It's been almost a week since I got back from seven days in a cabin with 16 screaming 7-to-9-year-old girls. My thoughts have had time to marinate in my head (what do you call these? Marinatings? Marinations? I'll settle with musings for now...) and the weird thing is...I kind of miss it.
Being a "cabin mommy" as one of my campers put it isn't always fun. There is the rush to get ready for chapel in the morning. The perpetual spilled drinks - I don't think we went one meal without tipping a glass. There is lots of homesickness, and in some years (like this one) lots of puking. But there are lots of cool things about being a cabin leader too. One is that you become a hero to lots of little kids for simply having a band-aid when they need one or know how to braid hair. You inspire awe because you are A Teenager, and go to college.
But the other cool thing is that as a counselor you get to do stuff that you haven't had a chance to do since you were their age: get your hands messy making hommade paper, belt out silly songs in music class, play dodgeball and scream at the top of your lungs going down the water slide. You're a sort-of parent, sort-of older sibling, and sort-of friend.
I think that anyone considering parenthood should be required to be a camp counselor first. Sure, one week isn't anything compared to a lifetime with kids. But it sure gives you a preview of what life might be like. At times it's endearing, at times frustrating, and sometimes just fun. I have no idea if I'll ever have kids...I havn't thought that far down the road yet. But will I be a cabin mommy again next year at camp? I think so.