Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

Summer Camp

     There are many kids who get made fun of all the time. One kid, or group of kids, picks some aspect of another and points it out to be different than normal. More kids start to point this out as different and eventually this kid starts getting made fun of. What these kids (who poke fun at others) do is make an assumption of what they see or hear. They donít pay attention to what they donít know about this kid. This creates a bunch of ignorant kids who are taunting someone they know nothing about; besides what they make fun of him for, which isnít always true. This in turn makes the kid feel left out, or more so pushed away from the group. Heís not included in any thing that is done and is left to find his own way to get by; which, in turn, may make him more of a target for insults and slander. I should know.

     I was in Boy Scouts a while back, when I was in high school. Every year we would go to summer camp. One year, a few friends and I decided that we would work at the summer camp. After thinking about what it would be like, I came to the conclusion that every one I was going to deal with all day long was going to be a kid. Learning from past experiences, I decided that my first most important job was going to be taking the kids that no one liked to be around much, and turning them into my best friend. This way, many kids would want to be their friends, to be my friend, and in return I would inadvertently, and unnoticeably, teach them that this kid could have been their friend all along and not to judge a book by itís cover, and the sort. This did work fine, but it ended up being needed in another place besides with the little scouts.

     On the staff, there was this one kid, whose name I recall as Steve. Steve was one of those kids dieing for attention. He loved attention and it showed. He often picked on kids or other staff members because he thought it was, or would be, funny. He did a lot of things that people just despised him for. I didnít necessarily understand why the rest of the entire staff didnít like him at all, yet stood him anyway. Matt, the Camp Director, approached all of the staff as a whole when something went wrong, even when they thought that Steve did it. Though I didnít understand that, I did understand why they didnít like him. He had a lot of mystery about him when something went wrong. And this wouldnít help him in the long run.

     I felt that it was not fair for these people to judge him when they didnít even know him. So, once again taking the past and applying it to the future, I befriended Steve. I got to know him the best I could. One night, we went on to the top of The Point, a high rock cliff that hung over the campís lake. We went up there taking an adventure route that was not used any more, because it was so close to the lake and right on the side of the cliff. As we walked, we talked about things, mostly stuff that had no relation to camp at all. But then I brought up what had been going on. I asked him if he did any of those things he was accused of doing. He said he didnít, quite sternly, so I thought it would be best if I believed him. He was surprised I didnít even ask ďreally?Ē

     We sat up on the point as the sun set behind the hillsides, and started to make a small fire using some sticks, a lighter and a can of insect spray. We talked until the sun disappeared and the stars shone brightly in the dark nightís sky. I then began to play spy. Being a friend to everyone else on the staff, they told me of stuff that they were going to do to Steve, or things that they were saying about him. So, wanting to be Steveís friend, I told him about much of these things. He said it didnít matter. They could do whatever they wanted; he didnít care any more.

No one ever did what they said they were going to do to him, but that doesnít mean they didnít want to. Maybe they didnít do it because they saw that I had actually become friends with him. Maybe thatís all it takes. One kid who is daring enough to put aside all they hear and see, and start to listen for what they donít know. Maybe getting to know the person before you go along with the hype isnít such a bad idea. And just maybe, you could have one more friend when youíre through.

 

 

Site Design by MSHV
Usage of this site subject to the Site Agreement