Oh, the spiders. So many spiders. That's what I'll remember about camp; helping students that were scared of the spiders.
There was one the size of a dinner plate on the bus as we boarded. Thankfully it stayed out of harm's way while we took in the beautiful scenery of the Gold Coast and the hinterland. Nearby Mt Warning looked magnificent and it was easy to understand why people would trek up there to feel the first rays of sunlight hitting the Australian mainland.
Upon arriving at the camp we hiked our gear down the steep hill. I'm sure the students at this point were contemplating whether they really needed those surplus teddy bears and beanies. Then.... another spider. Right above our heads while Wayne was talking to us in the hall. How were the students expected to concentrate on camp routines when a spider could lose its grip and land right on my head!!! Oh the horror!
Before the next round of screaming at the next spider we did actually manage to do some camp stuff. Learning table manners and dining etiquette at meal times. Pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone in various harness activities (crate stacking, giant's playground and high ropes) with great encouraging from our peers. Trying (and eventually succeeding) to work together in team building activities.
We also had lots of time to play together and get to know some or our peers that are not necessarily our friends. We danced the night away and played some games from our childhood and Mr Gason playing his stupid 'do you want what's in my hand' game. All of these things reminded us to enjoy being young and not be in a hurry to grow up.
Just when it seemed all was going well there was an almighty, blood curdling scream coming from the boys shower. I grabbed my first aid kit and prevailed triple zero into my phone. Keeping my finger hovering over the green 'dial' icon I approached the showers with at least 12 terrible scenarios going through my head. Most of them involved me carrying somebody up the hill because the driveway was too steep for the ambulance to get down.
With adrenaline pumping through my veins, and a calm head, I asked if everyone was okay in the showers. Four boys,
hastily dressed, came running out. Four boys out meant that there was nobody left in the showers. I could see that they were still okay so I couldn't imagine what was wrong.
Sobbing was all I could get from them. Sob, sob, sob and ahhh, ahhh, ahhh.
Eventually I was told that there was a spider above one of the shower stalls which was at least 6 feet away from anybody's head. This was easily fixed by chasing it away outside.
And then..... calm. I sat down for a bit of peace and quiet, feeling a bit of a hero for saving these boys from certain death.
Would you believe me if I told you that same spider came back a second time? Well it did! That spider came back into the shower. Another round of screaming, another round of chasing and we finally sorted it out.
Congratulations to all the students on the way they conducted themselves over the three days. Even with all of those spiders, a lack of sleep, missing family and away from the comforts of home you all were outstanding. Great behaviour, effort, attitude and lots of laughing were the norm each day and it made all the teachers' jobs pleasurable. Camp is a great opportunity for teachers to develop a closer relationship with their students and we all come away from this camp with a greater respect and deeper understanding of each other.
P.S. No spiders were harmed in the making of this story :)