Monday, July 22, 2013

Visit to Frost at Camp

Frost has been in Summer Camp for 2 weeks.  Today, we went to visit him for the County Fair themed day.  He has one more week at camp after this - returning next Sunday.  There was good time and there was some sad time.  The good time first:

We enjoyed trying some of the carnival stalls - the huge slingshot, the water balloon darts, the roulette wheel to win candy.  We used our local currency (Wampuns) and met other parents and their kids.  Dogs were welcome and I was thrilled to introduce Beezle to a full-size long haired Dachshund and a Horse.  Frost says his favorite activities are horse-riding and showering.  I have no idea what is behind the showers (other than them being relaxing).  He likes to stand in the shower at home and he said if he could choose any activity for a day he would choose horse-riding and showers.

Frost showed us around camp.  We visited the Horses.  He has been out riding up to a trot but has not "loped" yet.  Apparently loping is the American term (the riding instructor said "the New World term" for a canter).  They are using cowboy saddles and Frost wanted to know why he was not supposed to hang onto the pommel with his free hand. He had been told the pommel was "for lassoing" and had imagined that it was used to lasso the horse.  I explained it was for a cowboy to hang his coiled lassoe on and that he was supposed to hold on with his thighs, not his hand on the pommel - but that it was fine for an emergency.  Frost says he likes to hold the pommel.  He would like to do more riding.

Beezle meets the Horse named Whisper

Horses in the Riding Quad.  They are usually in the back meadow.
We also saw his tent with the stuff for all the B-6 boys group.

Frost shows Wren how he can kick the boy sleeping above him if he needs to.

The schedule for the day.  Boys 6!  Apparently ICE-CREAM means
Making your own icecream and is super fun.  Whittling is "tent-time" and
Frost enjoys lying around and chatting and reading.
Frost's Home at Camp.  Its a raised Tent.  He sleeps n the bunk on the right.

Frost and Wren in his bed.
The Sad Time
Frost wanted to talk and ask if he could come home early.  He said some kids had come home early.  He explained that he liked HVT a lot and the counsellors and the activities BUT he was not enjoying the "animosity" and "hectic" hackling between the kids.  He said they were hyper all the time and yelled at each other.  It is particularly bad at night after the counselor goes off duty and leaves the tent, often still awake.  The boys (apparently) divide between three of them who want to sleep and the rest who yell and laugh and joke and bicker.  He says he doesn't mind them having fun but he didn't enjoy the way they call each other "idiot" and "you stink".  The story is that there are two bad jokes going around.  One started when a boy did not bathe for a week.  They started to say "X smells".  Now, whenever there is a bad smell they say "OH ... its X".  The other joke is to say "Oh, X bit me!"   It was started as a joke when nobody bit anyone - like a meme.  You'd yelp and then say "X bit me".  After a while kids started actually biting one another and sometimes getting hurt and crying but now nobody knows if a kid is really being bitten or crying wolf.

Putting this all together, Frost says he just wants to get away at night and sleep.  One night he went out of the tent into the woods and sat in the dark "for half an hour" till they quieted down.  Also, his best friend there has been alternatively fighting and making up with his other friend there.  For two days they were "not friends anymore!" and Frost says "I just want to keep out of it.

Josh and I didn't feel that he needed to leave early.  We said he could not come home and he became a bit teary. I told him to count down the days and it would soon be home time.

He said he doesn't want to do anything at home.  Just hang out with us.  :(

Suppurating Wound
To top it off, I noticed Frost has a nasty untreated wound on his leg.  He didn't mention it but I noticed when he was kicking the bed during a game with Wren.  He told us that he slipped off a log and grazed his leg but it has got worse.  I read him the riot act about dying from blood poisoning and how it was his responsibility to tell people when he was hurt because it could get infected.  He was muddy all over!

Anyway, I took him straight to the camp nurse who treated it with a bandage and neosporin and will now see him twice daily for a check and dressing change.  I also found his camp counselor and told him to check on Frost.

His Camp Counselor and the Nurse did not know about this.
Frost did not tell them!  It has been 3-4 days!  
Finally, I spoke to the Camp Manager and asked them about Frost's concern with noise and riotous nights in the tent.  She said that they had been having particular trouble with night noise and behavior in a couple of the boy tents and would be clamping down on it now.

Frost has received printouts of the emails and asked me to tell Granny and Grandad that "I am fine and having fun".  I asked if that was really what he wanted to say.  He paused and added "well, tell them that there are some boys - [name] [name] and [name] who are too aggressive and are being a bit of a pain."  He also complained that the boys in his tent seemed obsessed with the fact that the horses penises shoot out and retract "Shloop" when they pee.

I told him that was normal for this age and he would have to get used to it.

I told him Elephants had even bigger penises and they also poke out when peeing.

He said "Are you a penisologist or something?"

So, we left him with mixed feelings.  When I looked back he was hanging with his pack checking through the debris on the ground for candy.  I left him with a box of Mike and Ikes and some Sour Patch Kid contraband.  He is still saving his candy.

Counting down the days...


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, that made me sad. Frost is such a thoroughly fair and good chap that its sad he sees such going on. It seems like bullying to me (of X). on the other hand he is seeing something group dynamics. Cant wait for you to get him home. Maybe you should ring the camp after a couple of days and check on him. Frankly they should be on top of such behaviour. It is probably not new to them. I think that the counsellor should sleep close by --- love MUM

Shannon said...

The Counselor does sleep there but has the evening off - from bedtime hour till he chooses to come to bed.

I was more concerned by the leg than his misery since it was probably compounded by homesickness at seeing us.

I suspect his discomfit at the behavior is more because its not at all his way of being - he tries to be nice to everyone and has never fought with a friend in his life - so he feels like he is watching people fighting and bickering. ITs probably not a bad lesson to learn to handle but not exactly FUN. Right?

I shall email camp and ask them to check in with him.