Oh, and I called Camp Laurel, and Keith (their director) asked me to come see him face-to-face tomorrow morning at 8:30, while my six horseback riders are having their lesson. I don't think he would have asked me to come talk to him in person if they weren't willing to hire for just one week, so that's a good sign. I'll keep you all posted.
I also got a voicemail saying that my car is fixed, no charge - that didn't take long (I just took it in this morning, on my period off). Now I've just got to arrange for a VW driver to pick me up again tomorrow morning and take me back to the dealer, and we're golden.
In other news, I had a camper flip out tonight - Emily, my six-weeker, who's been here since the beginning. A younger girl, Lexi, who's eleven, came up and said something to Emily's friend Audrey, whereupon Emily started berating her (Lexi) out of the blue. I admit that Lexi can be annoying, constantly asking questions and talking about herself, but she's really a very sweet girl, always eager to please - she's just a 'young' eleven and hasn't really got all her social graces ironed out yet.
Emily said something like, "Would you chill out?! You do this every single day!" etc. etc. etc., and she said it all in a 'yelling' voice, which surprised me. I tried to talk her down for a second, pulling out my 'mother' voice (which I don't often have to use, and especially not with this kid). "Emily. Calm down. You're crossing a line right now." Her answer involved another expletive and a Lexi-directed comment, "You are the most f***ing obnoxious girl in the whole world!"
I confess that I didn't react instantaneously - I was too busy picking my jaw up off the grass. Emily can get overexcited and fly off the handle, sure, but ninety-nine percent of the time, she is really an incredibly mature 13-year-old. I genuinely like her as a person, and I never, ever thought she would speak that way to a younger camper.
About two seconds later, reflex kicked in and I grabbed Emily by the arm, muttering her name through clenched teeth and walking her off to the side. In retrospect, I didn't even think about Lexi (who looked confused, then burst into tears), but another counselor had been standing with us, had heard the whole thing and was able to deal with her. And Emily is my camper, and therefore was my first responsibility.
We stood by ourselves for a long time and talked about how it's okay to think someone is annoying, but not okay to tell them, and how eleven-year-olds can't be expected to be as perceptive or mature as thirteen-year-olds. "She's so annoying!" Emily kept complaining, "She's always coming up and asking me what I'm doing, if I have anyone to talk to, where I'm going... all the time!"
"It's the beginning of social graces," I explained. "She's learning how to make small talk, how to converse with people. She just hasn't got it all smoothed out quite yet. By the time she's your age, she'll get it." Then things moved on to how Emily had been recruited by a Julliard dance coach for his summer program. She had been specifically selected, one of very few, but had been sent to All-Star by her parents instead of going to the dance program. I had never known that, and she got teary-eyed talking about it. I could tell she'd really wanted to go.
"I've been really positive about this whole situation. I came in ready to have a good time. But I've been here almost five weeks now and I am so over it! I just don't want to be here anymore!"
Boy, did I feel that. "And you are definitely not the only person feeling that way. You've talked to Sam and Julie [other 6-week campers] and some of the counselors - you know that a lot of us totally understand how you feel. There's nothing wrong with being angry or frustrated. But you need to make sure you express it in conversation with people who understand, rather than lashing out at other people. You know I'll talk to you whenever you want. But you may not speak that way to a little girl who has nothing to do with your situation."
In the end, she apologized to Lexi, and when I caught her (Lexi) alone later, I explained that Emily had had a bad day, was feeling a little homesick, and ended up taking her emotions out on Lexi even though she hadn't done anything to deserve it. She seemed to understand that, and I don't think there are any hard feelings. But I was disappointed to see Emily act that way. Not really surprised - she's been here only five days less than I have, and the campers don't get days off the way the counselors do, so a burnout is understandable - but disappointed nonetheless.
I cannot wait to get out of here.