Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Leadership Camp Washup.

'Lo everyone.


A lesson for wise teachers. Do not, under any circumstances, send the entire year level on camp together, ever again. It does not work, you can't control all of them, and they just end up getting pissed with each other, or pregnant.

I suppose we start with Monday. Packed my red backpack with a change of clothes, shorts, towel, and stuff I'd need, such as socks and playing cards. I also brough N64 games, since apparently people were bringing the gear. Drove to school, dumped my little backpack and sleeping bag in the huge piles of wheelie suitcases and massive sports bags. Honestly. You are going away for three bloody days. Two nights. How much crap do you need, seriously? Admittedly, some people brought some items that, while not essential, and possibly not even allowed, made the camp better.

After sitting around in the sun for about an hour, we scrambled onto the buses. Here's where the fun started. Almost all of the popularites, bless them, got onto one bus. The rest of us got onto the other one. I got the middle, and we played cards. Andrew and Hayden play it very differently to how we do, twice as competitively. Up the back, the usual shenanigans. Meh. Meg and Wiffy had a large jar of Nutella.

We got there, it was cold and damp. After a talking to in the fancy, shoes off upstairs thing, which was basically camp rules and what the camp is about, the rush to the cabins. They weren't too bad, 2 rooms, 4 beds per room, one big bathroom with the shower lightswitch outside the shower. iPod speakers were pulled out, fun time was had by all. After this, time off for lunch. Bloody hell. The sun came out, we decided to play gang up and explore. I was still weak from flu, so didn't do much. I got spat at by the popularites when I ran underneath them (fancy bit of symbolism there, am I right?), and we discovered a room that was underneath the verandah that had broken bunk beds in it.

Then we got called back for a "leadership seminar". We got made to mix with people ("Sort out in birth order without speaking!"), then write leader-ly characteristics on small pieces of paper. Meh. Next, we were given more paper and got told to write a letter to your homegroup teacher. I went under the verandah and wrote three paragraphs about American politics and moose-huntin' redneck women knowing the codes to end the world.

More free time. Meh. After this, put in homerooms and made to do activities in the rain. 10 Ripon got Initiative Games. They were all team building thinky type ones. We were encouraged to be the leader, but after making sure Meg and Scott wouldn't kill each other, we just let them lead. I find it easier, even when made to lead, to listen to the other points of view, because they tend to have better ideas than you do. After an hour and a half of wriggling around holding hands in the rain, we were set free.

Then back to fancy room for a talk about being a tightly knit year level. We all knew this was about the whole popularites vs. everyone else thing. Free time was then granted, and as suspected, we didn't mix. Not much to report. It was like a giant recess, we just stood around talking about nothing, since we weren't supposed to be in other people's cabins.
Dinner, which was chicken (we thought) and chips. I missed the cutlery. Afterwards, much wandering around in the cold. Then a trivia night, I was put on a table with Tabby, Claire and Kate, as well as my cabin. We kicked arse, and managed to win, but not beat the teachers. First time I've won a substantial prize for winning a trivia competition. After this, the fun really kicked in. We were given the option of either going to fancy room and talking about the deb, or going outside for a few hours til bed. I picked outside, since I didn't really want to spend an hour and a half listening to girls put me down for not wanting a deb. So, soccer in the dark, then into the strange room. Derek was picked up (literally), by Tom in an ancient pink dressing gown. Scary. The popularites booted up a massive soundsystem and subwoofer, then flicked on a strobe light. Wow. We wandered around, til Hayden's cabin stripped to the waist and started singing. Jess was dragged inside, she screamed a lot, and said it smelt bad.

The night wore on, people either coupled up or got bored. Of course, some people were accused of coupling up when the shouldn't have. I don't know if Jake did or not, but he has a girlfriend anyway. Word spread, everyone in the year level who was outside knew that Meg C wanted to beat up Molly J. About 70 kids running around in a huge group roaring like they were in a riot while going into cabins and looking for them, was one of the highlights of the camp. Only time we were united, like the teachers wanted, apart from mealtimes and boss around times.

Sleep. Then George and Tom woke me up an hour before we needed to be up for duty. Bah. Then we put out everyone's glasses and spreads, ate, and I got coffee. Thank the gods for Nestle sponsorship. First up for us was something about teamwork, which was inside. It was pouring outside. We spent the first ten minutes ranting about the popularites in front of Mrs Ripon, then slowly worked through a sheet extolling the virtues of being a good team. There were bits about identifying targets and bad cultures that I'm sure were just like surveys for the teachers to try and study our year level a bit more. After doing a half hearted bonding activity involving plastic bags, Scott and Meg walked off into the rain, and we chilled for half an hour.

More free time. Meh. Next was the leadership seminar with Ms Henry, which was informative. Just stuff about conflict resolution and managing demands. A guy with a video camera was orbiting, and wanted interviews with Sarah and Annie.

Lunch was wraps with chicken pieces. At lunchtime we hung out in Pat's cabin, swapping beds until we had to go. We had the rock wall next, which was the best activity bit. There were four different routes, all with their own challenges, and we all had a go. Meg C and I managed all four, including the one for tall people and the one for flexible people. Great fun.

More bedswapping, til the owners got annoyed, then first aid training. Ms B ws tired looking, and when to practice for ourselves, Tom and Sally and I could't stop laughing. We all got dramatic deaths.

After this, food (this time spag bol), fancy deserts (choc mousse!), and then we were made to go to a "problem solving activity". I got James Gray, Millsy, Julian, Tabby, and Amelia. Wasn't too bad. We had to make two paper aeroplanes our of paper, sticks, and pencils. One had to fly the furtherest, the other one had to have artistic merit and long wings, and either had to be sold in an advertising campaign to a panel of judges. Julian and I made a smart little plane with Patducts, and eventually upgraded it. James took control and tried to get the rest of the group to make a Wright Brother's style plane. In the judging, we failed compared to Mr T and lots of bad singing. We failed at the flying, Julian got a good throw but not as good as others. We failed at the wing length, because we didn't think to take it to ridiculous levels, and we failed at the art, because it was all squiggles, all the time. Ah well.

Then we were made to watch a movie, this one called "Freedom Writers", not Freedom Riders, which was what it said on the timetable.

Freedom Writers - **1/2.
Predictable story, new teacher goes into bad school with a failing class and makes them love him/her, get to greater success and have trouble with authority. This was set in a highschool, and it was sort of funny. LA, early 90s, lots of racial tensions and gang warfare. All the highschool kids were seperated into gangs, which looked like the popularite/everyone else divide on our quadrangle. We lol'd. None of the major characters died, despite all the violence.

After listening to some intriguing music about gilding, bed. Next morning, packed everything up, ate my pancake, watched Aiden eat 10 bowls of Rice Bubbles, then watched everyone else pack. We started kicking around a ball, but the popularites joined in, and without saying anything bad about them, they made it less fun because they just took over.

We had the bushwalk next, which was hell. Tom and I volunteered to be leaders first. The two outdoor ed people were trying to be as difficult as possible. They started out by emptying Tom's waterbottle on his head. We got to a bridge, one refused to move and the other shouted. Then one lay down and screamed a lot. Tom and I kept on laughing. When we eventually rolled up the shorts, we found an expertly crafted rubber wound, with fake blood leaking out. We messed around with bandages til the responsible adults took pity on us and gave up. All the other leaders in the class only had to put up with them yelling at each other. What a gip. Because we wasted so much time, we missed out on jam donuts.

Next up, flying fox. It wasn't actually that fantastic, might have been because I didn't have enough weight to force myself to go faster. Eventually, we were all sunbaking. Meg was let go, and hung in the middle for a while. We ate lots of Nutella. Then hotdogs for lunch, and the little kids from B Camp were calling Jack a super hero because he was wearing his jumper like a cape.

Back onto the buses, played a couple of hands of warlords and scumbags, then a bus broke down about half an hour away from the camp. We all went outside, the Sale kids had to get on the broken one when it was fixed. Aiden and Meg watched Invader Zim and South Park, and we all just chilled. Back to school, 2 minutes after the bell, we all fumbled around for phones, couldn't find any that worked, and agreed to walk home. Aiden and I strolled along, talking about the camp. He was going to Wakely's.

Back home, Fraser was being surly, and I checked the news. So slow, though GDUK was on Sunday, so I caught up on the fresh stuff from that. New Greenskin stuff looks good. Buzz saw axes, man. Wise Beard Man eventually hobbled home on crutches, after surgery. Well done that man. I replied to a few emails from friends in Japan, Lulu is finding hot guys and apparently the traffic lights are scary. Course, one of the emails was sent to only a select few people, and one of those people was sucking face with another girl (he then called her fat, we all lol'd), so I don't know. What if she did? What if she wants to again? God damn.

Tomorrow, two periods of work, then house plays. Big meh from me.


Sorry that took so long.

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