off the jetty into the lake, because I was doing flips”.

Morgan – aka Princess Maria: “Zip wire because before it I was afraid.”

Bruce – aka Mister Fifty: “Zip wire – it was fun because I’d never done it before.”

Alex – aka Conger (as in eel): “Zip wire because it was fun going fast and shouting stupid stuff.”

Jessica – aka Princess Jessybell: “Everything – all very involving.”

Dayzee – aka DayzeeDoo: “Everything because it’s fun.”

Carissa – aka Rissyroo: “Building rafts because it was the first time I ever beat the other team… and stayed dry.”

Bradley – aka Flipmeister: “Skim boarding, loads of fun.”

Ellie – aka Princess: “All of it, because it was so much fun.”

Kessie – aka Deadeyed Wombat; aka The Legend; aka “Our immortal leader”: “Water sports, it gave me inspiration for future water experiences.”

Ebrima – aka Top Hat: “Everything, because it was so good.”

Kelsey – aka George (of the Jungle): “Zip wire, because I didn’t do it last year.”

Chandler – aka Spider Monkey II; aka Tandellar: “Body boarding, because it was good when  you jumped the waves.”

BaiOmar – aka The Baiomara: “Archery, skim boarding, rifle shooting, jumping off the jetty – everything.”

Megan – aka Hello Vera: “All of it because it was an experience I can never forget.”

Last word I think to our special little Laurel.

Lauren – aka Willisbane; aka Lollipop: “All of it, because I’d never done it before and I loved it!”

Enough said.  From Exmouth after another wonderful year, that is all.