I'm Almost There Preview

Figured that I couldn't play a week of catch up without including another sample from my latest project. Not sure how long it will actually take to finish, but hopefully before I post the entire thing here. Here is a section from my chapter about being a camp counselor. Enjoy!

Even though I can’t imagine actually being a parent, I have learned one very valuable lesson for any future children I may have. Lying to little kids is a very slippery slope. Campers want to know all about your personal life. This ranges from which favorites you have, every aspect of your free time and of course, dating.

Little kids will also always push the limits in every way possible. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was always very relaxed about things or what, but I was always put with either the smart alecks or the girls who wanted to set me on fire. Let me explain this one. One session of camp, there was a girl dropped off reluctantly by her parent. We’ll call her Judi. Now Judi was determined from the moment she set up her bunk to refuse to have a good time if it killed her. Similar to “Debby,” the girl from The Wild Thornberry’s, she always made you wonder if she could actually see anything because of the blanket of bangs that was covering her face. However, despite these setbacks, I was determined to make sure that she had fun, whether she liked it or not. In the end, she actually did, but Judi wasn’t gonna let me go without making me fear my life.

Every night of camp was where the kids talked about their day and we would grow our cabin as a bond. As a camper, I always decided to use this time as a personal monologue (yes Miss Sally, I know that we can only talk about one of our favorites, but I have five and I can’t choose!). This often carried on into being a counselor, but got better over time. Nothing makes your self esteem stronger than having a friend you work with say “wow, you got a lot better about not talking about yourself for the whole time!” Thanks friends!! Anyway, I remember one summer I had a group of young teens who decided that I was the perfect scapegoat to bring the cabin together and one of the ringleaders who was the classic case of what we counselors like to call I-have-an-older-brother-and-know-stuff-I-shouldn’t decided to test me every night. I will say that nothing makes you feel more like a parent as a teenager than being a camp counselor. To be honest, I probably dug my own grave by deciding that I was going to take a page from the book of some of my favorite counselors and be really honest. To an extent. I had a counselor once who broke all the rules and openly admitted to a group of 12 year olds that she was sneaking out to be with a guy from one of the other camps when we were sleeping. This was probably not the best thing to tell a group of giggly girls and after joking about it had her slam the door in our face and was never heard from again. To this day I still wonder what happened to her... On the flip side, one of the most frustrating things is seeing adults belittle children like they don’t know how to do anything. I was honest about what would be appropriate, though nothing was too terribly interesting.

Anyway, after asking me to tell stories of college parties, what my drink of choice was and which counselors I had the hots for, ringleader decided it would be a great time to see if they could draw on my legs with markers and for some reason, I agreed. All was going well and the girls were bonding until I asked them what they were drawing. Almost like the perfect comedic timing that it was, I asked Judi what she drew to which she responded “Here is a tree, and here is a picture of you burning in a fire.” I could not make this stuff up. At the end of the session, it’s tradition to write something nice about each person in the cabin, and I think what was left in mine was the epitome of what would come. Ringleader of course the “Emma, you’re the f#$king best- sorry to write that, but it’s true and from Judi, a heartfelt “you were fun, even though you were kind of irresponsible.” Thanks, Judi- I feel you girl.

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