Thankfully, the food was fantastic, the accomodation was plush by my camp standards, the activities ran beautifully and the children (or underage adults) had themselves a ball.
(Most importantly, I didn't have to really go to the toilet.)
But, my friends if it's drama that floats your boat you needed to be in Point Peron this week.
If you get off on spats, spits and spills - grab a Working With Children card and get yourself on the nearest Year 5 camp.
You will find no shortage of Oscar worthy performances amongst 63 ten year old children kept in close confines for three days.
It's not always in the challenging physical tasks, the rock climbing, the raft building, the trust games, the beach sessions where conflict will arise. That would be far too obvious and simple.
The key to true dramatic effect is for the actual issue to be so minute, inconsequential and pathetic that it is usually forgotten two minutes into the production.
You'll witness friendships forming, exploding and imploding. Tears will flow and reconciliations pour as freely. Neutral requests, unkind words and well intended jokes will all manage to cause offence somewhere in the mix. Possession will become far more than nine tenths of the law - more like nine tenths of an all in brawl in a dorm. Simple tasks will take on epic proportions when the buck is passed from students to student to student.
As sleep deprivation kicks in, the scale of meltdowns will elevate exponentially. The coolest of cucmbers will find themselves rattled by one another's irritating habits, nocturnal noises, ablutions practices, inability to pick up clothing, voices, facial expressions or mere presence.
If things, miraculously, start to slow down on the theatrical side, simply insert a forty five minute rehearsal session for that evening's talent night. You'll have the young actors and actresses back in fine form in the blink of an eye. Groups will divide and attempt to conquer one another, individuals will run sobbing when their voice is ignored, costuming malfunctions will cause no end of distress and you may even witness a tantrum that my own toddler would be impressed by.
The greatest revelation of all this juvenile drama is the turn around period involved.
All is forgiven, forgotten and resolved sometimes even before the tears have dried on the cheeks of these accomplished performers. Peace is restored faster than most adults can comprehend what the drama was initially in aid of and everyone is free to smile on until the next instalment. The intensity and frequency of quality drama produced by ten year olds would put 'Day of Our Lives' to shame. No waiting twenty four hours for the next episode with Year 5s. Twenty four minutes would be a stretch.
Now that is well worth a round of applause.
|Protective headgear is a must in severe |