After a long and grueling day of driving, I finally arrived back at Echo Hill Outdoor School in Worton, Md on Sunday. Being back feels really good. It's a bit weird because most of the staff that was here when I first started is gone, but all the new staff are really great. I was "in" all week, but the scheduling was pretty hectic. We were over programmed and under staffed, so I got to jump right back into things. We had a group of high schoolers that were here all week, and they were really chill and very smart. On Wednesday and Thursday I worked with some kids going into 4th grade, but I had to work with them like I would a first or second grade group. On Thursday one of the high schoolers went into a diabetic shock, so she ended up going to the hospital. It was pretty scary, but she was ok and got back to campus after lunch. Also on Thursday I had my first solo class of the summer and I thought it went well. I was with the 4th graders and they had a pretty short attention span, but we looked at a lot of bugs and went into the garden and played a few games. We had some extra time at the end of class so I even ventured into the swamp where we saw a big bull frog. On Friday I had a pond studies class with the high schoolers and Megan (who I live with and know from last spring). I think Megan and I had more fun than the kids, but the heat was killer so it was nice o just spend the morning in water. A couple of the boys found a baby snapping turtle that was born without a back right leg and had a stump front left foot. He was definitely a hardcore little turtle. Thursday afternoon, again with the high schoolers, we saw a Ichneumonoidea Wasp (one of the kids identified it) laying her eggs in an old stump. They're parasitic, so when they lay eggs a huge, long, black "stem" comes out of their butt and then they poke it into a log where other insect larve is, so when the baby wasps hatch they have a meal. I took a video with my phone, but I didn't want to get too close so the quality isn't too great.
Its also been insanely hot this week. On Friday the heat index was 124! After we got rid of all of our kids, the kids from camp came over and took over out dorms and office building because we have air conditioning. At first it was really frustrating because everyone who works for the school is like expressly forbidden to go to certain areas of campus during the summer because of the camp, and all of a sudden we were just invaded by tons of children and staff who started eating all our food and making messes. I live in the Green House, which is one campus, which had no air conditioning. So me and everyone else I live with had planned to sleep in the dorms over the weekend because it was literally 110 degrees in our house. But it actually turned out ok because the guys who owns Echo Hill offered to put the 5 of us up in Holiday Inn for the weekend. So it was nice to be able to take a shower and then not immediately begin to start sweating again as soon as you get out.
Yesterday me and some other folks drove up to Delaware to go to a rock climbing gym and a Moroccan restaurant. The rock climbing was tons of fun and after I figured out how to not rely on my arms I was actually pretty good at it. A couple of the guys who came were absolute beasts, but they were also helpful with tips and belaying. The Moroccan restaurant is great. You pay $25 and are given a 7 course Moroccan meal of pure deliciousness.
Today we had to leave the hotel, but its not quite as hot as it was last week. I'm already excited for this coming week. I'm working with the Little Explorers all week, which is a camp from 9-12 with kids ranging from bout 6-9. I'm not sure what we'll get up to, but I love kids that age so I know it will be fun. And then the week after this is Dragon Fly Heart Camp!!! So I'm sure I'll do a bunch of cleaning this week to get ready for it.
Haha, I've seemed to have left nothing to the imagination... But everything here is really great. The directors are already beginning to work on the fall season programming and I'm really jealous that I won't be here for it. God damned school and my "education."