Kippers, toothbrushes and telegraph poles


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Published: June 30th 2009
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So staff training has been and gone and so far I'm loving it. we live in these big tents with 5 other staff members in, for training we have been in teams and we have basically been the kids and tried out all the activities as well as doing more serious training. Everyone here is amazing and luckily we all seem to get along really well. We just all spend so much time in hysterics.

While we're here we all have to pick a camp name so the kids don't find out our real names, for strange american legal reasons (the same ones where you have to ask whether you can help someone before treating them for first aid and the same one why our first aid trainer got SUED for breaking a child's ribs while giving her CPR... seriously its RIDICULOUS here!) Anyway, so the other staff members help pick your name and they wanted to call me Mary Poppins because apparently I'm the most English person EVER (who knows...) but it was a bit long. So they decided to call me Kipper. They don't have the fish here so it was just the cute little english puppy. In any case it sounds much cuter in an American accent so I decided to roll with it. They like to go 'Kip, Kip Cherio' in a weird fake American accent and laugh lots too...

I seem to be repelling toothbrushes at the moment. I keep misplacing them and not being able to find them. I've had a bunch of the ones people picked up off the plane plus the one I originally had and then finally Mumbles gave me one which I fully intend to keep all summer... although on saying that I have bought a couple of spares from Wally World while I was there to be on the safe side!

We spent the first 3 days of staff training jumping off telegraph poles. It wasn't really how I'd imagined it would be. I thought it would be more like Go-Ape but instead it's like a bunch of stand alone activites such as one where you have to jump off a 4ft pole and catch a trapeze, there's also a 40ft zip wire. We got to try out the different activities and learn how to help the adventure specialists to lead them.

The rest of training has been pretty intense. We've done climbing walls and learning how to belay, kayaking, swimming, archery as well as the usual child protection and leadership stuff. One of the most exciting things we've done is learning about camp traditions. Camp Wind-In-The-Pines was founded in 1929 and some of the traditions have been going for a really long time! Most of them are funny things like a "scrape off" where the internationals and go against americans to see who can scrape plates the fastest. The best one so far is the Secret Buddies thing. We have to get our secret buddies gifts throughout the summer and make them things and write them letters. I've got a really good one so I'm really looking forward to getting presents and what not. I've already been to the shops to start scouting out bits and bobs i want to get.

We each get a clip board for lists of girls, programs and time off and what not. We get to decorate our own. I've decided to do mine with fun/inspirational quotes. So I've got some newspaper for the background and I'm decoupaging quotes onto the front and I've got some quote stickers from the sale bin at the craft shop.

I have to get to bed now so I'll write again soon.
Night x


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5th July 2009

Is your degree really going to be in English?
Ellen Lovely to see that all is going well and you are enjoying yourself. How you managed to become attached with the name for a flattened herring that has been smoked I'm not too sure of. Henriette and I managed to slot in a really lovely few days camping in France while Neil was on his biology feild trip. We found the perfect camp site next to a river in a small town called Courville which is near to Chartre. (100km SE of Paris) Five days of sunshine helped as well. I'm back to sea Tuesday. Joining in Portland and then off to the East coast of Denmark to work on the Horns Rev 2 wind farm. It should be a shortish trip so hope to get off about the middle of August. The guy I'm releiving wants to be home early October so I will need to rejoin by then. But should be at home to see you off to York. Have fun. Love Dad xxx

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