This summer I worked at Two Rivers Soccer Camp in the Lake Tahoe area of California for 10 fun, long weeks. In fact, I attended this camp as a camper for three consecutive summers during my high school years. Rather than write a long-winded article about all the experiences I had in the last 2 and a half months, I will make a list of 20 interesting things that happened, life-lessons I learned, and the cool people that I had the pleasure of working with.
1. I became friends with Drew Virk, the head coach of lacrosse at Stanford University. I know that Two Rivers is a soccer camp, but this year they started implementing lacrosse, and 3 of the weeks this summer they brought out Drew to train with a number of aspiring lax bros.
2. I learned that I can easily control 7 girls ranging from age 8 to age 12.
3. I learned that I can more or less control 7 boys aged 9-10. Emphasis on the more.
4. I learned that I can more or less control 13 boys aged 7-9. Emphasis on the less.
6. The hundreds of water snakes that I saw this summer wanted nothing more than to swim away from all the screaming children who tried to pick them up and fling them in the air.
7. Graeagle, California — population 737 — is the nearest hotspot. Mostly because there’s cell reception, a general store, a pond, and a stop on the highway that sells soft-serve ice cream.
8. About a month ago I hit my foot on a rock in Lake Tahoe; everyone laughed at my clumsiness and said I was being overdramatic because I thought I broke my toe. It still hurts. Definitely broke my toe.
9. The British men I worked with had very sarcastic and vulgar senses of humor. Just what I like.
10. Those British men really liked my tanning oil. Specifically the banana-scented tanning oil.
11. I never thought I would want to go to Walmart. Yet every time we went into Reno on the weekends I found myself begging to go to that wondrous mega-store.
12. I have a few inappropriate nicknames that friends at school call me as a joke; I didn’t think they would catch on at a children’s camp. I was wrong. So, so wrong.
13. I had to tell the kids last week to stop calling me ‘cakes’ for an hour because my parents were there to pick me up. They could barely contain themselves.
14. The more snarky comments you make towards a kid, the more they like you.
15. A surprising number of kids believed that all the counselors had brought enough clothes to last them the entire summer. As in they didn’t realize that we were able to do laundry.
16. If I had a dime for every blank stare I received from a child after telling them something as simple as “Get dressed for soccer” I would be set for life.
17. If a 15-year-old boy accidentally touches your butt, all the 8-year-old boys tell everyone that he’s a pervert.
18. The walk to meals was a half-mile long up a hill. Reminded me of home sweet BC. And a surprising amount of campers and parents knew someone who goes to/went to BC.
19. I worked with and made friends with a girl that went to the same high school as me. We never really knew each other back then; I guess it’s a small world after all.
20. Though some kids can be snotty little brats, in the end it’s the handful of truly amazing gems of children that make it all worth it.