Thursday, July 13, 2006

something about thursday night

I went to family campfire this evening, at the day camp I supervise. It was my first campfire of the 2006 summer season. I've been coordinating this camp for the past 7 years, and we don't actually have a campfire anymore, after wildfires burned homes in several other cities during past hot summers. The camp is at a park right in the middle of our city, and the fire marshall decided it was just not a good risk to light a fire, no matter how well-set and tended.

We act like there's a fire though. But first, we welcome all of the campers and their parents. We let the moms and dads try archery, which is really funny because it looks a lot easier than it is. The kids impress their parents, because they've had some practice during the week. Then we play "Capture the Flag" with moms and dads chasing their kids and each other and the leaders all over the park. Then when everyone is all sweaty and giggling, we sing campfire songs and invite the groups up with their leaders to do corny campfire skits. I usually tell a story, while the leaders get ready to do their corny leader skit, which involves grown-ups dressed up like chickens and always a man dressed in a pink ballerina costume and a maniacal dairy farmer yanking on a rubber glove (I am not exaggerating). Then we all drink hot chocolate, which we used to cook over the campfire, but now we heat on a hot plate. Everyone is happy and relaxed and nostalgic about the fun we had all week. There are thank yous and hugs and "see you next summers" (or next week for the campers who have signed up for more than one week). It's a grand feeling on Thursday evening. After that, the leaders get their 3-day weekend, which is very nice and also needed because Monday to Thursday is exhausting, even for young, strong leaders. I just hang around and soak up some of that good feeling and try to let everyone know how much I appreciate what they've done during the week.

I remember for a few years, beginning with my first full-time job, I worked Sunday to Thursday at the Rec Centre. I liked having Friday off for whatever I wanted to do while everyone else was working, and I enjoyed Sunday at the office - no bosses, few phone calls, and a chance to be in charge of a team of people who mostly worked part time hours and really liked working at the rec. But I didn't know what I was missing. When I finally switched to a Monday-Friday work week I discovered the sweet loose-looniness of Friday at the office. It's like people started shedding their weekday serious-busy selves partway through the day and everyone got more casual and playful as the day went by. Being playful-to-the-bone I always tried to get people to be this way with me on other days of the week, and often they did (sometime I'll tell you about the mini-golf tournament I organized inside the office where my boss turned his office into a water hazard and mine involved a golf ball riding up to the top of a Fisher Price parking garage then rolling down the ramp). But on Friday, everyone just got that way on their own, with delicious and disarming spontanaeity. People said and did things on Friday that you'd swear on Monday must have been a dream. A silly and fun dream, that is.

Thursday at camp is like that. I love Thursday.

question: what makes your favourite day your favourite?

mompoet - still going to work Friday, but I feel like it already started


Carol said...

I like any day that I get to do as I please and that I've arranged. I think Summer is my day this week.

Keep playin'

mompoet said...

That's a positive approach Carol. I like the idea of Summer being your favourite day.