All legal and above board

Trip Start May 24, 2009
1
5
22
Trip End Nov 05, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So, today was my first official day off camp and in fact my first time off camp since I got here!  But before I give you all the juicy details, a quick rundown of life at camp since the kids arrived...

As I may have mentioned, I'm now living in the Seneca Unit, which is the set of cabins right in the centre of camp (quite convenient) which normally houses the 11-12 year olds.  It's actually a bit different this week and next as the camp runs what they call 'specialty' camp, which means that the girls come for 1 week instead of 2 and do either Tennis, riding or arts.  As it happens a lot actually stay longer than that but it means that we only have about 70 kids this week, which is about a 1/4 of full capacity.  Anyway, we have 3 girls here for Tennis and 13 for arts, and instead of spreading them out into the age units they all live together in Seneca, though they're age grouped by cabin instead.  As there are so few, but so many counselors I don't actually have any kids in my cabin, though may change next week as we'll have double the number of campers.

The girls are all ok, not really any different to UK kids from what I've seen so far.  Apparently though as they are 'one week campers' they're not real camp kids so I many revise that opinion!  They range in age from 9 to 14 and most have been here before, though we have a few new ones.  Some are a bit homesick but we were told to keep an eye on those ones at our Tuesday night meeting so hopefully they got a bit more TLC today and perked up a bit, will have to wait until tomorrow to see as they're in bed now.

Had our first proper arts and crafts session with them yesterday which went well, we had a few different ones to try but the one they really seemed to like was the one I'd picked out ( :-) ), which was making bookmarks/coasters etc out of the plastic sewing canvas (Mum and Bethan and anyone who was in work at Christmas and saw me sewing those snowflakes, you know the stuff I mean).  Some just did basic in and out of the holes but others had a go at sewing their names and they all seemed to enjoy it.  I'm attempting to sew our camp totem pole, I managed to cut the canvas to shape but I need to go take a picture of the pole to copy the design.  We'll see how I get on with that!

Back to my day off!  We had to get up early to be at the Social Security Office for 9 to apply for our Social Security cards.  From what I can gather it's a bit like a National Insurance number and proves your legal right to work in the US.  Was pretty painless and didn't take too long to get everyone sorted.  After that we headed over to the Apple Blossom Mall, a pretty name for not that pretty a building!  Some decent shops though, Victoria's Secret, JC Penny (bit like BHS), Hollister, Hot Topic etc.  I picked up some bits of clothing I needed and admittedly treated myself to some stuff I didn't need, but that was only $24 worth.

After a slight trek from the mall trying to find the main road (difficult in a country that seems to have taken offense at pavements and the idea of walking 1/2 mile from one place to another) Helen and I went for lunch at Chilli's, which is a kind of Tex Mex restraint.  Food was really good with HUGE portions of course!  I had Quesadilla's and 9 hours later I'm only just starting to feel hungry again.  Decided to treat ourselves to a beer as we're both old enough and got ID'd.  First time that's happened to me in a while, but they ID everyone here.

We then had another hike to Walmart to pick up the other supplies we needed like toiletries etc and then a group of us had planned to go to the cinema to see Terminator Salvation.  Got a bargain matinee ticket at $6.50, which is about half of what I'd pay back home and the film was pretty good, so that rounded off an enjoyable day off.  Not having kids in my cabin I didn't feel the need to have a break from them as yet, but it was nice to actually get out into 'civilisation' for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks.  Not sure what day I'll get off next week as yet, but I'd like to head into Old Winchester, which is the original town, not the shopping sprawl we went today. 
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