So I Have Officially Completed One Week Of Camp…

and there is now a range of different skills I can add to my resume.

JOB RELATED SKILLS

  • Professional Tarantula Feeder
  • Pond Sample Collector Expert
  • Hissing Cockroach Catcher (long story)
  • Professional Smile At Parents-Who-Are-Late-To-Their-Tennis-Lesson-And-Are-Too-Busy-To-Sign-Their-Child-In Greeter
  • Cafeteria Monitor

In all seriousness, in the span of seven days I have become a organic eating, flower smelling, tree hugging, bug loving, extreme sun goddess hippie… and I love it.

I promised myself that I was not going to write an expansive post about this but when stories worth telling appear there is really nothing I can do about it.

So, I am the camp lunch lady. I sit in the room with all our reptiles and monitor the food intake of the fortunate souls that have to stay in the CLC all day. In all honesty, I really like it because it is one of the few times that I get really good one-on-one time with the campers.

This is how I came to meet Anthony.

For the sake of time all you really need to know about Anthony is that he is the coolest soon-to-be-third-grader in existence.

He beat me at Connect Four.

Twice.

And I was trying.

I automatically had an attachment.

Yesterday, while I was getting things ready for check-out, Anthony comes out of the bathroom sobbing. I was rather stunned and starting to feel maternal. “Who is picking on my friend?!?” ran through my head as I walked his way.

“Anthony, what’s wrong?” I said as I stepped in his indirect path.

“Nothing…” he whispered.

“Anthony, I can tell that something is bothering you. Tell me what is on your mind.”

“Its just… Its just…. I..heard that…global warming is going to affect our health!!!!” he stammered in between fresh sobs.

Three Thoughts

1. This kids is seven. How on earth is he really concerned about this?

2. What a strange and wonderful child.

3. What the hell am I going to tell him?

There is no lying to this kid. The fact of the matter is, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have slowly been changing the composition of our atmosphere. Our natural tendency to burn fossil fuels and use aerosol cans has a 200 year momentum behind it. This kid has barely reached a decade.

Shit.

I did what I could do. I brought him to a conservation expert in our staff and gave him some suggestions of things he could do to help the situation. A hug. Some Tissue. And he was back at camp.

I went home that night thinking about Anthony. I could not believe that a child his age could care that much about an environmental issue. It is children like Anthony that make me feel like a teacher. And it is inside moments when words, even their in their smallest and weakest forms, comfort that I remember why education is so important.

I am possibly coming to terms with the idea that education leads to the better understanding and healing of ourselves, others, and the environment we so desperately need to take care of.

Before I went to bed last night I decided to make a change for Anthony. One change. It is simply impossible for me that make more than one decision at a time. I can barely chew gum and walk properly.

After much debating and a little bit of research I decided to subscribe to a CSA: Community Supported Agriculture. I tried to write my own definition for it but it seems that, unfortunately, Wikipedia has a better one.

Community-supported agriculture (in Canada Community Shared Agriculture) (CSA) is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.

The environmental benefit to buying locally is that the food is usually organic and is not transported by vehicles that burn fossil fuels.

I printed out my subscription form at work and filled it out. I pulled Anthony out of lunch and told him that because he cared so much about the environment I was moved to make a change in my own life. He looked at me and smiled.

As the campers were leaving today Anthony came up to me again in tears.

“Anthony, please stop worrying!” I said.

“I… am… just…crying… because… I…have…to say goodbye!”

This kid is going to break my heart again. I met his father and Anthony showed me his pictures from class. He ended up signing up for another week of camp later in the summer. So, no goodbyes just yet… only see you laters.

So much for a short entry.

But, I am in love with my life because I always tend to trip up against these weird and profound people. I wish there was a way to peer into Anthony’s future… but for now, I am just excited that he is coming back.

K

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~ by kmconrad on June 20, 2009.

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