I spent the past few days volunteering for ‘Bare Necessities’, a UCLA Summer Camp program. It wasn’t for my actual Unicamp session (SESSION SEVEN WHAT WHAT), but I needed to make up a crazy buttload of hours after missing stuff for ACA performances and practices, and maybe more importantly, I needed the practice and was curious to see what the experience was like. With Tails as my awesome co-counselor, we headed a group of eight 11-12 year olds for a few days around camp.
Three days, two nights, ten mosquito bites, eight kids later, I discovered that I actually really, really like kids. I was never really sure if I did because I always thought I didn’t have the capacity to be enthusiastic enough or relate to their age, but up at camp I found myself genuinely intrigued by their interests and stories and hobbies and girlfriends.
After a very defiant first day up at camp, Tails and I scared the crap out of the kids with this weird, fake story that really makes no sense about this naked yellow-pupiled, albino camper from the 1940s who ran away and killed a bunch of kids. At first they were skeptical but three of them ended up crying. OOPS. SORRY BITCHES. jk. The morning after though, I think they were a little more respectful. Not that telling scary stories is a way to win respect.. but hey whatever works. jk again.
It was kinda challenging disciplining them at first and setting the tone, because I’ve never really dealt with a group of raging eleven year old kids before much less been directly assertive. But if there’s anything I’ve noticed, it’s not at all just eleven year old kids who can be disrespectful and defiant; shit like that transforms into adulthood in more subtle ways, if no one teaches them otherwise. I suppose it was a glimpse into a good life lesson in leadership.
It was also kinda cool leading dance rotations.
1- Because I am entirely used to teaching competitive or aspiring dancers who come eager and interested and with some sort of prior experience, and I had no idea what difficulty level and vibe to bring to a different setting for my actual session.
2- Because I always hated PE dance classes where we did grapevines and square dancing all day.
I gave them a short 50 minute intro to popping, even though I would never call myself a popper. I figured whatever inspired me to start dancing and change my life could maybe inspire 1 or 2 of them to pursue it and change their own lives. MICHAEL JACKSON DID NOT INVENT THE MOONWALK, THE ELECTRIC BOOGALOOS DID.
On the last day, Friday, I told them I needed advice on talking to girls (I really do) and we had this 15 minute conversation. SO CUTE. LITTLE KIDS GOT GAME. Keep in mind almost all of them are 11.
Me: So how do you talk to girls?
Steak: Well, if they tell you they like something, and you don’t like it, you don’t wanna be too mean and say that you hate it. You should just be like, ‘Oh, that’s cool, I don’t like it that much’. Or if they tell you they really like something, and if you like it, you should be really excited. But you don’t want to creep them out and act like you like them too much, because then they’ll run away. Also you don’t want to call them too much because then they’ll get annoyed.
Aaaanywho, all in all, great experience. Excited for Session 7!
Edit: Sorryyy had to take down the pictures if you saw them already, because of potential legal issues.