Friday, July 17, 2009

Les Enfants

"Tom, if you say REVIEW one more time, I'm going to throw you in the stream."
-Tom and Linnea

After working as an unpaid camp counselor, I've learned to classify the camp critters pretty quickly. While we ration out five--EXACTLY FIVE--club crackers and half a Dixie cup of watered-down Kool-Aid and somehow learn fifteen names by the end of the day, we can also gauge how much trouble we're gonna get from these kidsies.

First of all, we've got the Seat Defenders. These are the kids who HAVE TO SIT IN THE SAME SEAT EVERY DAY NO MATTER WHAT. If someone sits in their seat, they'll either 1) pitch a fit and make the offender move, 2) try and sneakily persuade the kid to move, 3) go to a counselor and report the offender who's sitting in "their seat", or 4) sulk for the rest of the day/till they get their damn seat back.

Next, we've got the Useless Junk Reporters. These are the children who have to run to you every five minutes with some completely mundane thing that they're convinced is either a crisis or we need to know about RIGHT NOW. It becomes especially annoying when the kid is trying to be polite (something that I appreciate but gets
really grating after a while) and goes, "EXCUSE ME" five thousand times until you stop whatever you're doing and devote your full attention to their report.
For example:
"Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, um um um the light in the men's room went off."
"OK, you can still use it, it's not a big deal. Wait, the light's
on right now."
"But um.. um.. it was off before."

A slight off-shoot of this is the Compulsive Tattler. This one's more of a cliché, as we all have dealt with these before. My favorites are the ones who tattle purely to get people in trouble. It's usually over things like line-cutting--I mean seriously, what a crisis, guys! Once, I even got a C.T. who tattled on a kid for calling him a "bad word." The victim hadn't said anything. The tattler acknowledged this. What a genius.

Then there are the Children Who Must Protect the Sanctity of the Games. These children do not allow ANY minor rule-breaches in yard games like freeze tag, "what time is it, Mr. Fox", sharks and minnows, etc. If someone blinks during a freeze, you hear about it. If someone peeks during "Indian Chief" to see who the counselor appointed the chief, you hear about it. If someone keeps counting off hours during Mr. Fox, you hear about it. I once took a compulsive Sanctitator and was like, "IT IS JUST A GAME. CHILL." It went riiight over their head.

My personal favorites are the Future Frat Boys who will Deny their Childhood Soon. These are the little boys who have not yet encountered the world of homophobia. One kid showed up for the first day of camp all in metallic blue: shiny blue basketball shorts, blue t-shirt, blue glasses, and--yup--blue nail polish. He was proud of it. He and the other little boys would hold hands on the hikes, put arms around each other during Circle Time, and hug each other shamelessly. In 10 years, when they are homophobic asses who are denying their own sexualities, I am going to track them all down and remind them of this. Gleefully.

Last is Future Emo Kids of America. These are the depressive kids who won't do anything just to be difficult. They antagonize the counselors. They try to rebel against the system. They ask for an extra cup of juice. Soon, they will be painting their nails black and listening to screamo and renouncing their faith in humanity. Go for it, kids. See you at the Hipster Olympics.

There are so many more kids that I could classify here, but I'm tired. And too shamelessly amused with what's already listed.
Tata, non-existant readers.

PS: Leave comments so I know I'm not writing to air. Thanks a million.