dinsdag 22 mei 2012

Camps and time issues

I spent the better part of last week on a long weekend with my new scouting group, getting to know the kids and the leadership, as well as all of them getting to know me.
It’s a really mixed group, with a couple of kids who act well above their age while there are also a couple that manage to be abundantly childish and act like they should still be in the age group below us. It’s a confusing mix, but somehow, they managed to endear me.

There could have been several moments where this happened. For example during the first night, when I enjoyed my dinner with one of the patrols and they very enthusiastically told me about the way they treated each other (every time he says something stupid, I slap him across the back of his head!), or the time they spent the better part of thirty minutes on a beach to tire me out enough and drag me into the water with my clothes on. It was fantastic to see the way they were testing me out, just to see how far they could go with me (pretty far, I have to say), despite my sickness at the time and the fact that I had already given them the could shoulder a couple of times before to get them off of my back and back to whatever activity they were supposed to be doing.
What I’m really afraid of is that I get too close to the kids. I don’t want them to see me as ‘one of them’, because I’m still supposed to be leading and instructing them, but I’m also by far the youngest person in the leadership team (the others have all crossed the big three-oh) and they’re drifting towards me by virtue of me being able to understand them better than the other leaders. It’s pretty clear when I’m merely observing from the background, they treat the others with just that little bit more respect while they give me just a little more sass.
And I think that’s just fine.
I know I’m walking a fine line when I let these kids talk back to me a little, but it’s up to me to define when they’ve gone too far and to make it abundantly clear that they’d better back up a little bit. As I said, they’re testing me and I’m still testing them. Quite frankly, they’re on the advantage, for I have about twenty-two times more people to test and understand than they do.
When I returned home this Sunday, I was completely exhausted and about ready to crash into the nearest soft surface, but I was also happy. I like those kids and it feels good to get the opportunity to teach them something while I’m also bringing my scouting knowledge back up to par. The rest of the leadership team likes me as well and invited me to join them on their camp to Switzerland this summer, which I happily agreed to. It was also met with cheers by quite a couple of the scouts themselves, which probably means that I made a good impression on them.

What I shouldn’t have done was go to work about an hour after I got back, though. That was a stupid, STUPID decision. I was pretty damn close to a corpse for the better part of that evening, drifting in that grey zone of falling over from exhaustion but not wanting to go to bed because there was quite a bit of work to catch up to.

Because, quite frankly, suddenly disappearing from the internet for four days means that you’re unable to do any work in this day and age. My university teams didn’t stop while I was busy enjoying myself, so I’m more or less compelled to work my ass off now. I’ll make it, though, I’m pretty sure about that. Just need to keep my timetables up.

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